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Tel: +44 (0)808 280 8018
Address: 7 The Mill, Stane Street, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0FF

What are the new rules about travel testing?

21st October 2021

The government has announced significant changes to Covid Travel Testing requirements, both at home and abroad. and our partner, Private Harley Street Clinic, answer some of our customers’ most pressing questions about the upcoming changes…

What are the new rules about travel testing?
The new rules state that, from 24th October, fully vaccinated passengers travelling into England will be able to use a Lateral Flow Test (also called a Rapid Antigen Test) instead of a Day 2 PCR test, unless they’re coming from a Red List Country. Fully vaccinated passengers will also no longer need to take a pre-departure test before travelling to England, from October 4th 2021.

When do the new changes come into force?
The requirement for fully vaccinated travellers to take pre-departure tests before entering England will end from October 4th, with Day 2 PCRs will be replaced with Lateral Flow Tests (also called Rapid Antigen Tests) on 24th October. In clinic Day 2 Lateral Flow tests can be booked from October 22nd with Private Harley Street Clinic, MedSella can assist you with this.

What tests do I need if I’m not double vaccinated?
Testing for unvaccinated passengers from non-red countries will continue to include pre-departure tests, 10 Day self-Isolation and Day 2 and Day 8 PCR tests. Day 5 Test to Release remains an option to reduce the self-isolation period.

When Can I Buy a Day 2 Lateral Flow Test?
MedSella and My Travel Test will set their Day 2 Lateral Test Kit for sale by October 22nd. In clinic Lateral Flow Test appointments will be available for booking from October 22nd with Private Harley Street Clinical, MedSella can assist you with this.

Can I Book a New Day 2 Lateral Flow Test in a London Clinic?
Yes, you can book a new Day 2 Lateral Flow Test in Clinic in London with Private Harley Street Clinic from 22nd October – MedSella can assist with this for you.

What about testing for children?
The UK Government requirements for children and young people can be checked on the Government website here.

What if I was vaccinated abroad?
If you were vaccinated outside of the UK or as part of a trial, you should double check the rules on the Government website here. What you need to show as proof depends on your vaccination programme.

What is happening to the Traffic Light System?
The traffic light system was replaced with a two-tier system, effectively a ‘Go’ and ‘Do Not Go (Red)’ categorisation, on October 4th at 4am. There are are currently only 8 Red List countries Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

Why do I still need a PCR test to travel abroad if I’m fully vaccinated?
The new changes only affect people travelling into England; entry requirements into overseas destinations are set by the appropriate government bodies within that country, and therefore may still include a PCR Test before travelling. You can check which countries require what sorts of tests on the Government Foreign Travel Advice Website.

Can I do this remotely?
MedSella currently offers a Rapid Antigen Test (Lateral Flow Tests) which can be conducted at home and verified remotely – this product will be approved as a Day 2 Lateral Flow Test from October 2021.

What if I think I may be infected?
If you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, the NHS advises taking a free PCR test at one of their testing centres. If at any point you take a Lateral Flow test and it comes back positive, you should immediately seek out one of these tests in order to confirm your infection status and take the appropriate self-isolation precautions. Free NHS Lateral Flow tests remain available for normal at-home infection testing but still cannot be used for travel testing.

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