Now that the new COVID testing rules for travel have come into force, here is everything you need to know.
Fully vaccinated travellers are no longer required to take a PCR test on or before day 2 of their return to England, from Sunday the 24th of October. Now, they can book and pay for a lateral flow test to be taken on, or before, day 2 instead.
Here is everything we know about the change in the rules.
Since Sunday 24th of October, fully vaccinated travellers returning to England from any country that is not on the red list, can book a day two pre-departure lateral flow test from a list of providers on gov.uk – which includes Fit2FlyTest.
Fully vaccinated travellers need to take the lateral flow test (LFT) as soon as possible on or before day two of their return to England, take a photo of their booking reference and test result and send it to their provider to verify the test result.
Are NHS lateral flow COVID tests accepted for travel?
If you are travelling back to England, Scotland or Wales then you need to book and pay for a test from one of the companies on the list of government-approved providers – which includes Fit2FlyTest. NHS Track and Trace tests are not accepted for international travel use.
However, if you do take a lateral flow test and it shows a positive result, you are then eligible to get a free PCR test to confirm the result, through the NHS Track and Trace service.
Are lateral flow tests cheaper than PCR tests?
Yes. At Fit2Fly our lateral flow tests for travel are £19.99 compared to £55 for our Fit to Fly PCR test. This is because our PCR tests are gold standard and results can only be achieved by the experts in our laboratories using expensive equipment to test the sample. Lateral flow tests, on the other hand, can be completed by the general public at home.
If I have already booked and paid for a PCR day two test, do I now need to order a lateral flow test as well?
If you have already booked and paid for a PCR Day 2 Testing kit then you can use this instead of the Lateral Flow Test.
What are the rules on testing if I am flying to Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales?
From Sunday the 31st of October, Scotland and Wales will be following the same rules as England. Northern Ireland have not yet announced if they will implement the same as well.
Policy on travel in the UK is devolved, which means that the Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh governments can set their own rules about what tests are required.
I am not fully vaccinated. Can I take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test?
The rules remain the same for unvaccinated arrivals from abroad.
If you are not fully vaccinated, then you need to take a pre-departure test and confirm a negative result from this test before you travel to the UK, as well as booking and pay for a PCT test on or before day 2 and 8 of your return, and self-isolate for ten days at home. This isolation period can be shortened if you pat for an extra Test to Release test and confirm that you have received a negative result from this – unless you are in Northern Ireland where this test is not available. You must also share the details of where you plan to quarantine on a Passenger Locator Form.
Fit2Fly offers various COVID-19 flight tests with free next day delivery from our accredited labs.