Sajid Javid doesn’t seem to know what to do with cowboys. For the British Minister of Health, they are apparently little more than rather cheeky guys who don’t just literally put the Colt on the chests of their fellows. In any case, on Monday Javid accused certain companies in the United Kingdom of outright “cowboy behavior”. He was referring to all those companies that sometimes collect 150 pounds for a government-prescribed corona test, the equivalent of 175 euros. The minister now wants to act against this scam.
The commercial behavior of some UK companies has been observed for some time. Anyone who has traveled to Britain recently should have had similar experiences when finding a testing provider. Right now it’s like this: if you want to go to Great Britain, you have to do a number of corona tests before and after arrival, depending on the place of departure. Fully vaccinated travelers from Germany, for example, must show a test result when they start their trip and get tested again two days after arriving in the UK. You must book this second test before leaving. The test provider then gives you a number which you must provide during digital registration.
A test provider can be found on a government website. According to the Ministry of Health, 57 companies have now been removed from the list because they did not exist or did not offer the required tests. More than 80 companies have been warned of misleading prices. “It is absolutely unacceptable for a private testing company to take advantage of vacationers, and today’s action will put an end to this cowboy behavior,” Health Secretary Javid said on Monday.
The UK consumer organization which welcomed the move but described it as long overdue, after all, the summer school holidays will soon be over. According to consumer advocates, none of the ten cheapest providers, according to the government website, offered the advertised tests for the given price. This weekend, some of the more than 400 vendors listed were charging £ 300 for two corona tests. It is quite possible that some cowboys are proud of these methods of the Wild West.