Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Coronavirus and travel
Reload this Page >

UK arrivals - pre-departure, quarantine and post-arrival [currently no requirements]

UK arrivals - pre-departure, quarantine and post-arrival [currently no requirements]

    Hide Wikipost
Old Mar 19, 22, 12:55 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: NewbieRunner
Wiki Link
Mod note on thread engagement:

A reminder that this thread is about the self-isolation requirements for UK arrivals.

It is a help/Information resource for those travelling or returning to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from outside the UK. Let's concentrate on news, questions and answers that are relevant and on-topic and stay away from speculations about the spread of the virus, the performance of politicians and other topics which are more suitable for OMNI.

Please stay within these requirements to avoid issues.

LATEST UPDATES

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-t...virus-covid-19


18 March travel to the UK changes

If you will arrive in the UK from abroad after 4am, Friday 18 March, you do not need to:
  • take any COVID-19 tests before you travel or after you arrive
  • fill in a UK passenger locator form before you travel

This will apply whether you are vaccinated or not.

You also will not need to quarantine when you arrive, in line with current rules.
Other countries still have COVID-19 entry rules in place. You should check travel advice before you travel.
If you will arrive in England before 4am, 18 March, you must follow the current rules as set out in this guidance.

*****

The following historical information is retained for the time being.

The Passenger Locator Form for passengers arriving into the UK can be found here:
https://visas-immigration.service.go...r-locator-form
This can only be completed once you are within 48 hours of arrival in the UK.

Exemption list from quarantine requirements - specific details:
https://www.gov.uk/government/public...k-border-rules

England
Statutory instrument for individual passengers arriving in to England: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/582/contents (this html version is updated, but may not have the very latest updates for Statutory Instruments released in the last few days)

Test to release for England only from 15 December, see post 4776 https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32841066-post4776.html

Statutory instrument for transport providers http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2.../contents/made

Scotland
Statutory instrument for individual passengers arriving in to Scotland: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2020/169/contents (this html version is updated)

Wales
Statutory instrument for individual passengers arriving in to Wales: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/wsi/2020/574/contents (this html version is updated) &
Welsh language version: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/wsi/2...0200574_we.pdf

Northern Ireland
Statutory instrument https://www.legislation.gov.uk/nisr/2021/99/contents (this html version is updated)


PRACTICAL GUIDANCE FOR QUICK RELEASE FROM SELF-ISOLATION (based on November 28th updates)
[This section has been moved lower down in the wiki post following the change in self-isolation rule on 7th January 2022[

Any PCR test noted as a UK Government Day 2 test will be accepted for release from self isolation as soon as you get the negative result. If it is any other PCR test (eg "Fit to Fly") and not advertised specifically as a Day 2 test then it won't be valid.

This means that you can:[list]
  • Book a suitable Day 2 PCR test before you travel and use the booking reference for the test on the PLF (Passenger Locator Form).
    • On your day of arrival go to your scheduled test.
      • Proceed to you place of self-isolation and await the result, which will hopefully be same / next day.

        Alternatively:
        • Book any Day 2 PCR test before you travel even if you do not intend to use this test, and use the booking reference for the test on the PLF to ensure entry to the UK.
          • Note that you are not strictly required to have a PCR booking before arrival, but your carrier might not know that so you run the risk of being denied boarding
          • On your day of arrival (or before end of Day 2) go to a walk-in test centre and take a different test to the one you booked.
            • Proceed to you place of self-isolation and await the result, which will hopefully be same / next day.

        If you are leaving the UK before the end of day 2 then you do not need to take a test, but are required to self-isolate for the duration of your trip (since you do not have a negative result). Also, if you are self-isolating while waiting for a result (and hence have not been informed of a positive result and need to isolate) you may travel to leave the country.

        If you take a test and it is positive for any variant of COVID you will be required to isolate for 10 days from the date of the test.

