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Coronavirus and travel

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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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.



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:
This can only be completed once you are within 48 hours of arrival in the UK.

Exemption list from quarantine requirements - specific details:

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

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

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)

[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.

        • 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 Apr 30, 22, 1:29 am
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Kent, UK
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You can have many different theories, many of which will be completely valid and make their own contribution. The UK has had its omicron waves during winter when everyone was indoors. The US is seeing BA.2 during spring when that is less of a problem.
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Old May 2, 22, 10:58 am
Join Date: Sep 2015
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Here is this week's update from the ECDC, 14 day of cases over 100,000 population. There was a one week gap in my sequence but the numbers look correct to me for a 2 week period. However reporting over Easter may result in some atypical data in here.

And many countries have seen some fast reductions in the intervening two weeks. The Netherlands and Danish figure are particularly impressive. The USA is seeing their second round of BA.2 going through, Canada too. This should bode well for a period with hopefully reduced travel restrictions over the European summer season.
New to this thread. How do you read the chart? What do the numbers and colors represent?

Last edited by NewbieRunner; May 3, 22 at 4:24 pm Reason: Removed image from quoted post for readability.
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Old May 2, 22, 11:32 am
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The numbers represent the number of cases per 100,000 population as reported by the ECDC. I believe it's a rolling 14-day average but corporate-wage-slave will no doubt clarify if I am mistaken. The colours are mainly historic and stem from the time when the UK used a colour-coded scheme as a (supposedly) simple way of signifying what restrictions were in place for travellers arriving from a certain destination. Red was the harshest, with restrictions on immigration and mandatory hotel quarantine. However, as the UK currently has no restrictions at all everything is green.
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Old May 5, 22, 7:27 am
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Thread closure

As the UK currently does not have any entry requirements, a situation that is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, we no longer see any particular volume of queries in this thread. It also has many thousands of posts, all of which now contain outdated information, so it has become more difficult to find anything relevant. We are therefore going to close it for the moment.

This is, of course, a very good sign that we can do this, as it provides another marker of the move towards normality.

Recognising that there remains interest in the charts and analysis published weekly by c-w-s, we are expanding the scope of what was previously European data and developments so the information can continue to be disseminated there. Please follow this thread if the rates are of interest:

Worldwide Infection Rates and Developments (was Europe only)

CV & Travel Mod Team

Last edited by NWIFlyer; May 5, 22 at 7:43 am
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