Grant Shapps has called for mandatory PCR tests on children as young as five-years-old when returning from amber list countries in lieu of quarantine from July 19. The Transport Secretary faced criticism for his decision from parents and academics for being unnecessary and potentially harmful to young children.

Telegraph readers have had their say on whether the mandatory testing of children aged five to 18 is the right call.

Read on for highlights of the discussion from our readers and share your opinion in the comments section at the bottom of this article.

‘I fail to understand why we are testing anyone’

@Mike Brewer:

“I fail to understand why we are testing anyone going abroad, as we have Covid, they have Covid and even Australia has Covid. So why bother if everywhere has Covid? What does it achieve?”

‘My seven-year-old granddaughter has been traumatised’

@Thomas Le Cocq:

“This is complete lunacy and tantamount to State sponsored child abuse.

“My seven-year-old granddaughter has been PCR tested three times in the past year and she is utterly traumatised by the process. Forcing a swab down the back of a healthy child’s throat to gather statistics is abuse!

‘Mr Shapps has made a terrible error’

@David Turnbull:

“As the parent of a five and seven-year-old, I will not be putting them through this nonsense. If that means we can’t travel overseas then so be it.

“Mr Shapps has made a terrible error of judgement in this case.”

‘They are doing a fantastic job of destroying the airline industry’

@Alexander Horatio De Pfeffel Bonce:

“They are doing a fantastic job of destroying 90% of the airline industry.

“What parent worth their salt is going to let their kids be violated and terrorised by the inhumane PCR testing and the Covid fear theatre?”

‘It is not necessary to test children’

@Dave saysit:

“Shapps misleads us all and quite deliberately I think. The course of the virus and its nature can be tracked quite adequately through those who are ill and hospitalised, and it is not necessary to test children. 

“The sole purpose of testing children must be to find excuses for future lockdowns, no doubt from September onwards.”

‘A year on and there are actually more restrictions’ 


“What has actually changed? A year on and there are actually more restrictions than last year’s summer travel even though over 60% are doubly vaccinated. 

“Passenger locator forms will still need completing, Day two tests still need to be purchased and this time for all young family members. Yes you don’t need to do the quarantine, but they haven’t gone far enough in making this easy.”

‘We’ve given up hope of going abroad this year’

@Bron Scott:

“We’ve completely given up hope of going abroad this year. Neither of our children in their early twenties will be double jabbed in time and all the testing requirements which remain in place just make it cost prohibitive.”

‘The pre-return test creates considerable uncertainty’

@Joe Bloggs:

“Testing children of this age is barbaric and is one of the many blocks to overseas holidays this year and, I suspect, next year too. The pre-return test creates considerable uncertainty and risks extending your time out of the country.

“Finally, my wife and I are not prepared to pay the exorbitant charges for PCR tests when back in the UK – should questions not be asked as to why these are so much higher than for any other country?”

‘The price gouging by these travel companies is disgusting’ 

@Stuart Bate:

“This is not something that I will have to worry about, the amount of price gouging going on by these "struggling" travel companies and hotels is absolutely disgusting. 

“It’s now costing more for me and two children to spend a week in Spain than it would have to take them to Disney in Florida a few years back. Where are these people getting their money from for this?”

‘We have made everything so complicated’ 

@Sue Williams:

“Are we mad suggesting young children be swabbed? It is unpleasant to say the least. Either you open up travel full stop or you do not – full stop.

“Don’t try to get what you want in this roundabout and devious way. We have made everything so complicated and people who are determined will always find their way round complications.”

What do you think? Tell us in the comments section below