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

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

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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
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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)
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Old Aug 10, 21, 12:15 pm
  #10246  
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: أمريكا
Posts: 26,356
Arrived last weekend in LHR with a separate ticket connection to EDI.

Couldn't have been easier. Used BinaxNow at home testing, uploaded to United's travel ready center in advance and approved by that system, but the check in agent still wanted to see the test results anyway, as well as the passenger locator form, which couldn't be uploaded.

The egates were open but there was no line to see a person so they line minder at Heathrow directed us to see a border guard. She swiped our passports and asked to see the PLF but didn't review it. Asked if we were vaccinated but didn't want to see the cards, and asked if we booked day two tests and gave us directions to the ExpressTest center where we were booked. Took about 90 seconds total to get admitted to the country with no wait to get to the desk.

ExpressTest in T5 departures took about 20 minutes, there was a bit of a queue. Still was easier than fooling around with a mail order test, even if it was a bit more expensive. Test results arrived about 26 hours later.

Very glad I decided to travel to the UK, it was very smooth.
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Old Aug 10, 21, 2:52 pm
  #10247  
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Programs: British Airways Executive Club
Posts: 45
So you don't have to book a test before landing. I thought you need to do that to fill out the PLF form. I'm leaning toward ExpressTest but don't want to book ahead until I land first.
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Old Aug 10, 21, 3:32 pm
  #10248  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: NH, USA
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Originally Posted by NeedBAHelperDesperately View Post
So you don't have to book a test before landing. I thought you need to do that to fill out the PLF form. I'm leaning toward ExpressTest but don't want to book ahead until I land first.
I believe that you have to put it on the PLF before you fly, also when I booked with ExpressTest you choose a specific appointment time, they didn't look to be available every day so I'd be wary of assuming you can walk in.
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Old Aug 10, 21, 4:26 pm
  #10249  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Programs: BA Gold, Sixt Platinum
Posts: 172
Quick question regarding the Day 8 test (amber arrival, not fully vaccinated). Ive ordered Day 2+5+8 PCR tests from Dante and day 2 and 5 were both negative. I was going to use the day 8 test on approximately day 25 as a pre departure test for my next trip. Plans changed, I dont need it anymore and its now slightly inconvenient (=test kit in the UK, Edd abroad) to take the test. Ill be back in a couple of weeks with a fresh Day 2+5+8 test kit order.

Are there any potential consequences or can I forget about my previous day 8 test? By the time Im back in the UK, it would be Day 45 after the initial arrival...

(Apologies, Im sure the answer might be somewhere in this excellent threat but Im unable to locate it)
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Old Aug 10, 21, 10:41 pm
  #10250  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Midair
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Has anyone used BinaxNow home test as a pre-departure test for travel from the US to the UK? Is it generally accepted or do they only accept tests directly administered by providers? All CVS and Walgreens near me are fully booked for days so I’m looking for other options.
(Like the previous poster, I’m sure the answer is somewhere in the thread but I went back to posts from July and wasn’t able to find any info).
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Old Aug 10, 21, 11:17 pm
  #10251  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Kent, UK
Programs: M&S Elite+
Posts: 2,951
Originally Posted by EDDLEGLL View Post
Quick question regarding the Day 8 test (amber arrival, not fully vaccinated). Ive ordered Day 2+5+8 PCR tests from Dante and day 2 and 5 were both negative. I was going to use the day 8 test on approximately day 25 as a pre departure test for my next trip. Plans changed, I dont need it anymore and its now slightly inconvenient (=test kit in the UK, Edd abroad) to take the test. Ill be back in a couple of weeks with a fresh Day 2+5+8 test kit order.

Are there any potential consequences or can I forget about my previous day 8 test? By the time Im back in the UK, it would be Day 45 after the initial arrival...

(Apologies, Im sure the answer might be somewhere in this excellent threat but Im unable to locate it)
In reality there are no consequences. You are supposed to take the day 8 test, but within an indeterminate time period. Just hold on to it, it may be useful in the future.
Originally Posted by Tiramisu View Post
Has anyone used BinaxNow home test as a pre-departure test for travel from the US to the UK? Is it generally accepted or do they only accept tests directly administered by providers? All CVS and Walgreens near me are fully booked for days so Im looking for other options.
(Like the previous poster, Im sure the answer is somewhere in the thread but I went back to posts from July and wasnt able to find any info).
I should be fine. The pre-departure test is not too strict. It matters more what the airline check in will accept.
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Old Aug 11, 21, 1:37 am
  #10252  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: أمريكا
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Originally Posted by NeedBAHelperDesperately View Post
So you don't have to book a test before landing. I thought you need to do that to fill out the PLF form. I'm leaning toward ExpressTest but don't want to book ahead until I land first.
Yes you do have to book a test before you arrive. You have to provide the test confirmation number on the PLF and the system validates that the confirmation number is in the correct format.
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Old Aug 11, 21, 2:28 am
  #10253  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sarajevo
Posts: 4,102
Re: COVID Test | 3 days vs 72 hours