        Whether you take a test or not you may be contacted by the UK Test and Trace system at any time if it becomes apparent that you have been in contact with another case. This is very unlikely to happen before day 3 if it is in relation to your flight to UK. Depending on the suspected / identified variant for that case and if you are fully-vaccinated by an accepted programme (see below for links to what this means and valid exemptions) :
        • Omnicron or not fully-vaccinated: You will be required to isolated for 10 days, including a bar on travel to leave the country. A negative Day 2 test does not release you from this requirement.
          • Other and fully vaccinated : You will not be required to isolate.

Test Providers for Day 2/8 tests & Day 5 Test to release
This section is for FTers to post their experience with specific providers (good or bad). Keep it brief and to the point. Please mention how the service is provided and your FT name.

DNA Workplace - Postal - Test kits arrived with me on time. Royal Mail slow for return. 5+ days for Day 2 result. #DaveS
DNA Workplace - Postal - Test kits both arrived on time, video of tests required, results by late evening Day 3 and Day 9. #TSE
ExpressTest Gatwick - Drive through - Tested early at 1000 a few times for TTR. Results came through in evening. #DaveS
NowTest - Postal - Day 2 kit arrived on time, day 8 did not. Will update with result arrival times when applicable. #wilsnunn
Collinson - Postal - Day 5 Test to Release kit arrived in time. Results and release by end of day 6. #tjcxx
CTM - Postal - Days 2/8 kits arrived together in time. Both sent results 2 days after posting. #tjcxx
Qured (Oncologica) - Postal -Day 2/8 kits arrived late. Results 3+ days from posting. #Gagravarr
Qured (Oncologica) - Postal - Day 2/8 kits arrived on time. Day 2 result on Day 5 and Day 8 result on Day 10 - happy customer! #EddLegll
Qured (Ocnologica) - Postal - Day 2/8 kits arrived on time. Day 2 result on Day 5 (after bedtime; ironically after my TTR result). #KSVVZ2015
Anglia DNA - Postal - Day 2/8 kits arrived early. (Both were labelled Day2). Results on Day 4 and Day 9. Cheapest on the list at the time, and good service/result. #tjcxx
Qured - Pre-flight test booked and bought through BA. Very efficient service. Highly recommended. #lhrsfo
Randox - Days 2 and 8. Booked two days before return, using BA discount. Kits already arrived on return. Slightly confusing instructions but manageable. Used Randox dropbox and results next day. Good. #lhrsfo
Randox - Day 2 (also used as pre departure test for a London to Milan flight). Used a drop box and results arrived at midnight the next day. #11101
Randox - Day 2 test centre - 2h30 queues outside the test centre in Waterloo. Results of antigen arrived 45 minutes later. #11101
Collinson - Test to Release at LHR T2. Good trip out! Very efficient service and well organised. Used BA discount. Results by end of day. Excellent. #lhrsfo
DAM - Test to Release in Fulham (they have many locations) - the cheapest fast turnaround TTR we have found. They promise 24 hours but in reality me, my wife, and my son (on different days) have received results inside of 12 hours. Very efficient staff as well. Princes outside of Central London as low as 99 GBP. Fulham is 129 GBP. #KSVVZ2015
Boots/Source Bioscience - days 2&8. Both packs sent in the same mail, waiting at the isolation address. Dropped off at postbox at 4pm, result back next day between 4 and 5 pm, very effective. Bought from Boots, 160, but same package sold directly bu Source Bioscience is just 120. Aaargh! Instructions said nasal and throat swabs, did only nasal and marked accordingly, no issues. #WilcoRoger
Collinsons/Stansted walkin TTR - test taken 1:30 pm, email with results 10:10 pm same day If the BA20OFF doesn't work (didn't work for us) there's another discount on the airport's site #WilcoRoger
Ordered Day-2 kit from Chronomics a week before our return for 18.99. Duly dispatched day we were returning to UK, so arrived on day following return. Reasonably simple process to do test and upload -ve result picture. Not sure where +ve result would have led to... #EsherFlyer
Hale Clinic testing centre (near Oxford Circus) - While not the least expensive, appoint schedules are accurate and results returned in promised timeframe. I've used the clinic for Day 2 tests (twice) and antigen test for US (once). I would def utilize again. #ecaarch
Halo at T5 (Sofitel) - Day 2 PCR spit test. Took the test 7pm, results arrived 7am the next day. No queues but a slightly awkward process to follow.

