Health secretary Sajid Javid has warned people to look out for travel testing companies who may be taking advantage of holidaymakers, Press Association has reported.

Javid has said the “cowboy” behaviour from companies selling Covid-19 testing kits is misleading prices for the public.

He highlighted 82 private testing firm who are to be issued a two-strike warning. These firms make up 18% of those listed on the government site and could be struck off the list if they do not comply.

On the government website they were displaying much lower prices than people would then pay once they got to the checkout.

Once the strike has been applied they have only three days to take action before being removed from the government list of approved testers.

Javid said: “It is absolutely unacceptable for any private testing company to be taking advantage of holidaymakers and today’s action clamps down on this cowboy behaviour.

“Fifty-seven firms will be removed from the list and a further 82 will be given a two-strike warning – if they advertise misleading prices ever again, they’re off.

“We are also introducing regular spot checks this week to make sure all private providers follow the rules and meet our high standards of transparency.”

Consumer rights group, Which? has condemned the government for taking so long to “properly audit” the list of private test providers that they recommend on

Which? travel editor, Rory Boland, said: “The number of firms being taken off or facing a warning shows the huge difficulty travellers face in choosing a trustworthy, reliable test provider. Many will have faced delays and missing tests because they used cowboy firms listed by the Government.

“While it is frustrating that it has taken so long for the Government to clamp down on rogue providers, with many summer holidays already ruined, it is vital that it now takes immediate action to remove any companies not following the rules.”

Regular spot checks are to be introduced from this week to make sure companies are complying with the rules. This is in hopes to prevent the public from being misled on prices again.