Merely a data point here (and apologies if already reported elsewhere) but staff at Sarajevo airport (I normally fly OS/LH but check-in staff rotate amongst all other airlines) seem to be very firm on enforcing the 72 hours interpretation of the rule, which I know is wrong and attempts of quoting gov.uk were fruitless and resulted in further annoyance (from their side, needless to say). In a nutshell: SJJ-VIE-LHR (yesterday at 15:05), I took the test on Saturday (merely because I was driving somewhere and went past Dobrinja i.e. airport area, otherwise I would normally do it on the day of departure, using Eurofarm at the airport itself), I was told (literally) that Test needs to be done 3 days before the flight to the UK, to which I answered quoting the relevant legislation, he wont have it but at least he made an effort to get his colleagues (and supervisor) involved, again I got told that I will have to do another test. Once at VIE, I showed the test I had taken on Saturday and they havent said a word.

G

Last edited by AlicorporateUK; Aug 11, 21 at 2:39 am
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Old Aug 11, 21, 2:42 am
  #10254  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 6,315
From Robert Boyle's LinkedIn page:

I quite like the graphic the UK government shows on its daily dashboard to show progress on vaccinations. I did a similar one to demonstrate why they need to decommission the PCR testing programme for arrivals from green and amber list countries.
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Old Aug 11, 21, 4:17 am
  #10255  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Programs: Sir CT-UK - Streaker pour les autres.
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Sorry if this question has been asked before. Just booking a LHR-AMS return. Going out on a Tuesday and back on a Thursday. If I read the rules correctly I need to take within 3 days of arriving in the UK. Can I just use the test I use on the Tuesday to fly out as that falls in the time frame? Actually do I even need one to fly out?
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Old Aug 11, 21, 4:39 am
  #10256  
HB7
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by CT-UK View Post
Sorry if this question has been asked before. Just booking a LHR-AMS return. Going out on a Tuesday and back on a Thursday. If I read the rules correctly I need to take within 3 days of arriving in the UK. Can I just use the test I use on the Tuesday to fly out as that falls in the time frame? Actually do I even need one to fly out?
You do need a test to come to the UK, and yes it can be the same test, as long as you get a fit-to-fly certificate. The agent will just check the certificate and make sure that it is negative and that's it when you're boarding a plane back to the UK. A test on Tuesday is definitely ok for a flight to the UK on Thursday.
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Old Aug 11, 21, 4:56 am
  #10257  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,512
Randox seems to be letting me enter a Scottish address for their day 2 tests, and it is half the price of the Scottish provider. Am I ok to book this - it will provide me with a code for the PLF and scotgov won't go after me? They seem to have the boxes in Scotland.
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Old Aug 11, 21, 6:35 am
  #10258  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Earth
Posts: 900
Anyone with first hand knowledge of the antigen test acceptance for UK arrivals? The provider Ive booked is a larger provider here in town, but they do not specify the figures for specificity and sensitivity quoted on the Gov website on their results. Any issues with this?
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Old Aug 11, 21, 7:51 am
  #10259  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: London / Amsterdam
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Originally Posted by CT-UK View Post
Sorry if this question has been asked before. Just booking a LHR-AMS return. Going out on a Tuesday and back on a Thursday. If I read the rules correctly I need to take within 3 days of arriving in the UK. Can I just use the test I use on the Tuesday to fly out as that falls in the time frame? Actually do I even need one to fly out?
Yes, that should be fine. NL now accepts the LFD tests as well if not older than 24hrs, so that might save you a bit on the PCR!
I've used Qured for both directions, which was OK with KL crew at LHR and AMS.
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Old Aug 11, 21, 8:24 am
  #10260  
HB7
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
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A lot of people have reported on not receiving their Day 2 test kits or issues leading to not being able to do a Day 2 test or doing it late. Does anyone know of what the penalty is? If it isn't your fault, for example your kit never arrives, how do you prove that you're not at fault? I imagine most times no one checks anything, but my concern is what are the actual rules/penalties in place?
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