Useful data sources:

New cases per 100k - 7 days: https://covid19.who.int/table
New tests per 1000 - 7 days: https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-testing
Vaccination doses per 100: https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations
Sequenced samples uploaded to GISAID: https://www.gisaid.org/index.php?id=208
NHS Track & Trace data (positivity rates for arriving passengers are published every three weeks, so if you can't find the data in the current release it will be in one of the previous two) https://www.gov.uk/government/collec...weekly-reports https://assets.publishing.service.go...ut_week_50.ods
UK daily COVID data https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/?_ga...827.1594116739
Risk assessment methodology to inform international travel traffic light system
Data informing international travel traffic-light risk assessments


Testing Terminology
Notes which may assist with understanding which tests to use and with "reuse" of UK tests for other countries regulations:
  • LFT: Lateral Flow Test - A rapid antigen test using nasal / throat swab typically performed by the traveler at home, hotel, etc using simple disposable device. Usually tests the "outer shell" of the nucleus (which causes the symptoms and is reasonably stable across variants) and not the "spikes" (which allow new variants to invade more easily), so gives a positive result for many variants. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-...d_antigen_test)
  • PCR: Polymerase Chain Reaction - A laboratory based test which looks at the nucleus of the virus to determine which specific variant it is. After a positive LFT test ("I have some form of COVID") a PCR test ("You have the Gamma variant") allows identification and tracking of new variants to see if they are likely to become a "variant of concern". (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymerase_chain_reaction)
  • NAAT: Nucleic Acid Amplification Test - A general class of laboratory based tests which includes PCR, LAMP, etc tests. (See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019...b/naats.html)
Print Wikipost

Old Aug 9, 21, 5:16 am
  #10216  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: New York
Programs: UA GS, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,411
A word of warning about ExpressTest: in addition to not receiving my QR code initially for a day 2 test at Heathrow, and having to spend several hours on Facebook chat to get it, I never actually received my result. Or rather, its now day 4 and Ive already returned to the US after a short London trip by way of the BinaxNow test and still havent received it. Their customer service is poor. So if you actually need/care about the PCR result I might consider someone else.
DaveS likes this.
villox is offline  
Old Aug 9, 21, 5:40 am
  #10217  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Kent, UK
Programs: M&S Elite+
Posts: 3,010
Originally Posted by villox View Post
A word of warning about ExpressTest: in addition to not receiving my QR code initially for a day 2 test at Heathrow, and having to spend several hours on Facebook chat to get it, I never actually received my result. Or rather, its now day 4 and Ive already returned to the US after a short London trip by way of the BinaxNow test and still havent received it. Their customer service is poor. So if you actually need/care about the PCR result I might consider someone else.
I should imagine they have been caught out by the enthusiasm of the British public to escape at the first opportunity and not wanting to turn away lucrative bookings. There have been other complaints about them here.
DaveS is online now  
Old Aug 9, 21, 5:47 am
  #10218  
HB7
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Exec Club, SIA KrisFlyer, Qantas FF, Emirates Skywards
Posts: 1,737
Eurofins are advertising 20 GBP Postal Day 2 tests - this is false advertising. Once you've filled in all your details, you will be offered drive-through tests for 20 GBP which are likely to be nowhere near where you live. The postal kits are actually 55 GBP.

