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COVID-19 test costs for families travelling abroad for treatment

Travelling abroad for brain tumour treatments could lead to significant COVID-19 testing costs

New regulations were announced earlier this week and could affect people like Natalie Paul (pictured) from Coventry, who is due to travel to Germany later this month for treatment for her glioblastoma brain tumour.

Families travelling abroad would now need to take a private coronavirus test before leaving the UK and again on days two and eight of quarantine on their return, but they need to pay for these tests themselves. Natalie’s family now face additional costs for the upcoming treatment trip of up to £1,800.

We have asked the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to clarify this situation for Natalie and others facing a similar dilemma.

Sarah Lindsell, CEO at The Brain Tumour Charity, said:

“Travelling for treatment can already be an extremely distressing time and so we are asking the Government to urgently clarify whether COVID tests could be provided for free in these instances for families affected by incurable brain tumours.

“Brain tumours remain the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40, and over 5,000 people lose their lives to the disease each year in the UK. Glioblastomas, which are the most common form of high-grade brain tumour in adults, unfortunately have very poor survival rates, with only 25% of patients surviving more than one year.

“It’s heart-breaking that, for so many, progress just isn’t yet happening fast enough and there are still few treatments options available – often leaving them faced with difficult decisions to travel abroad for experimental therapies to try to improve or extend their lives.

Read more of Natalie’s story on the BBC website.

Anyone affected by a brain tumour can speak to our Support and Info Line or on 0808 800 0004. We’re here for you.

Media contacts at The Brain Tumour Charity

Press office contact details:

Phone: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm: 01252 237864
Out of hours media contact: 07990 828385
Email: pressoffice@thebraintumourcharity.org