Pre-departure and Day 2 and Day 8 testing for international arrivals to the UK explained.
As international travel starts to make a comeback in the next few months, the UK government has introduced strict testing and quarantine rules upon returning to or arriving in the UK. Since February 15, individuals travelling to the UK from a country that is not on the government's "red list" must take a Covid-19 test before starting their journey (no more than three days before). After arriving in the UK, they must quarantine for ten days and take two tests on specific days in that period.
Sound confusing? You're not wrong; here's what you need to do to meet these testing requirements.
Testing before returning to the UK
As mentioned, you need to take a Covid-19 test and present proof of a negative result no earlier than 72 hours before departing for the UK. Sourcing a test abroad can be stressful - it can be costly, and finding the top providers in another country may be difficult. Qured recommends purchasing a lateral flow Covid-19 rapid test to take abroad with you. Compared with the gold-standard PCR test, a rapid test doesn't need to be processed in a lab and can provide results in just 20 minutes. Qured's government-approved rapid test is overseen via video call with a professional Health Advisor, ensuring you take the test correctly and produce a valid result. So if you're heading abroad and are worrying about the best course of action for testing before returning home, opt for our affordable and convenient rapid test.
After arriving in the UK - Day 2 and Day 8 testing for international arrivals
Now that you're back in the UK, you'll need to quarantine for ten days at home. Everybody has to do this, apart from those who are exempt. Those who have travelled from a red-list country must stay at a 'quarantine hotel'. During these ten days, you'll need to take two PCR tests, one on or before Day 2 and one on or after Day 8. As part of the Covid-19 strategy to stop new variants from spreading, the Day 2 test will undergo genomic sequencing if the result is positive to check which variant is present.
Here's how it works:
- Head to our booking portal and select Day 2 and Day 8 testing. Sign in, or, if you're new, register in just a few moments.
- Complete the 'UK entry form' for yourself and anyone else you're booking for. You'll need your arrival date and passport number(s) for this.
- Choose your preferred delivery method and confirm your booking.
- You will receive your first test on or before the second day after your arrival date and your second test on the eighth day.
- Follow the instructions provided to take the tests and return them to the lab. You'll get results within 24 hours after the lab receives your sample.
We recommend booking your tests in advance of your travel abroad so that you can be sure they'll arrive on the correct days. With Qured, just enter your arrival date to the UK, and we'll take care of the rest. __We include FREE next-day Royal Mail Special Delivery and Tracked 24 Return for you to send the test back, to ensure your sample arrives quickly. __
Reduce your quarantine with Test to Release
Yes, there is another test. However, this is optional. Once you're back in the UK, you can cut your self-isolation with the Test to Release scheme. Once again, this test needs to be a PCR test, and from a government-approved private provider, it can't be the NHS. On the fifth full day after you arrive in the UK, you can take your test. If it's negative, you can exit quarantine early. You'll still need to take your Day 8 test, just in case. You can read more here.
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