Nothing is sure about international travel this summer yet, and there is still a lot that is up in the air. We do know one thing, though, and that is that COVID-19 tests for travel are going to be an essential item on everybody’s checklists for travel. 

Many countries already require proof of a negative COVID-19 test before UK travellers can enter, and the UK Government has also introduced strict testing and quarantine rules for international arrivals. 

The number of COVID-19 tests required has also increased with the recent introduction of Day 2 and Day 8 PCR tests for arrivals. 

Many people are starting to think about their summer holidays now, so here is a detailed run-through of the required tests to get you up-to-speed.

#Outbound testing

Most countries now require UK travellers to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result before they can enter, with some countries stating that the test needs to have been taken less than 72 hours before arrival. Some countries are saying less than 48 hours, however, so it is essential that you check the entry requirements of the country you want to travel to before you book your Fit to Fly test. 

Different types of COVID-19 test are valid for individual entry requirements but the majority of countries require a PCR test in order for passengers to gain entry.  Fit2FlyTest’s PCR tests are the gold standard due to their reliability.  We offer a digital fit to fly certificate as part of the test, but you can also opt for a paper version (for an additional £10).

#Inbound testing

Pre-departure testing

It is currently mandatory for passengers to present proof of a negative pre departure COVID-19 test from a test taken no earlier than 72 hours before departing to the UK. It can be difficult to source a test abroad and it may be costly, so you may need to do some research before you go.

Post-arrival testing

Once you have arrived back in the UK you will need to quarantine at home for ten days (unless you are exempt from doing so). If you have travelled back from a red list country you must stay in a quarantine hotel for 10 days. 

During the ten days of quarantine, you are required to take two PCR tests, one on day 2 and one on or after day 8. The day 2 and day 8 tests will need to be ordered before you depart from the country you are visiting as you may be asked for proof that you have booked these on arrival back into the UK. You will also be required to enter the reference number of your booking on the passenger locator form.

Test to Release

You may be able to cut down on the ten-day quarantine time through the use of the Test to Release scheme which is a PCR test that can be taken on day 5 of your quarantine. If you achieve a negative result from this test you can exit your quarantine early, although you will still have to take your day 8 test as well as the UK Government requires it. 

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