Travel Testing| September 27, 2021

The Complete Guide to Travel Testing

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Covid-19Travel TestingReturning to the UKQuarantinePCR TestUK GovernmentPre-departure testRapid AntigenDay 2 TestFit to Fly

The Complete Guide to Travel Testing

In light of the success of the vaccine rollout in the UK and other countries around the world, international travel has and will continue to become more accessible and straightforward.

Latest rules for vaccinated travellers

The requirement for pre-departure lateral flow tests will be removed for fully vaccinated travellers returning to the UK from 4 October. The only requirement is that you take a Day 2 PCR test once you have returned home.

No More Pre-Departure Tests From October 4th

Latest rules for unvaccinated travellers

It is worth noting that passengers who aren’t recognised as being fully vaccinated with authorised vaccines under England’s international travel rules will still have to take a pre-departure test, a Day 2 and day 8 PCR test. They will also need to self-isolate for 10 days upon returning from a non-red list country under the new two-tiered travel programme. Unvaccinated people returning from the new ‘red list’ countries will still have to be quarantined in a hotel for ten days and cannot leave early with a negative test. For non-red listed countries, Test to Release (Day 5 PCR test) will remain an option for unvaccinated passengers who wish to shorten their isolation period.

The ‘list’ system

Turkey is amongst the latest countries to be taken off the red list in the most recent announcement, along with Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya.

Red List Removals From 4th October

Travellers should also be aware that the UK traffic light system, introduced back in May this year, will come to an end on 4 October. In its place will be a new, simplified system which will consist of a (red) list of countries that are deemed high-risk, and simply everywhere else - which will comprise a list of countries that are considered safe to travel. The aim is that this will provide a considerable boost to the travel industry and a more straightforward, defined system that UK travellers can better understand.

Changes to the Day 2 test

Although the UK Government has not yet provided a specific date, a Day 2 lateral flow test will take the place of the more expensive Day 2 PCR by the end of October. This means that once you complete your COVID-19 LFD test you will not need to send your results to the lab.

Day 2 Rapid Antigen Lateral Flow Tests

What happens if I have already booked a test?

If you have already booked your tests from us, you can cancel your order and receive a full refund. From there, visit qured.com and find the right tests for you, based on FCDO Travel Advice and/or your airline’s guidance.

When will lateral flow Day 2 tests be available at Qured?

The rapid antigen Day 2 test will be launched on qured.com on Friday 15 October. Please bear in mind that this date is when you can begin to buy in advance, not the date that you can use the tests - this will be later on in the month (date yet to be announced). PCR Day 2 tests will remain available on qured.com until rules fully change.

To recap

From Monday 4 October

  • With different rules for red, amber and green countries, the current traffic light system will be replaced with a new system: red list (countries that pose a particular risk and require additional COVID-19 testing and measure), and everywhere else (countries deemed safer to travel).
  • Fully-vaccinated travellers travelling to England will no longer need to do a pre-departure test before they set off.

From the end of October

  • Fully-vaccinated UK travellers will still be required to take a Day 2 test. However, a faster, cheaper lateral flow/rapid antigen test will replace the PCR test.
  • Unvaccinated passengers will still have to get pre-departure tests and day two and day eight PCR tests. Test to release will remain an option.

Passengers should continue to check GOV.UK travel guidance including FCDO travel advice before, during and after travel to keep up to date in entry requirements and ensure compliance with the latest COVID-19.


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