Business Travel News is not the first to highlight the exorbitant prices being charged for the PCR test by some so-called professionals.
Celebrity Cruises requires all passengers to visit a facility and pass a PCR test taken in the last three days before boarding. For this they have contracted with Eurofins (a large international laboratory organisation) to handle the nationwide programme free for passengers. If Eurofins does not have a local testing station Celebrity will pay the charges up to £100.
PCR tests are available from the NHS if your medical condition necessitates but no guarantee of the results within the Celebrity time scale. BTN was offered testing for £95 at a local chemist, and for the same simple nose swab test £44, also nearby. Children are now allowed on board but need only the PCR test.
With Fred Olsen they have decided that the lateral test is good enough, with the results in the boarding terminal within 20min. This can work with ports that are visited and organised with the facility. It has been introduced by P&O at Southampton. Celebrity's different approach means passengers cannot get off at the UK ports on the cruise except those who have booked for the tours and stay in a bubble.
All cruise lines require for passengers over 18 to be double vaccinated.