Latest Travel updates 20th October
Lateral flow tests to be introduced for vaccinated international arrivals
From 24 October fully vaccinated passengers and most under 18s arriving in England from countries not on the red list can take a cheaper lateral flow test, on or before day 2 of their arrival into the UK. These can be booked from 22 October.
- From 24 October fully vaccinated passengers and most under 18s arriving in England from countries not on the red list can take a cheaper lateral flow test, instead of a PCR test, on or before day 2 of their arrival into the UK. These can be booked from 22 October
- Change will come into effect for those returning from half-term breaks with lateral flow tests available to book through private providers listed on GOV.UK
- Passengers must upload a photo of their test to verify results as soon as possible, with free confirmatory NHS PCRs for any positive cases
Eligible fully vaccinated passengers arriving in England from countries not on the red list can take a lateral flow test on or before day 2 of their arrival from 24 October, rather than PCR tests. These can be booked from 22 October.
Eligible travellers will be able to order cheaper lateral flow tests from private testing providers as an alternative to a PCR, offering faster results. The list of approved private providers will go live on GOV.UK on 22 October.
Passengers will need to take a photo of their lateral flow test and booking reference supplied by the private provider and send it back to them to verify the result. Passengers are also able to book to have a test which they can take on their arrival into the UK at testing centres located in some airports.
Anyone who tests positive will need to self-isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test. PCR tests can be accessed free of charge by ordering in the usual way through NHS Test and Trace – via nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. Providers will be expected to advise people to self-isolate and direct people towards the NHS Test and Trace booking page.
Do children need to test?
The rules for children depend on age and country of residence.
Children residing in the UK or in a country with an approved vaccination programme:
– If they are aged 4 and under, they do not have to take any COVID-19 travel tests
– 5 to 17-year-olds must take a day 2 test on or before day 2 – arrival day is day 0.
Children aged 5 to 17 who are resident in any country that is not on the approved vaccination programme list must:
– take a COVID-19 test (if aged 11 or above) before travelling to England
– take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 in England – arrival day is day 0
– take a COVID-19 test on or after day 8 in England – arrival day is day 0
– quarantine at home or in the place they’re staying for 10 days, or for the duration of their stay if it’s less than 10 days
Children aged 4 or under from these other countries do not have to take travel tests. They must follow quarantine rules.