UK Pre-Departure Procedure: What You Should know

Those who are not fully vaccinated, will be required to carry out a UK pre departure test. As restrictions are easing and holiday destinations are opening their doors to tourists again, PCR testing and lateral flow testing is the key to stopping the spread of the virus. Here is what you should know regarding travel testing.

What Is the Purpose of a Pre-Departure Test?

The purpose of testing before you fly is to determine whether you are infected or not. It is vital to test travellers in order to stop the virus from spreading to others and to lower the transmission rates. Whether you are testing before you leave or arrive in the UK, it helps keep the country safe and free of COVID-19.


Who Is Required to Take a Test Before Traveling?

Those who do not meet the ‘fully vaccinated’ criteria, will be required to take a COVID-19 test before they arrive back in the UK. However, in England, it was recently accounted that even if the covid test result is positive, you do not have to legally isolate. Whereas in Scotland, you are encouraged to stay at home following a positive result and Northern Ireland and Wales you are still required to self-isolate.

Vaccinated travellers do not have to follow any testing procedures when arriving in the UK. However, it is vital to note that all UK arrivals, regardless of vaccination status, should complete a passenger locator form beforehand.

Where To Get a Pre-Departure Test?

You can carry out your travel tests in clinic such as walk-in centres, drive-through, or airport testing centres. Or you may wish to order a PCR/lateral flow testing kit to carry out at home instead. It is important to note that some countries may accept a negative lateral antigen test. However, it is always crucial to check travel guidance in any country you are travelling to and from.

With the at-home testing kits you can follow the instructional guidance given to carry out the test. This may be a throat and nasal swab. It then must be sent back to the lab to be examined within a certain timeframe (usually within 70 hours) to ensure it can be tested accurately and you can receive your result in a timely manner.


Final Words

Taking a UK pre-departure test is a method consistently used to keep people safe. It can slow the rate of transmission and make travelling to your favourite countries a safe, stress-free experience. This has been made more convenient with private providers offering at-home testing kits and working to ensure you receive your results within a fast timeframe to avoid any disruption to your travel experience.