Are overpriced PCR tests really needed?
Willie Walsh, IATA's new CEO, criticized the price of PCR tests for Covid 19.Source: B92
He accused suppliers of profiting from travel in this way and called on the tourism industry to challenge the validity of the need for these, somewhat overpriced tests.
European airlines are counting on a big return on air travel this summer. All this would happen after months of epidemiological constraints that led to drastic reductions in revenues and huge debts, endangering survival under the pandemic.
PCR test – more expensive than the airfare
However, the demand for PCR tests, which can cost more than airfare for some shorter flights, presents a serious threat to a possible recovery. Willie Walsh pointed out that the evidence of profiteering of people advocating of the PCR tests is clear. Numerous governments have introduced PCR tests as necessary and then charge value-added tax on the cost of tests. This, according to him, is something that should be disputed.
Walsh insisted that the cost of tests should be significantly lower than it is now. He also emphasized that it should be determined whether PCR testing is really necessary. The prices of these tests in the world, which have become the gold standard in the diagnosis of coronavirus infection, ranging from forty to as much as 180 euros, according to Travelmagazine
Antigen tests - reliable, faster, and more economical
Airline executives, led by easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren, says that PCR tests will make travel too expensive for many. For that reason, they call on the authorities to allow passengers to use antigen tests instead that are reliable, faster, and more economical.
Walsh warns that we must not allow a situation where only the rich can travel. That would be a great pity and shame, and everyone in the industry should fight against it. It should not be forgotten that rapid antigen tests are "equally effective" in a context where other measures are available that can help manage the risk.