On 24 October the UK government changed the Covid-19 travel testing rules for fully vaccinated people travelling into England from a country not on the red list. Travellers who qualify will be able to take a lateral flow test when they arrive home, instead of the more expensive option of PCR tests.
This test must be taken between arrival and day two of being in the country, but the results will be almost instantaneous, rather than there being the need to send test samples to a laboratory and waiting for them to be analysed. There are, of course, some conditions to using the new lateral flow tests.
· You must be fully vaccinated as part of a UK government approved vaccination programme
· Most under 18s are eligible, irrespective of their parents’ vaccination status
· You must not have been in a red list country within the previous 10 days
· Only privately purchased Covid-19 lateral flow antigen tests can be used
How does it work?
There are 3 easy steps to taking your Day 2 test:
1. Order your lateral flow test in time for your arrival back in England
2. Your private provider will give you a test booking reference number. You put these details on your passenger locator form
3. When you arrive in England, take the lateral flow test, then send a picture of the result alongside your booking reference number to the private provider for verification
If your lateral flow test shows a negative result, then you can go about your life as normal. Anyone testing positive will need to self-isolate and then may take a free NHS confirmatory PCR test.
According to the UK government website, this change is ‘thanks to the success of the vaccination programme both in the UK and around the world which has protected millions of people and reduced the risks of opening up international travel.’
Mike Asher, CEO of private Covid-19 test provider Better2Know.co.uk, commented:
‘The introduction of lateral flow testing in time for the half-term holidays in England was a welcome move from the UK government. This will help bring down the cost of travelling not only for families going away for a much welcome break, but also for all the people who travel abroad as part of their work.’
What are the exceptions?
Of course, there are exceptions to who is eligible for the day 2 lateral flow tests. Those adults who have not been fully vaccinated by a UK approved programme arriving in England from a non-red list country will still need to take Day 2 and Day 8 PCR tests. They will also need to isolate at an address of their choosing for 10 days, with the option of a day 5 test to release to end isolation early.
Those travelling into England from a Red List country will have to isolate at a government designated hotel, at their own expense, and take PCR tests on Day 2 and Day 8.
The government rules are subject to change, so it is important you check the latest available information on the UK government website, as well as the rules for the countries you are travelling to.
Where can I find more information and order my tests?
Better2Know.co.uk is a UK government listed provider of private Covid-19 travel tests and has a wealth of information about Covid-19 travel testing
. Better2Know provide the full range of Covid-19 tests required for people travelling both to and from the UK and make it easy for you to find the tests you need. They also have a 24/7 telephone service, live chat facility and email support, accessible from around in the world.