NO one is perfect and it is quite easy to overlook minor details, but government officials dealing with the Covid pandemic should be closely looking at the small print and the practicalities.

Apart from the overall objection to compulsory PCR tests in order to come to the Balearics aired by readers in their letters to the newspaper over the past week, it has also been brought to my attention by a reader that in order to have a PCR test to travel overseas from the UK or Ireland, it has to be paid for. People cannot rock up at their doctor’s surgery or NHS health centre and ask for a PCR test on the grounds they are going on holiday because they will be turned down.

GPs etc., under the code of ethics, can only agree to carry out a PCR test if the “patient” is showing symptoms of the virus - so they have to go private or to the new “pop up centres”, the latter of which are not legal.

Should a GP fail to comply with the protocol he or she could face a civil law suit.

So, as in the case of one Irish reader who has a family of five, a Christmas holiday to Mallorca is out of the question this year and the immediate future until an alternative travel solution is rolled out, such as a vaccine passport which airlines are pushing for.

The PCR scheme has a clear bite in its tail and it is considerably increasing the cost of an overseas holiday. Time for a rethink.

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