In December 2020, the UK Government established a plan for quarantining and testing travellers into the UK for coronavirus, with passengers being able to reduce the obligatory self-isolation by five days if they take a Test to Release test.
Passengers arriving into the UK from countries that are not on the UK government’s travel corridor list are eligible to take a test after 5 days of self-isolation and end their quarantine early on receipt of a negative result. This means that passengers can now book their holidays abroad with confidence, knowing that if they obtain a negative test they can isolate for a shorter time on their return home.
What is a Test to Release Test?
The Test to Release test allows travellers to the UK to shorten their self-isolation period by up to 5 days if they are returning to the UK from an Amber list country if they test negative.
All arrivals to the UK from Amber list countries must quarantine for 10 days, and are also required to take a PCR test on Day 2 and Day 8 of their quarantine period.
Fit2Fly’s Test to Release test gives you the option of having the kit posted to the place you are quarantining, meaning you can take the test at home and return it to our labs for testing.
The PCR swab test in the Fit to Fly Test (and indeed in all of our tests) is 100% effective in detecting the RNA of Coronavirus, and so will pick up the presence of COVID-19 in your nose and throat.
Who can take the Test to Release?
Travellers with no symptoms of COVID who are arriving in the UK by boat, train or plane and who have spent the previous ten days in a non-exempt country, can choose to purchase a Test to Release. Both adults and children can use the Test to Release service, although it is not recommended for anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or who thinks that they have COVID-19.
Passengers arriving in the UK, should book their test ahead of time, complete their passenger locator form with the necessary details, and self-isolate for five days before they take the test – rather than completing it when they arrive.
If you are arriving in the UK from a red list country, then you are not eligible to take the Test to Release test. You must quarantine in a government-approved hotel and take the Day 2 and Day 8 tests accordingly.
What should you do if the Test to Release test comes back as positive?
If your Test to Release test indicates that you have tested positive for Coronavirus, then you will be required to spend the rest of your time in quarantine still. The amount of time you will need to stay in quarantine for will depend on whether or not you are currently experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
If you don’t have any COVID symptoms then you will need to stay in isolation for ten days from the date you took the Test to Release test.
If you are showing COVID-19 symptoms then you should isolate for 10 days from the date you first noticed the symptoms.
How do I get a Test to Release test?
To get a Test to Release test, just follow the steps below:
- Order Fit2Fly’s Test to Release test before you are due to leave the UK and provide us with details of your return flight
- On the purchase confirmation page, follow the link to register your test with us and make sure you complete your registration.
- You will then receive a purchase confirmation email, which will also give you the link to register your test in case you missed this step during check out
- Once the purchase has been completed, you will receive a unique test reference code, which you will need to input on your passenger locator form before you arrive back in the UK
- It is really important you register your test before you enter the UK, as the information is required for your release from quarantine. Also, if you don’t register your test, we will be unable to process it in our laboratory as we won’t know who it belongs to.
- If you do not receive a confirmation email from us after the purchase has been completed, please check your spam or junk email folders before contacting us
- Your test result will be sent to you via email as soon as it is available, and if you receive a negative result you can end your quarantine
When will I receive my Test to Release test result?
We do not dispatch website orders on the weekend, so you should get your delivery in 1-2 working days.
However, in a small percentage of cases, a sample may require retesting if the results are found to be inconclusive. In this case, the sample will be retested the day after it was tested for the first time – with results being delivered to you that afternoon.
It is vital that you register your test, we cannot stress this enough, as the information is required for UK quarantine release and not providing us with your details could cause delays.
For full terms and conditions of our next day test results, please visit our Terms and Conditions page for more information.
How do I return my Test to Release Test to you?
You can choose to use the DX sample service or send it back to us by Royal Mail Tracked 24 hours.
For the DX Sample Drop service, just stick the included pre-paid return label on your kit and take it to your nearest DX Sample Drop location.
If you prefer to use Royal Mail Tracked 24 Hour, then you need to purchase a 24-hour return label from Royal Mail and post your sample at your nearest Royal Mail Priority Postbox.
When you purchase your Test to Release kit you will be asked on which day you would like the kit to be posted to you. We recommend you choose the day before or the day of your arrival in the UK so that your kit arrives on Day 0 or Day 1.
Please note, we do not post kits out at the weekend or on bank holidays, and there is no UK postal service on a Sunday. Therefore, if you wish for a Monday delivery, you should select the Friday before as your postal day.
Please read the swab instructions carefully before you take your test.
The date of your arrival in the UK is classed as Day 0 and you need to take your Test to Release test on Day 5 of your quarantine period.
You must complete the test accurately, and post it back to us on the day you take it, i.e. Day 5
Your Test to Release test results will then be returned to you via email as soon as they are available
If the test result is negative you can stop quarantining from the moment you receive the result.
We cannot be held responsible for any delays in the post when returning your sample to us if you choose to use Royal Mail.
What happens if I test positive for COVID on my Test to Release test?
If you test positive for COVID on your Test to Release test then you must quarantine for a further 10 days from the day the test was taken, or from when you first had symptoms (if that is earlier).
Please note, if you do test positive on Day 5 of your quarantine, then you are not allowed to leave the address you are quarantining at under any circumstances, as per the UK’s quarantine rules. Any other members of your household who are quarantining with you must also quarantine for 10 days from the date of your positive test.