This whole PCR testing saga is the biggest scam going, perpetuated and facilitated by the UK government.
enviroian, kingstontoon and DrGee like this.
HB7 is offline  
Old Aug 9, 21, 5:49 am
  #10219  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: US/TYO/LON
Programs: Marriott Titanium; Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 380
Collinson still works fine except their new testing center off Bath road instead on in-terminal. Did my Day 2 a couple of days ago and got the result in under 36 hours. They are still guaranteeing a TTR Day 5 same day if taken before Mid-day. This was changed recently as they too have apparently been overwhelmed with a demand surge. The place was efficient, and was quickly in and out in 5 minutes. Had all kinds of people driving in to get tested. Was busy on a Saturday morning.
DaveS likes this.
porphyra is offline  
Old Aug 9, 21, 7:15 am
  #10220  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: NH, USA
Programs: AA Million Miler, Marriott/SPG Lifetime Plat
Posts: 393
Originally Posted by chanp View Post
Yes you can do it on day 0, 1 or 2.

I just wanted it out of the way as I was already there. It was pretty quick, but you can have it done on any of those days from home as well.
I have an ExpressTest booked for an hour after I land at Heathrow, once I get my result do I have to submit it somewhere? Assuming I get my results back I assume someone, somewhere is interested in knowing the result? Just realized I got all of my testing booked without confirming what to do with the results, does the testing provider submit them or do I?
ukchris is offline  
Old Aug 9, 21, 7:45 am
  #10221  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: New York
Programs: UA GS, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,411
Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
I should imagine they have been caught out by the enthusiasm of the British public to escape at the first opportunity and not wanting to turn away lucrative bookings. There have been other complaints about them here.
I'm going to file a dispute with my credit card company. I mean, what's the point of taking a test and not getting a result? I put a 2 star review on TrustPilot and got a generic response that "we are constantly trying to improve our service" - uh, how about delivering the service in the first place.
Cathay1101 likes this.
villox is offline  
Old Aug 9, 21, 8:55 am
  #10222  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Kent, UK
Programs: M&S Elite+
Posts: 3,010
Originally Posted by ukchris View Post
I have an ExpressTest booked for an hour after I land at Heathrow, once I get my result do I have to submit it somewhere? Assuming I get my results back I assume someone, somewhere is interested in knowing the result? Just realized I got all of my testing booked without confirming what to do with the results, does the testing provider submit them or do I?
You do not need to do anything. In the unlikely event of a positive result, ExpressTest should pass that on to Track and Trace. Track and trace will then contact you to tell you to isolate, quite possibly too late to actually isolate.

Originally Posted by villox View Post
I'm going to file a dispute with my credit card company. I mean, what's the point of taking a test and not getting a result? I put a 2 star review on TrustPilot and got a generic response that "we are constantly trying to improve our service" - uh, how about delivering the service in the first place.
Yes, you should have no problem with this. Failing to provide a result is a clear failure to provide the service paid for.

Last edited by DaveS; Aug 9, 21 at 9:12 am
DaveS is online now  
Old Aug 9, 21, 9:05 am
  #10223  
HB7
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Exec Club, SIA KrisFlyer, Qantas FF, Emirates Skywards
Posts: 1,737
Has anyone used the rapid test from Chronomics for a pre-departure test back to the UK? What are your thoughts?
HB7 is offline  
Old Aug 9, 21, 9:12 am
  #10224  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: NH, USA
Programs: AA Million Miler, Marriott/SPG Lifetime Plat
Posts: 393
Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
Track and trace will then contact you to tell you to isolate, quite possibly too late to actually isolate.
My understanding was that I have to isolate until I get the all clear, the guidelines seem to say I take my test, proceed immediately to where I am staying (the quarantine address) and stay there until the results come through.
ukchris is offline  
Old Aug 9, 21, 9:17 am
  #10225  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Kent, UK
Programs: M&S Elite+
Posts: 3,010
Originally Posted by ukchris View Post
My understanding was that I have to isolate until I get the all clear, the guidelines seem to say I take my test, proceed immediately to where I am staying (the quarantine address) and stay there until the results come through.
I was assuming you were validly vaccinated. If not, then you you should be isolating until day 10, irrespective of the day 2 result. You can end the isolation if the do a day 5 test and the result is negative. In theory you cannot do a day 5 test until the day 2 result is received. A failure of the test company to perform in this case is a serious inconvenience.
DaveS is online now  
Old Aug 9, 21, 9:22 am
  #10226  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: NH, USA
Programs: AA Million Miler, Marriott/SPG Lifetime Plat
Posts: 393
Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
I was assuming you were validly vaccinated. If not, then you you should be isolating until day 10, irrespective of the day 2 result. You can end the isolation if the do a day 5 test and the result is negative. In theory you cannot do a day 5 test until the day 2 result is received. A failure of the test company to perform in this case is a serious inconvenience.
I am fully vaccinated, I was just reading the Day 2 test rules, I just re-read them and I think I get it now, as you said it says "Quarantine IF your day 2 test is positive", thanks for helping me to learn to read
DaveS likes this.
ukchris is offline  
Old Aug 9, 21, 9:29 am
  #10227  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: BA, UA, Southwest
Posts: 77
Originally Posted by chanp View Post
Reference point for Expresstest

