Lateral flow tests to get around begin today

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Reservations for side flow testing opened on Friday and can be purchased through private providers listed on GOV.UK from around GBP 22 per test. NHS testing cannot be done. Passengers must send a photo of the test result to the private provider (failure to do so could result in a £ 1,000 fine) and anyone with a positive result will be required to take a free confirmation PCR test. of the NHS and isolate it.

Fully vaccinated eligible passengers arriving in England from countries not on the UK red list can take a cheaper side flow test instead of a PCR starting today [Sunday 24 October].

Lateral flow tests must be done as soon as possible on the day of arrival in England or at the latest before the end of the second day of the passenger and can now be purchased from GOV.UK’s list of private suppliers at from 22 GBP. – significantly cheaper than PCR tests.

Lateral flow tests for international travel must be purchased from a private supplier, as NHS Test and Trace side flow tests cannot be used for international travel. Passengers who have already purchased a PCR to use for travel do not need to purchase another test, as PCR can still be used.

Passengers must take a photo of the side flow test and booking reference provided by the private provider and send them back to verify the result. Passengers can also book a test they can do on arrival in England at test centers located at some airports. People who use PCR tests to travel will be informed of the test by the company from which they purchased the test.

Anyone who tests positive will need to isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test, at no additional cost to the traveler, which can be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants. PCR testing can be accessed free of charge by ordering on a regular basis via NHS Test and Trace (via or by calling 119.). and Trace booking page.

The Secretary of Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, said:

“I am delighted that, as of today, eligible travelers to England, who have received the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine, can benefit from a cheaper lateral flow test and provide faster results.

“This huge boost for the travel industry and the public will make it easier and cheaper for people to book holidays and travel abroad, and it’s thanks to our amazing vaccination program that this is possible. Anyone who gives positive you have to do a PCR test, which, if positive, can be genomically sequenced to check for variants and help us fight this virus ”.

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“Changing the rules for post – arrival testing will give passengers more options and faster results, just in time for many medium – term holidays.

“It is thanks to the success of our vaccination program that we can make this change, giving the industry and consumers a much needed boost.”

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA), said:

“Testing and self-isolation if positive continues to be crucial steps in managing the pandemic and stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

“It is also critical that those who have lateral positive flow tests when they return to England go through an NHS Test & Trace PCR. In this way, we can continue to monitor new variants and keep up to date with the virus.

“Washing our hands regularly, wearing coatings in crowded spaces (including transportation), ventilating spaces, and getting vaccinated are simple actions we can all take to protect ourselves and those around us when we travel.”

All travelers must complete the passenger location form before traveling, including the provision of a test reservation reference number provided by a test provider.

Anyone traveling to Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Island or the Isle of Man during the ten days following arrival in England, must follow the rules of testing and quarantine in these places.

Passengers who are not fully vaccinated with an authorized vaccine returning from a non-red destination will be required to undergo a pre-departure test (antigen / PCR), a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 and complete isolation from 10 days (with the option to Test to Release on the 5th). The vaccine program is building a defense wall across the country and the deployment of booster vaccines is already underway, with more than 4 million people vaccinated. It is vital that eligible people get their booster and flu shot to protect themselves, their loved ones and the NHS this winter.

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