Travelling To And From England – Covid Testing Guide
This page provides information on what Covid-19 tests you need to take and what you must do before you travel to and after you arrive in England, what you need to do to travel abroad from England, and how Effect Doctors can help you with your Covid testing in both cases.
Travelling to England
What you must do when travelling to England depends on whether you qualify or not as fully vaccinated under the rules for travel to England.
Fully Vaccinated Passengers
Before you travel to England you must:
- Book and pay for a Covid-19 Lateral Flow test – to be taken after you arrive in England.
- Complete a passenger locator form within 48 hours before you arrive in England.
When you arrive in England, you must take a Covid-19 Lateral Flow test. This is the test that you booked before travel.
You can take the test any time after you arrive but before the end of day 2 (the day you arrive is day 0). If you’re fully vaccinated you do not need to quarantine while waiting for your test result. If the result of the lateral flow test is positive, you must self-isolate and take a PCR test. If your PCR test result is positive, you must self-isolate for ten more days. The day of the test is day 0.
You can stop self-isolating after 7 days if you do a rapid lateral flow test on days 6 and 7 of your self-isolation period and:
- both tests are negative
- you did both tests at least 24 hours apart
- you do not have a high temperature
If you do a rapid lateral flow test on day 6 and test positive, wait 24 hours before you do the next test.
If you’re in England for less than two days, you still need to book and pay for a day 2 Covid-19 test and quarantine until you receive a negative test result or leave England, whichever is sooner.
POSTAL Day 2 - Lateral Flow Kits
IN PERSON - Lateral Flow Test
COURIERED - Covid Lateral Flow Kit
Highly accurate Lateral Flow Test with results available in just 15 minutes. Couriered to you at your home, hotel, or office within London.
If you are not fully vaccinated
Passengers who are not fully vaccinated with an authorised vaccine returning from a non-red destination must take a pre-departure test any time in the two days before your departure and complete a passenger locator form – to be completed in the 48 hours before you arrive in England.
If you have recently recovered from Covid-19 but are no longer infectious, we advise you use a lateral flow test. Lateral flow tests have lower sensitivity than PCR or LAMP tests, so they are less likely to return a positive result from a previous infection.
When you arrive in England, it is mandatory to take a Covid-19 PCR test on or before Day 2 and another test on or after Day 8. You must also quarantine for ten days. The day you arrive is day 0. If your Day 2 test is positive, you do not have to take a Day 8 test.
If you are in England for less than ten days, you still need to quarantine when you are here and book Day 2 and Day 8 PCR tests. You only need to take the tests if you are still in England on those days.
If you wish to reduce your isolation period, you can take another test on Day 5 as part of the Test To Release Programme. Under the Test to Release scheme, you can choose to pay for an additional PCR test on Day 5, and if the result is negative (and the result of your Day 2 test result was negative as well), you can end your quarantine.
If your Day 2 or Day 8 test result is positive, you must self-isolate for ten days. The day you took the test is day 0. Members of your household may also be asked to self-isolate.
Red List Countries
If you have been in or travelled through a country or territory on the red list in the ten days before you arrive in England, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish National or have residence rights in the UK.
Before you travel to England, you must take a Covid-19 test in the three days before your departure, complete a passenger locator form, book Day 2 and Day 8 tests and book a quarantine hotel package where you have to quarantine for ten days. The day you arrive in England is day 0.
Travelling abroad from England
Before you travel abroad, you should get advice about travelling to your destination country, including the latest information on safety and security, entry requirements, and travel warnings regarding Covid-19. The Government website offers a comprehensive list with travel requirements for 226 countries and territories here.
Following the requirements of your destination country, arrange any Covid-19 tests you will need to enter the country/countries that you will travel to. You can’t use the free NHS test for that, so you must use a private test provider.
Effect Doctors are on the government list of approved private test providers, and we are UKAS accredited and CQC certified. We offer a variety of tests suitable for pre-travel (Fit to Fly Certificate), including postal PCR and lateral flow tests. For those of you who need their results urgently, we offer an in-person PCR and lateral flow testing service where one of our trained NHS doctors or nurses will take your swab and deliver it straight to our labs. This can be done at home or in the office and allows us to return your results rapidly.
IN PERSON EXTREMELY RAPID PCR TEST
In Person PCR Test - Same Day Results
Pre-departure/Fit to Fly Lateral Flow Test
How can Effect Doctors help?
The Effect Doctors team is working hard to keep as many people safe during the Covid-19 pandemic as possible. That is why we offer a range of tests, allowing you and your loved ones to stay safe.
Lateral Flow Rapid Antigen Test
At Effect Doctors, after conducting thorough research, we have identified the Flowflex and Healgen Lateral Flow Rapid Antigen Tests as the best ones on the market in the UK. They are FDA authorized, considered to be the most advanced lateral flow test in the world, have full Home Test Approval Granted in the UK & EU, are UK Government validated at Porton Down Laboratories, detect New Virus Strains, have a 98.8% accuracy rate, and are CE marked and ISO certified.
Our lateral flow tests are suitable for general testing, Day 2, and pre-travel (Fit to Fly Certificate). However, please check your destinations on the government website beforehand as several countries still require a PCR test. You don’t need to send lateral flow tests to the lab for testing, and your results can be obtained in 15 minutes. The fast turnaround time of the lateral flow test is highly convenient, as you won’t have to make another flight cancellation/delay.
Our lateral flow test is easy to use and provides fast and highly accurate results. All you need to do is:
- Order your lateral flow test(s) online.
- Follow the simple instructions included within the kit package to complete the test.
- Upload the results of your test to our portal.
- You will receive your doctor-signed certificate within 12 hours (or less).
We also offer a same day PCR swab test, administered by a trained NHS doctor in the comfort of your own home or office and allows us to return your results rapidly. Our team are equipped fully with PPE and follow all of the government guidelines. These services are limited to London.
If you are arriving in the UK and you are not fully vaccinated, we offer a postal Day 2 and Day 8 PCR test package through one of our partners.
Our postal PCR test kits all come with pre-paid return postage, so there are no hidden fees. If you need your results back quicker, you can drop your test into our lab, or we can arrange a private courier (at an additional fee).
The tests all come with easy to follow instructions, and if you need our help, we have 24 hours a day customer service professionals standing by.
We endeavour to have all results back in within 24 hours of receiving your sample at the lab.