Booking a Covid test in the UK to comply with the new travel rules from France to the UK
Reader’s Question: With the new testing and isolation rules for visits from France to the UK, how long can I expect to self-isolate before the test result arrives? Does it cost more to do a PCR at a center in person and will there be huge expectations for it?
The new rules for UK arrivals state that you must be tested no later than the second day after arrival (arrival day is classified as day zero), which must be a PCR test and that you must quarantine until you test negative.
They apply if you arrive in England from 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday 30 November.
These rules, introduced due to fears about the new omicron variant, are stricter than previous rules that did not require vaccinated people to observe a quarantine.
A “second day” test was previously required, but it could potentially be a self-test using an antigen kit (also called “lateral flow”) at home, automatically recording the result on a website by the patient. following.
PCR testing requires you to take the test at a center or self-administer a test at home, and then mail the test kit in for analysis.
Some test centers promise results in 24 hours, others in 48 hours. Thus, it is possible to receive the results by email the next day, either the day after the test in person in a center, or the day after the test results are received by mail.
In other words, the fastest method will be to go to a center after you arrive in the UK. If it delivers results within 24 hours, you may only need to quarantine on the day of arrival and the next day at most.
If, instead, you choose to have a kit shipped to where you will be staying in the UK, there will be postage delays to consider. For example, if you arrive at your destination on a Thursday and mail the kit the next morning, it won’t arrive until Friday at the earliest, with results Saturday evening, if everything is working efficiently.
Most centers use special Royal Mail fast postage with next day delivery.
However, if your arrival falls on or just before the weekend or public holiday, there will be additional delays.
Costs vary widely and you can find a government list of suppliers on this link.
For example, on screen4.org a two-day clinic appointment with the test performed by a professional costs £ 65, while a test sent to your home costs £ 50.
Several clinics have discounted offers where you administer your own swab on site rather than by a professional, for example the expertdoctors.uk website quotes £ 15 to do so with ‘supervision’ and an unsupervised self-swab for £ 0 , 95.
There is no explanation for this huge price discrepancy, depending on the test method chosen, but we recommend at least double checking that the test offered is PCR and not antigen / lateral flow.
As for waiting times to book in a clinic, we advise you to book as early as possible in order to obtain the place and time that suit your projects.
A Report The staff member was able to easily book a Christmas Eve test today at a London location at a time of their choosing. However, if you are not able to take a test in a large urban center, your choices of location and available appointments will be more limited.
New omicron variant: PCR and isolation for UK arrivals from France
Covid: Rules for traveling to and from France