What COVID test do I need and when for travel is a very good question and unfortunately the answer is always changing.
However, at Peak Pharmacy we try to ensure that everyone gets what they need when they need it done so a few quick pointers will help you along the way ……………….
Lets start from the top. Correct as of April 2021
Before you leave the UK to enter the destination country you need proof that you are not carrying an active COVID infection, we call this Fit to Fly. This is required to enter the destination country. You must check with the destination country or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office what you need, and when you need it done. Failure to comply with the destination government directives could mean you are refused entry.
Purchase your Day 2 and Day 8 test. These are usually purchased as a package. These tests are mandatory for all UK travellers (not visiting Red list countries) and form part of the 10-day minimum quarantine.
Reentering the UK. Before embarking on a flight back to the UK you will need to get prove your COVID status with a negative test before arriving back at the UK border. The day you arrive back in the UK is Day 0. This is important for steps 4, 5 and 6
On Day 2, assuming your arrival Day is Day 0 take your Day 2 test. All positive Day 2 tests are genomically sequenced to spot variants entering the UK. This allows the UK to stay one step ahead of the virus.
On Day 8 take your final quarantine test. If this comes back negative you may exit quarantine on Day 10.
Step 6 (Optional)
Want to leave quarantine early? Well, if you’ve not visited a Red List country then you can use the test to release scheme. If your Day 2 test has come back negative then you can take an additional test on Day 5. If this is also negative you can leave quarantine early, however, you still need to do the day 8 test.
So there you have it it’s a minimum of 4 COVID tests just to leave and reenter the UK and organising these can be hard work so see Peak Pharmacy Checklist below.
Several weeks before departure (or as soon as possible if time is short)
Closer to departure date and Fit to Fly appointment:
At your Fit to Fly appointment:
24-48 hours after your Fit to Fly appointment you should get your result and certificate, just in time for your flight.