It feels like we are in the departure lounge at the moment waiting to see where we will be able to travel to from May. We should know in a couple of weeks which seems very short notice for the airlines who will need to reconfigure their routes to maximise the Green destinations. In the meantime, I have been looking at the various tests travellers will need to take, familiarising myself with the different types available and when they can be used. I’ve included some top tips for Covid testing.
When international travel is allowed once more on return to the UK all travellers will be taking at least two and possibly more than two Covid tests. Click here to view my last bulletin where I summarised when you will need to take tests. The Government’s approved supplier list contains a huge list of providers, all of whom are approved but they do have different service levels and price points. Pricing is changing all the time so it is worth shopping around. The government is apparently mulling over the idea of removing VAT from the tests which, if passed on to the customer, would decrease the price.
- The cheaper tests often involve home testing kits. However, unless you are familiar with administering these somewhat uncomfortable tests you run the risk of not inserting the swab far enough and having a void test. Given the time critical nature of the entry requirements of some destinations, this is not something I would want to risk. Far better to make an appointment at a test centre or at the very least do a home test which is supervised online by a clinician.
- There have also been stories of the cheaper providers running out of home test kits and not sending them out to customers on time. This will be of particular concern if you are doing a day 5/day 8 test and cannot leave isolation until you have done the test and received the result. Again, using an appointment based testing package may avoid this.
- Most PCR tests take a minimum of 24 hours to turn around. But the OptiGene RT-LAMP test, which can be used for the day 5 test to release, takes only a few hours. Time your test well and you could actually be out of isolation on day 5 instead of day 6 or 7.