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FAQ Day 2 (3)
29-12-2021
Understanding day 2 tests
FAQS

Update (06/01/2022): Since this Article was published, the rules for day 2 arrivals testing have been changed. The UK Government have recently confirmed that Day 2 PCR arrival tests will be replaced with Antigen (Lateral Flow) Tests from 4am on Sunday 9th January. See Day 2 Antigen providers here.

 

What are the rules for returning to the UK?
In order to travel to the UK, the tests you need may vary depending on your vaccination status.
All arrivals will first need a negative test taken 2 days before you travel to the UK. This can either be a PCR test or an antigen test if it meets the correct standards. You may find it easiest to book a test with a provider based in the country you are travelling from for this. Alternatively, some UK based providers offer rapid antigen tests that you can purchase and take with you on your trip in order to return. You can find a list of pre-return antigen providers here.


If you are fully vaccinated under a recognised program and arriving into England from a country not on the Red list, you must book a day 2 arrivals test which will include a test to be taken on or before day 2 after arriving in the UK. This must be a PCR test and you need to self-isolate until you receive a negative result. You must book this before travelling as you will need the booking reference for your passenger locator form.


If you are unvaccinated and arriving into England from a country not on the Red list, you will need to book a day 2 and day 8 arrivals package, which will include two tests to be taken on days 2 and 8 of your 10 day isolation period. You might opt for a day 5 test (also called Test to Release) to leave isolation early, but you will still need to take the day 8 test. You must book these arrivals tests before travelling as you will need the booking reference for your passenger locator form.


If you are coming from a Red list country you will need to quarantine in a managed hotel facility for 10 days and take 2 Covid-19 tests at your own expense.


At CTN we present guidance for arrival testing (including day 2 PCR providers) as you work through our comparison tool:


                                                                     


I'm only in the UK for a few days. Do I need to have my day 2 test result in order to leave the UK?
No, you do not need to have your day 2 test result before leaving the UK. You will need to remain in isolation until you receive your result, but if you are making a short trip to the UK, you can leave isolation to exit the country (via airport, ferry, car or train).


I am transitioning through the UK/staying in the UK for less than 24h. Do I need to take a day 2 test?
If you are transiting through England for less than 24h, you are exempt from taking a day 2 test. Please see more information on transiting through England here.


I need fast results for my day 2 test. Can I use a fit to fly express test instead?
You can only use tests explicitly sold as day 2 tests for your arrival test due to the reporting requirements that the provider needs to undertake. Additionally, you will need the booking reference number for this in order to fill in your Passenger Locator Form. Not all PCR tests will provide you with this.

However, some providers can produce fast results for day 2 tests, which you can read more about here.


Can I leave quarantine to take my day 2 test at a clinic?
Yes, you are able to leave self-isolation in order to visit a clinic for your day 2 test, but you must not use public transport to do so.


Can I use an NHS test for my day 2 test?
There are strictly limited circumstances under which you can use a free NHS Covid-19 test. This includes having Covid-19 symptoms or having been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. For all other reasons — including to travel — you must book and pay for tests yourself via a government listed private provider.
Read more about NHS tests here.


I’ve recently had Covid. Am I exempt from taking a day 2 test?
You must take a day 2 test regardless of whether you have previously tested positive. As there is a small chance you will still test positive up to 90 days after recovery, please take this into account before travelling.
Read more about travel testing and proof of recovery here.


At CTN we present guidance for arrival testing (including day 2 PCR providers) as you work through our comparison tool:


                                                                   


                                                                                                                                                                  Written by Maeve Sally
                                                                                                                                                               Published on 29/12/2021



Maeve heads up the Provider Listings and Delivery Team handling all things operations, research and logistics as well as project managing website developments.


The information within this article is accurate at the time of publishing.


Information about testing requirements, entry requirements to the UK and travelling abroad during Covid-19 is CTN’s understanding of the requirements from multiple sources including the UK Government website at the time of publishing - always check full requirements including mandatory documentation and quarantine rules before you travel! By using our site, you confirm that you accept our user terms and conditions and you agree to comply with them. We amend these terms from time to time. Every time you wish to use our site, please check these terms to ensure you understand the terms that apply at that time.
 

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