Travel Testing| March 24, 2021

The Complete Guide to Travel Testing


Covid-19Travel TestingReturning to the UKQuarantinePCR TestUK GovernmentDay 2 and Day 8 Testing

International travel this summer is still up in the air, and nothing is for sure yet. What we do know, however, is that Covid-19 tests for travel will be essential on everybody’s travel checklist. Most foreign countries require a negative Covid-19 test to enter, and the UK government has introduced strict testing and quarantine rules for international arrivals.

The number of tests required has increased with the introduction of Day 2 and Day 8 testing for arrivals and people are beginning to think about summer holidays. So get up to speed with our detailed run-through of all the required tests.

Travel Testing Timeline

Outbound testing

Fit-to-Fly testing

Most countries require travellers to present a negative Covid-19 test result before entering. Some countries require this test to be taken no earlier than 72 hours prior to arrival; others require it in an even tighter timeframe of 48 hours. It is essential to check the country’s entry requirements before booking your Fit-to-Fly test to ensure it is the right kind of test and will be possible to take it and get results within the timeframe. You can use Qured’s ‘travel calculator’ to work this out - however, it’s still your responsibility to check the requirements yourself. The Government has a list of entry requirements for each country, which is the best place to check test requirements before booking the test.

Different types of Covid-19 test are valid for entry requirements, but most countries require a PCR test to gain entry - they’re the ‘gold standard’ due to their reliability. Qured’s Fit to Fly tests can be delivered nationwide using Royal Mail or a premium courier service (within M25). Results and travel certificates should be printed off prior to your outbound flight and are now accepted on VeriFLY, making it even easier to provide proof of your Covid-19 test results.

The USA, Germany and Italy all accept a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test for entry. These tests are much quicker as they use a lateral flow cassette to produce the result. Qured offers these tests with a virtual consultation with one of our professional Health Advisors, who will walk you through the test process.

Inbound testing

Pre-departure testing

It is now mandatory to present proof of a negative result no earlier than 72 hours before departing for the UK. Sourcing a test abroad can be difficult and stressful - it can be costly, and finding the top providers in another country may be difficult. Qured’s LFD tests can be used for this purpose and meet government standards for accuracy. These tests should be ordered prior to your trip so that you can take the test with you in your luggage! Within the 72-hour testing window (before starting your journey to the UK), you should schedule and have your virtual consultation where you’ll take the test.

Post-arrival testing

Once arriving back in the UK, you will 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 UK’s 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.

The Day 2 and Day 8 tests need to be booked before departure from the country you are visiting, and you may be asked upon arrival in the UK for proof that you have booked these. You will be required to enter the reference number on your passenger locator form - this will be shared with you when you make your booking.

We’ll ensure that your tests are sent on the correct day as you will be required to enter your arrival date when making the booking. Qured and our partner laboratory will report the results of these tests to the UK Government.

Test to Release

Once you're back in the UK, you can cut your self-isolation with the Test to Release scheme by taking a test on the fifth day of your quarantine. Once again, this test needs to be a PCR test, and from a government-approved private provider, so 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, as the Government requires this. As with all other travel tests, Qured is a government-approved provider.

What you need to do before your trip

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