We’re all looking forward to travelling again! By now, most people know that they will need to be tested for Covid-19 if they’re heading abroad. However, there are still some questions around testing for travel. We’re here to shed light on some of the common questions we get asked about travelling and what tests are needed. So read on and get clued up!
“I need to quarantine in every country.”
The answer to this question differs depending on where you’re travelling. While many countries are trying to make it easier for travellers to enter the country, there are still various rules worldwide. For example, Spain now allows travellers from the UK with no entry restrictions - this means no testing and no quarantine (certain conditions apply in specific cases). In comparison, green list country Iceland requires UK nationals to present either a.) proof of full vaccination status against Covid-19 or b.) evidence of recovery from a previous Covid-19 infection, which means showing results from an Antibody test. If travellers can’t show this, they’re subject to further testing/restrictions.
All considered it’s clear that wherever you go, different restrictions apply and whilst you may not need to quarantine in every country, the majority have some entry requirements in the form of testing or vaccination status. Because of this, it is ESSENTIAL that you check your destination country’s entry requirements before you book your trip. In addition, you should recheck these requirements in the run-up to your travel dates - this is because governments are changing them all the time depending on various factors related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Finally, you’ll need to make sure that the test you are booking is the right type and you’ve taken it within the required timeframe. Depending on where you’re travelling, you can use a rapid antigen Fit to Fly test or a PCR Fit to Fly test.
“I need to quarantine when I return to the UK, wherever I’m coming from.”
Again, depending on where you’re travelling to the UK from, the rules differs. This question is quite common due to the frequent changes in a foreign country’s ‘Traffic Light System’ rating. For example, Portugal unexpectedly moved from Green to Amber, creating a lot of confusion amongst travellers.
Most countries are on the Amber list, except for 11 (at the time of writing, read the Green list here). This means that once you return to the UK, you will have to quarantine for ten days and take a test on Day 2 and 8 within this period. However, you can cut your time in quarantine by taking another test on Day 5, known as ‘Test to Release’.
This question is essential - you need to prepare your testing before you return to the UK. Government regulations require that you book your UK arrival testing before starting your return journey, as you’ll need to show proof of your testing arrangements.
“I can only return to the UK using a PCR test.”
Since the requirement for taking a pre-departure test before returning to the UK came into effect, we’ve had many questions about how to get a PCR test abroad, as finding a fast and affordable testing provider in a foreign country can be stressful. However, the government requirements for a return to the UK test allow travellers to use a rapid antigen test, subject to meeting their standards and being professionally administered.
In response to this, Qured has created a rapid pre-departure testing solution to provide quick and convenient results abroad. You can order a test before travel and pack it in your suitcase. Then, schedule and attend a video call with one of our friendly Health Advisors no earlier than 72 hours before your return journey. They’ll walk you through the test and getting a result. After this, our team will process your result, and you’ll be provided with an official travel certificate in no time at all. Compared to sourcing and taking a PCR test abroad, this solution is quicker, more convenient and much more affordable.
“Every person travelling needs to take a test, even if they’re children."
Once again, the answer to this question does vary considerably between countries. In most cases, individuals with medical conditions that mean they cannot take a test are exempt, and people with specific jobs are exempt. Many countries also do not require children under the age of 11 to take a test. This is also the case for travellers returning to the UK, as stated in the government guidelines.
However, we can’t stress enough that requirements are different worldwide, so please check this before you travel! The GOV UK website has a great ‘Foreign Travel Advice’ section, which is kept up to date.
“I can use the antigen test to travel anywhere.”
As rapid antigen tests for travel become more popular and more widely available, many countries accept them as a ‘Fit to Fly’ test. However, not all countries accept them yet, so checking the requirements for your destination is the best way to find out.
It’s also important to remember that if they’re used for travel, they must be professionally administered, and you can’t use the free NHS lateral flow tests for this purpose.
Qured is committed to providing travellers with fast, affordable and convenient travel testing. With hundreds of thousands of tests carried out to date, we’re recommended by airlines across the globe, so you can be sure you’re in safe hands.
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