United Kingdom

Benidorm couple forced back to UK over Brexit furious at ’empty Covid test’ for £182

Steve Parry, 64, and wife Elaine, 63, were forced to return home from Benidorm, Spain, because Brexit rules state Britons cannot stay in EU countries without residency. Government guidelines say travellers should quarantine for 10 days and take a test on day two and day eightTeesside Live reports. 

Upon their return, they each forked out £182 to receive coronavirus tests from one of the UK government’s recommended providers – 001 Doctor UK.

But Steve claims he was sent a small tube with no swab, and Elaine is yet to receive anything.

The retired couple, who coughed up 110 Euros (£94) each for a negative Covid test in Spain before boarding their flight home on Sunday, have been isolating in Middlesbrough, Teesside, since.

Steve, who worked as a heavy goods driver for British Steel for 35 years, now fears they may have been scammed.

He said: “We paid a separate company 001 Doctor £182 each to send us these tests. We can’t get a hold of them, they have sent me a test but they haven’t put anything in just a little tube.

“When I opened the box there is a little tube and no swab. My wife’s hasn’t turned up at all. This should have been here – this is day three.

“We’re worried about what’s going to happen, no one has given me an answer. It’s the stress of trying to find these things out – nobody wants to help you.

“They have had £700 off me and I am not a rich man.”

The grandparents, originally from Normanby, North Yorkshire, had an apartment in Benidorm which they would spent time in throughout the year.

When the outbreak hit in March last year, Steve and Elaine were in Spain and remained there throughout the lockdowns.

Steve added: “We shouldn’t have to pay anything, we’re British citizens. If you are a British citizen they treat you like a dog.

“I feel like I have been cheated by our own country. My father and grandfather fought for this country. I just feel really angry.”

Elaine, who worked at Asda for 23 years, asked how the Government is vetting companies providing testing services.

She said: “They should have been here when we got off the plane.

“We have sat here three days and no one wants to give us an answer.”

EU laws state that Britons who have failed to apply for resident status or are rejected legal registration are now required to return home.

Steve said: “We have been going to Spain as we have an apartment out there.

“When Covid started we had flights to come back to see my family but the flights were cancelled.

“I have not seen my grandchildren for over a year, only by Skype.

“I’m a British citizen, it wasn’t my fault I was stuck out there.

“We have had to leave because of Brexit.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “All private providers of Covid-19 tests must declare that they meet the minimum required standards, and be reviewed by the independent United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

“We do not endorse or recommend any particular private test provider, and expect all providers to meet the necessary standards.”

Teesside Live has contacted 001 Doctor UK for a comment.

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