Driving between The Netherlands and England during the pandemic has interesting consequences.

We care for relatives in England, and reside in The Netherlands. Travel is thus inevitable, but as a consequence of the pandemic there is a multitude of rules and paperwork to obey, with criminal consequences if we do not follow them.

Most recently, I was forced to purchase day 2 and day 8 PCR tests to use during a 10-day quarantine in England. These quarantine tests are illogical, since we took PCR tests (negative) before leaving The Netherlands, and then drove directly to our English destination via Eurotunnel without leaving our vehicle. They cost £400 for two people, and are designed for those arriving by ‘plane or ferry, but as they say in the Utter Kakistocracy (UK) – logic doesn’t matter, just obey the rules and pay up.

Thus starts the interesting story… from the government website we are directed to select a third party provider, and we select the Now Test link and order and pay. They provide us the necessary test order references to complete our passenger locator forms, so we can enter the UK. Now Test have issues with their newly created website for quarantine test orders, but they resolve those promptly. However, after returning the day 2 tests, no results arrive! It is now day 8 and the day 8 test kits have not arrived either. The Now Test app has no customer support number, so we contact the government Test and Trace system on 119.

The UK government official testing service

They cannot help, as we have not used the government service, although we used a link on the gov.uk site. The 119 service suggest we use the government service instead, and request a refund from Now Test, and give me another link. I check out the government link, with surprising results.

It turns out to be another third party provider called CTM(North). A few checks via Companies House give the information that this is a company in Bradford with 4 directors, the London-based CEO of which is also is a director of 12 other UK companies. Further investigation shows it is controlled by Australian publicly quoted company CTM with its HQ in Brisbane, owned by Australian entrepreneur Jamie Pherous. Jamie got the contract after being called directly by Boris Johnson’s office. You can read more at https://goodlawproject.org/news/ctm/

Business partners?

Welcome to the UK 2021 😦