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

Old Jun 4, 20, 6:57 am
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Last edit by: NewbieRunner
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)
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UK arrivals - pre-departure, quarantine and post-arrival [currently no requirements]

Old Feb 21, 22, 12:52 am
  #13501  
HB7
 
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Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
It has not changed yet, or had not when I filled out the form yesterday. It is possible it will not change before the form gets abolished and we may hear about that today.
Thanks DaveS. You mention we may hear about the form today - is there something you've seen/heard that points to some form of news today?
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Old Feb 21, 22, 2:48 am
  #13502  
 
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Originally Posted by HB7 View Post
Thanks DaveS. You mention we may hear about the form today - is there something you've seen/heard that points to some form of news today?
No, nothing more than the announcement we know about for the domestic rules. I hope we will hear something on the PLF and remaining test rules soon if not today.
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Old Feb 21, 22, 3:44 am
  #13503  
 
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Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
No, nothing more than the announcement we know about for the domestic rules. I hope we will hear something on the PLF and remaining test rules soon if not today.
Daily Mail reporting it will be simplified by the end of this month and will be scrapped early April in time for Easter holidays.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-holidays.html
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Old Feb 21, 22, 9:24 am
  #13504  
 
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Just to clarify, I know the UK no longer has testing requirements. But, I'm told that the PLF requires US citizens to reference their return-to-US testing reference - which sounds crazy to me. This is what I'm trying to find out...
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Old Feb 21, 22, 10:12 am
  #13505  
 
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Originally Posted by ready2fly View Post
Just to clarify, I know the UK no longer has testing requirements. But, I'm told that the PLF requires US citizens to reference their return-to-US testing reference - which sounds crazy to me. This is what I'm trying to find out...
It would be crazy if it were true (it is not). It is none of HMG's business.
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Old Feb 22, 22, 5:05 am
  #13506  
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HMG has now published its "Living with Covid" document. The full paper, which is mostly about the lifting of remaining domestic restrictions, can be found at https://assets.publishing.service.go...h_COVID-19.pdf

The relevant paragraphs for travel are 109 to 113.

Originally Posted by HMG
Approach at the borders

109. Last month the Government announced its new system for international travel, underpinned by a commitment to see a return to unrestricted travel and to support recovery across all sectors. There are now no requirements on eligible vaccinated travellers apart from the need to complete a simplified Passenger Locator Form. Travellers who do not qualify as eligible vaccinated also need to take a pre-departure test and an arrival test on or before day 2, but no longer need to isolate or take a day 8 test.

110. The Government also committed to developing a contingency toolbox of options. The Government recognises that border measures have carried very high personal, economic, and international costs. The Government will only consider implementing new public health measures at the border in extreme circumstances where it is necessary to protect public health.

111. Contingency measures would only be used where they are proportionate to the threat faced by a COVID-19 variant and effective in slowing ingress to avert pressure on public services such as the NHS. There may be scenarios where border measures are not appropriate and will not form part of a contingency response. The approach will be underpinned by three important principles:
a. The bar for implementation of any measures is very high;
b. Any measure will be tailored and proportionate to the threat posed and will seek to minimise economic and social impacts; and
c. In the event any measures were deemed necessary they would be time limited and not be in place any longer than needed.

112. Given the current state of the pandemic and a move towards global travel volumes returning to normal, the infrastructure for hotel quarantine will be fully stood down from the end of March and the Government is developing options to increase compliance with home isolation in its place should quarantine measures need to be reintroduced. Previous global responses to variants of COVID-19 that targeted travel from specific countries may not always be appropriate given how quickly the virus can spread, and tailoring measures to the nature of the threat can improve their effectiveness and proportionality. As such, the Government will have in reserve a more agile toolbox tailored depending on the nature and source of the threat, and deployed only where that high bar is crossed. The default will be to first consider whether less stringent measures are appropriate so as to minimise the impact on general travel where possible.

