The scheme which allowed travellers to obtain a Covid test free of charge, launched in summer 2020, will end after the Easter bank holiday.

GPs were told on Thursday they were no longer permitted to prescribe PCR tests to people wishing to travel abroad. On Friday, the government confirmed that travellers will have to pay for a Covid test before going on holiday, starting from 5 April.

The free test scheme was initially launched in summer 2020 to support people travelling to countries which required proof of a negative Covid test. As of Friday there were no more appointments available to people seeking a test ahead of their trip, according to a statement put out by the Ministry of Health on Friday morning.

There will be no exceptions for people wishing to travel abroad for family reasons.

Free tests will however still be available for business trips or for students studying abroad.

For students who are required to present a negative test on their return to university, the ACEL offers free test vouchers for the Large Scale Testing stations.

People who are required to take a business trip should apply to the Chamber of Commerce and the House of Entrepreneurship to obtain a voucher for the Large Scale Testing centres.