Sun-seeking tourists have been dealt a blow after reports claim free lateral flow tests may not be approved for travellers returning from green list countries.

Bookings to a number of countries, including Portugal, have soared after a green list of 12 countries where UK travellers can go to without quarantine was revealed.

But Brits returning to England will still have to show a negative Covid test taken up to 72 hours before travel.

Whitehall sources had previously said that travellers will be given free lateral flow tests to pack in their suitcase for the return journey.

Now, the Daily Telegraph reports that the free testing equipment may not now be allowed for use by May 17 after a failure to reach “cross-Government agreement” on the scheme.

Passengers check-in in Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport
The government has announced 12 countries that make up a 'green list'

It comes amid concerns about validating the test results which are self-administered by travellers as well as their accuracy.

A source was reported to have said: “It is more about the implementation than the science. How do you check the results? How do you validate them? Do people just turn up and show them?”

A Department for Transport spokesman was reported to have said it was “working with the travel industry and private testing providers ahead of international travel reopening, to see how we can further reduce the cost of travel for the British public, while ensuring travel is as safe as possible."

From May 17 a number of countries will be placed on the 'green list', meaning people returning to England will not need to quarantine or isolate.

Instead passengers will need to fill in a form, take a Covid test and book and pay for another test to be taken on the second day after arrival.

On its official guidance the government says the pre-departure test can be a PCR or lateral flow test.

It adds: "It’s your responsibility to ensure the test meets the minimum standards for sensitivity, specificity and viral load details. You must check with your test provider that it meets those standards."