When travelling, you may substitute a PCR test for an antigen test beginning on Sunday, October 24. The Department of Transport stated earlier this month that beginning on October 24, fully vaccinated travellers would be able to utilize day 2 lateral flow testing as their day two test once in the UK.
Several countries demand an antigen test result as a part of their admission criteria. Therefore the newly-validated private lateral flow testing might potentially serve this purpose. However, this varies by place, so please consult specific travel advice for each trip to confirm if an antigen test is necessary. But how does the new testing system function, and what does it signify for individuals who haven’t been vaccinated?
How Can I Get Lateral Flow Tests?
The British government has set up a website with data on getting a day 2 lateral flow test and a list of authorized test providers. With a few clicks, you may get a vaccination test kit from hundreds of UK suppliers.
However, unlike the PCR test technique, a lateral flow test reservation or postal kit providing a booking reference is all you need.
The government emphasizes that travellers should not utilize the NHS’s free testing for day two, even though day two tests must be formally registered as negative.
How Do The Tests Function?
Lateral flow tests and PCRs accomplish various tasks:
- Lateral Flow Tests(LFTs) identify a viral presence by detecting the virus’s surface proteins
- PCRs identify viral genetic material, which may be found in the body for many weeks after a person can transmit it
Swabbing your nose and throat is required for both examinations.
However, LFTs, also known as express tests by some providers, may be performed at home and provide findings in 20-30 minutes. PCR test swabs must be submitted to a lab for examination, and results are usually available within 24-48 hours.
What Are The Costs Of Lateral Flow Tests?
The authorized list includes test kits for as low as £20 – good news for anybody who is looking to travel frequently for work or pleasure.
Randox and Collinson, two well-known testing companies, usually come in at the cheapest, since they are the two main suppliers of testing equipment in the UK.
How Can I Complete The Test And Send In My Sample?
For the result to be validated, passengers must snap a picture of their day 2 lateral flow testing and the booking reference issued by the private provider and email it back to the provider. You may also schedule a test at the airport from where you are leaving, which may be more suitable than utilizing a government-approved in-person or postal-kit provider.
Day 2 lateral flow testing may be done anytime during the first two days after arrival, not only on the second. The UK government encourages doing it “as soon as possible.”
In response to concerns about the safety of allowing people to send a photo of a lateral flow test, as well as concerns regarding people abusing the system, transport secretary Grant Shapps stated that the system is “based on trust,” attempting to add, “In this world, nothing is 100%, and until now we haven’t required any verification.”
If your lateral flow day two test findings are positive, you must obtain a free confirmatory PCR test from the NHS to double-check and alert Track and Trace.
What If I Get Covid Symptoms?
Anyone in the UK who develops Covid symptoms – a new continuous cough, high fever, or a change in taste or smell – is likewise required by law to self-isolate promptly.
It would be best if you had a PCR test done as soon as feasible. You may have a test kit sent to you or schedule an appointment at a walk-in or drive-through testing location.
Regardless if you order a test kit or a PCR test appointment, you must not leave your house until you get your test results.
What Happens If I Test Positive?
Suppose you receive a positive day 2 lateral flow test result. In that case, you have a legal responsibility to self-isolate immediately, as does every adult in your home who has not been completely vaccinated.
To confirm the outcome, you must undergo a PCR test as soon as possible.
This may be reserved online or dialling 119 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland.
If you receive a negative follow-up PCR test result (if taken within two days of the positive LFT) you may be required to take a secind test to confirm if you have COVID or not.
However, if the PCR result is positive, you opt not to perform a follow-up PCR, or the test was conducted more than two days after the positive LFT, you must continue to self-isolate.
Which Tests Are Required Of Both Vaccinated And Unvaccinated Travellers?
Currently, fully vaccinated visitors to the UK need to take one test within two days of arrival. Individuals who have not been immunized or have only received one dose must self-isolate for ten days following arrival and arrange day two lateral flow testing and day eight PCR testing.
These test kits typically range in price from £45 to £120.
Those who want to get out of quarantine a day early might pay an additional fee for a third PCR test on day five, often known as “Test to Release.” If the findings are negative, you are free of self-isolation from that point on.
Whether an under-18-year-old is vaccinated, there is a bit of an ambiguous rule: only under-18s who usually reside in the UK or countries whose vaccinations are recognized by the UK (including the Netherlands, UAE, and South Africa) may switch to lateral flow testing.