Did PCR at T3 at around 130PM Friday the 6th of August. Results came in via email at 1220AM on the 8th of August. I was told most likely by 10pm on the 7th, but could be up to 48 hrs. Seems like they missed the 10pm by a few hrs.

In early May I did a Expresstest PCR test at 820am and the results came back by 155pm the same day.

Also note, the return test doesn't include a certificate, in case anyone wanted to use it to fly out again within the 72 hrs that some countries require. Not sure I could have requested one, but it is the same test.
Originally Posted by villox View Post
A word of warning about ExpressTest: in addition to not receiving my QR code initially for a day 2 test at Heathrow, and having to spend several hours on Facebook chat to get it, I never actually received my result. Or rather, its now day 4 and Ive already returned to the US after a short London trip by way of the BinaxNow test and still havent received it. Their customer service is poor. So if you actually need/care about the PCR result I might consider someone else.
Thank you both for reporting on Express test. I had planned to use them on my next trip, but I think I'll look elsewhere until things calm down. I wish Collinson hadn't moved.
remaxmac is offline  
Old Aug 9, 21, 9:58 am
  #10228  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 1,162
Just saw the BBC news article about the full drop boxes... sort of wishing I'd not gone with Randox for my Day 2!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58149951
kingstontoon likes this.
RG1X is offline  
Old Aug 9, 21, 10:29 am
  #10229  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Executive Club (Silver), Le Club Accor (Silver)
Posts: 643
Originally Posted by RG1X View Post
Just saw the BBC news article about the full drop boxes... sort of wishing I'd not gone with Randox for my Day 2!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58149951
I've used the Randox drop boxes at Finsbury Circus and Southwark Cathedral several times now and never had a problem posting my test, though there are Randox staff at both locations so I guess they get emptied regularly.

Interesting data point flying BA DUS-LCY last night. No check of my negative test result nor PLF at DUS, and straight through the e-gates and out at LCY in a few minutes. Just like old times, but have been checked leaving Europe on each previous trip so found this unusual. I checked in online and didn't go near a check in desk so maybe they assumed everyone was checked there?
kingstontoon is offline  
Old Aug 9, 21, 10:39 am
  #10230  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Las Vegas
Programs: BA Gold; Hilton Honors Gold
Posts: 2,495
Originally Posted by RG1X View Post
Just saw the BBC news article about the full drop boxes... sort of wishing I'd not gone with Randox for my Day 2!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58149951
Yes, I saw this too and I am hoping they have their act together by the time I arrive in the UK on the 19th. I am less worried about the Day 2 test but I have boked their "Fully Vaccinated Amber Travel Pack" which also included the pre-departure test. I can definitely do without some sort of shambles with that. At the end of the day I can always take an in-person test at NCL if there's a risk of not getting the Randox result back, but I could do without an extra trip to the airport as well as the extra cost.
Geordie405 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread