Do I Have To Book A Covid Test Before Departing?

The rules regarding Covid testing are complex and ever-changing, but we’ve done our best to give you the latest guidance that you can use to help you with your travel plans for 2022.

Knowing where you stand can be quite confusing, whether it’s having to take part in a health screening test when you arrive at your destination or needing to demonstrate your immunity, so we’ve done our best to provide you with all the latest guidance.

Rules For Vaccinated Travellers

As it currently stands,  UK travellers will not need a Covid test to re-enter the country or to prove their lack of infection once back at home. Previously UK travellers often had to have had a test abroad before being able to travel back to the UK whilst also having to pay for either 1 or 2 private PCR tests on day 2 and day 8 when back in the country. There was also an option to have a test halfway through to end the isolation period, but not anymore.

That being said, there are still some countries that have much stricter testing rules in place for travellers looking to visit for either commercial or tourism purposes. Outside of Europe, UK travellers may have to quarantine, have a test there and then, or be able to demonstrate their vaccination history when arriving in the country. To be safe, have your vaccine passport to hand and test before travelling using a private testing service.

Rules For Unvaccinated Travellers

According to data from the UK Government website, when you travel to the UK you:

  1. Don’t need to complete the passenger locator form before you travel.
  2. Don’t need to take any COVID-19 tests before you travel or after you arrive.
  3. Don’t need to quarantine when you arrive in the UK.

This information is true for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers, marking a significant shift in policy form earlier in the year, when there were much stricter rules in place for unvaccinated travellers attempting to enter the UK.

As you would think, other countries may have rules about what you need to do to leave the country to travel to the UK and you should check travel advice for the country you are travelling from. Some countries are also much more literal when enforcing curfews, such as New Zealand and China, so you should make sure that you regularly check back as requirements and guidance often are altered.

Generally, vaccination is becoming less of a necessity for travellers moving around Europe, making the vaccination passports near obsolete. However, being vaccinated and taking a test beforehand is still recommended as the pandemic is not yet over, and there’s still a real risk of you becoming infected with Covid-19.

How Do The Covid Tests Work?

PCR tests work by using a process called a quantitative polymerase chain reaction. This way of testing adds a coloured dye to the reacting process to help measure how much of the virus is present in the provided sample.

The sample is collected by either the participant or a healthcare professional by inserting a swab into the testee’s nostril and tonsil area before putting it into a vial containing a solution. The testing really is that simple!

Covid Test FAQs

Are you looking to learn a little bit more about the whole testing and vaccination programme in general? In this section, we’ve compiled some of the biggest and most widely discussed questions we think you should be aware of when researching this important topic.

Does taking a test help to prevent the virus from spreading?

Taking tests when you travel can help prevent the spread of Covid, even if you aren’t legally required to do so. This is because many people carry the virus without even knowing it, let alone displaying symptoms.

It is because of this that regularly taking Covid tests, even if just a Lateral Flow Test, is a great way of doing your bit to keep those around you safe and will also give you peace of mind that you aren’t a silent carrier. It’s the little things that count.

Is the Covid vaccine safe? 

Yes. While there has been much hysteria and controversy over the quick rollout of the virus to the general public, it has been overlooked that no other sickness has had so much time and dedication to it by hundreds of thousands of virologists and scientists simultaneously.

Most vaccines take years to be rolled out, not because that’s how long it should take but because of the time and resources made available. It’s been an insanely colossal team effort.

Where can I get a Covid test?

While tests are widely available for the general public via the NHS, there have been numerous widespread shortages that, combined with closures and long waiting times, have meant that some people have turned to private providers.

If you are travelling or going to an event and don’t want to wait a couple of days for your result to arrive via text or email, even longer if you are doing it via post, getting your test from a private testing provider might be best.

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