113. The Government will set out the contingency approach and toolbox of measures in more detail ahead of Easter when reviewing The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) Regulations 2021. The Government will continue to work with industry on contingency planning.
Short version:
Simplified PLF. likely to be removed completely by Easter.
Hotel quarantine to cease by end March.
Likely no more travel restrictions to be introduced due to the need to exceed an extremely high bar, and then only if a threat to health.
No incoming testing for fully vaccinated. Non-fully vaccinated arrivals still need to take a pre-departure and Day 2 test.
Still no provision for Recovery Certificates.
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Old Feb 22, 22, 6:20 am
  #13507  
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Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
It would be crazy if it were true (it is not). It is none of HMG's business.
i'm headed back to Kent a week from tomorrow. I'll certainly see for myself when I complete the PLF prior to my departure.
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Old Feb 22, 22, 6:32 am
  #13508  
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It isnt true. There is no earthly reason for the UK PLF to require test references for any tests for your destination when you depart. The PLF has never required that data.
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Old Feb 22, 22, 6:43 am
  #13509  
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
i'm headed back to Kent a week from tomorrow. I'll certainly see for myself when I complete the PLF prior to my departure.
You categorically won't find any reference to it there. Only if you are unvaccinated would the form even ask for any test numbers, and then it would want ones for your UK registered pre-departure and Day 2 tests which will remain in place even under the new regulations. Those codes have a specific format which will not tie up with anything the US requires, so even if you try to enter a US code - should such a thing exist - it won't recognise it.

If you are vaccinated it will ask for an upload of your QR code if you have one, or prompt you to have proof of vaccination with you in the event you are checked by Border Force.
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Old Feb 23, 22, 2:49 pm
  #13510  
 
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Originally Posted by Rocketman1 View Post
....
This thread has been a valuable resource helping many travellers navigate their way through the thankfully reducing restrictions on travel to the UK. It is not and has not been the place to debate the validity of those restrictions. There are plenty of other threads for that, many of which will be in the OMNI section. Don't be offended when the mods tidy up this thread.
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Old Feb 24, 22, 9:46 am
  #13511  
 
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Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
This thread has been a valuable resource helping many travellers navigate their way through the thankfully reducing restrictions on travel to the UK. It is not and has not been the place to debate the validity of those restrictions. There are plenty of other threads for that, many of which will be in the OMNI section. Don't be offended when the mods tidy up this thread.
This. Over 13,500 posts and almost 1000 pages. A tremendous amount of volunteer work by a few on here - we all know who you are and so deeply appreciate your time and efforts. I for one have found this thread to be a tremendously valuable resource over the last almost two years, crucial to helping me thread the Covid Needle getting my son back and forth to boarding school in the U.K. from the States amidst the height of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Witnessing the importance of this thread coming to an end (knock wood!) will be bittersweet for me, and once again, thank you so very much to those who have monitored it so diligently, and providing the Flyertalk Community so much advice since its creation almost two years ago.

Bravo and thank you!
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Old Feb 24, 22, 9:56 pm
  #13512  
 
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I really enjoy coming to this forum on Thursdays when c-w-s posts the Covid rates by country. If this thread goes away I hope that that continues elsewhere!
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Old Feb 25, 22, 4:14 pm
  #13513  
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Originally Posted by JNelson113 View Post
I really enjoy coming to this forum on Thursdays when c-w-s posts the Covid rates by country. If this thread goes away I hope that that continues elsewhere!
For some reason the figures have not yet been supplied by the ECDC this week, and I don't know why. I can use pre-compiled data for European Union states and the UK, but I'm holding on just to save myself some work. There isn't any wider agenda here, the data is just late.

Going forward, the UK is winding down some of the data collection processes from 1 April, and I imagine other countries will do the same, so what I think will happen is that the data will still be supplied, but the accuracy may well take a bit of a knock.
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Old Mar 1, 22, 3:16 am
  #13514  
 
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Apologies if it has been posted and I missed it but now confirmed on 3 days to submit UK PLF.

Change made:
From 9am Monday 28 February, passengers can fill in the UK passenger locator form up to 3 days before arrival in the UK.
Time updated:
9:00am, 28 February 2022

Oddly the alert only just came through from GOV.UK.
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Old Mar 3, 22, 7:49 am
  #13515  
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Here is this week's update from the ECDC for selected countries, 14 day rates cumulative per 100,000 population size.



Now I don't know what happened to last week's update. Today it came without comment and included last week's data, so effectively the two most recent columns are new to this thread.

The good news is that with the solitary exception of Singapore, all countries are showing a reduction. They may be in different places in terms of the Omicron surge, but the reductions are across the board and some reductions are substantial. The Netherlands figures have a data blip in there, so I've put in italics two bits of data which we shouldn't take too seriously but the recent week 28 Feb seems accurate to me. Underlying data is also showing reductions more or less across the baord, a few places flattening out a bit. We aren't seeing much evidence of anything taking its place either, so no resurgence of Delta, for example. Death rates are also starting to show signs of falls, particularly in places early into Omicron. On the other side, almost all of these figures are relatively high in terms of levels of respiratory infections in a population, so we can't say the danger is over, but clearly this is better information this week than we have had for many months.
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