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Its time to fly high again - holidaymakers and business travellers who need a PCR test, need look no further than Spirit Journeys in Inverness


By Louise Glen

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Spirit Journeys Travel Centre offer cheaper holiday COVID tests: Sally Mackay-Wood, Julia MacLeay and Amy Martin, Travel Agents. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Spirit Journeys Travel Centre offer cheaper holiday COVID tests: Sally Mackay-Wood, Julia MacLeay and Amy Martin, Travel Agents. Picture: James Mackenzie.

Holidaymakers and business travellers who need a PCR test, need look no further than their local travel agent.

Expensive PCR Covid tests have been a bone of contention for holidaymakers and the travel industry, and as the government plan to swap to cheaper lateral flow tests, at a date yet to be confirmed, one Highland travel agent, Spirit Journeys, is ensuring passengers can access a cheaper option as the regulations ease.

Business owner Julia MacLeay said: “The move to lateral flows tests is great news, they are substantially cheaper for people but as there’s no confirmed date for that yet, we want to offer the best value tests on the market to travellers as things stand now.

“Originally there were limited options available in the Highlands so providers had a captive audience and the only option was paying extortionate amounts.

"We heard of people paying as much as £250 each."

Spirit Journeys, based at Fairways Retail Park, is offering a PCR test for under £45, and a "Day 2 test" at £38.90.

She continued: "We want to offer a price that is fair. It is good to offer the service to people in the Highlands so they can access to reasonable price PCR test.

"This service is not only available to our customers, but to anyone who needs it as we want help everybody to travel.

“We get people from all over including Fort William, Aberdeen, the Isle of Skye, Elgin, Stornoway and Dunnet Head, along with locals.”

Currently, fully vaccinated adults entering the UK must take a PCR test within two days of arriving.

The business is an authorised sampling station for Covid tests for travel.

Results are available within 24-hours of the test reaching the lab and the tests are collected daily by a courier.

She said international visitors are making use of the testing as well, Ms MacLeay said: “Hotels are ringing to get details for their guests who need to do tests before they go back home overseas. We get a lot of Americans along with other countries.”

“Anyone that has come in says ‘that has been easy’, they are surprised how simple and quick it is. They are relieved it’s just up the nose and not down the back of the throat,” she continued.

“They also appreciate the re-assurance of the tests being taken straight to the laboratory by the courier rather than returning tests in the post. There can be delays with postage in the Highlands and people don’t want to risk the issues that can cause.”

From October 11, proof of vaccination will be recognised from 37 new countries and territories.

Since October 4 double-jabbed holidaymakers arriving back to the UK no longer require a pre-departure test.

READ: Halloween revellers in the Highlands urged to stay safe and act sustainably as celebrations resume after Covid


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