Being fair

By | Category: Travel rumblings

If you live in England or Northern Ireland and travelled abroad, on your return if you take PCR tests you could use a private company rather than the NHS.

Why has it taken so long for the Welsh government to allow non-NHS testing for returning passengers?

In Scotland, the government there decided to change its view last week and it too will allow non NHS testing facilities to be used

Wales has now decided to review its advice that only NHS test facilities can be used.

Why did Scotland and Wales hold out for so long before allow privately run companies to test people especially since these companies often did it cheaper and could relieve the NHS of the task at a time when we are often told that the NHS is under strain from so much to do?

The answer often given by the Scottish and Welsh governments was that since it was policy to tell people not to travel abroad, why should they make it easier for people to travel by widening the number of organisations that could test? Another argument that was trotted out was that NHS analysis would be available to the government faster than if the testing was carried out privately thus providing the government with quicker information on where clusters of COVID-19 were detected.

We don’t know and probably never will if NHS testing was preferable to private testing but we do know that passengers were handicapped in that they had to pay more.

It seems churlish to suggest that both governments when they found out that people were not heeding their advice about travelling abroad seemed spiteful in “penalising” passengers by limiting choice and being charged more but that is how it seemed to some passengers.

But to many it seemed unfair that there wasn’t unanimity amongst all nations thus making it easier for people to understand the rules.

If Wales does allow non NHS testing then the playing field will be level and fairer. If it doesn’t change its mind it will have to come up with some very persuasive reasons as to why it won’t.

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