New laws have been put into place regarding travel during the Covid-19 pandemic; from Monday 29th March, you must not travel internationally without a reasonable excuse to do so, such as attending a funeral. According to new laws, non-essential travel will be banned until 30th June.
However, should you need to travel, there are rules in place to ensure your safety. In this blog post, we’ll explain Covid travel tests and what it all means including ‘Fit to Fly’ certificates, Day 2 and 8 testing, as well as Test to Release.
Fit to Fly: What do I need to know before I book any travel?
To travel to most destinations you will need a Fit to Fly certificate to board your flight. The time scales and requirements vary depending on which country you are travelling to.
A PCR test is performed by a UKAS accredited provider and a certificate is issued by one of our GMC registered private GPs stating when the test was performed and the result. The time the test was taken is also included as these are time sensitive.
This is emailed to you through our secure portal password encrypted as a PDF file.
Covid-19 Testing for International Arrivals
From the 15th February this year by law anyone returning to the UK from abroad must take a Covid-19 PCR test on days 2 and 8 of your self -isolation period (unless specifically exempt). All arrivals must also quarantine for 10 days, either in a Government approved hotel (if returning from a red list country) or an alternative approved location (if returning from an amber list country).
If you are arriving from an Amber country then we can help provide you with day 2 and 8 tests.
What does ‘day 2 and 8 testing’ mean?
At Linbury Doctors, we are accredited by DHSC and PHE to provide day 2 and 8 bundles for Covid tests.
After you arrive back in England, you are required to take a Covid test on day 2 of your quarantine. The day you arrive back in the country is counted as day 0. This ‘day 2 test’ is to identify any potentially harmful variants of the virus. Should a positive result come back, you and your household must quarantine for 10 days, starting on the day after the test was taken.
For those who received a negative ‘day 2 test’, they will also need to take a test on or after day 8. If this ‘day 8 test’ is positive, you and your household will need to quarantine until day 19.
Please read more about how to quarantine when you arrive in England on the Gov website here.
Why are day 2 and 8 tests done?
The tests are carried out in order to pick up any positive Covid-19 results. These positive tests are also sent for genomic sequencing, which looks for any new variants of Covid that may be coming into the country from abroad.
When do I order my swabs?
You must order your Day 2 and Day 8 tests before you return to the UK. Failure to do so may incur fines and other penalties. You can order your tests as early as is convenient for you, and we will post them to you on the required days.
When you order your test, we will ask you to provide details about yourself and your journey. You will then receive a unique reference number, which you must enter on your passenger locator form before you arrive in the UK.
When will I receive my test kits?
Your tests will be sent separately in accordance with Government guidelines. We will post them to you for the required days. Please note that, by law, we cannot send your tests to you earlier than this. You should, however, order your tests as early as possible, prior to your arrival in the UK.
What should I do when I receive my test kit?
Please read the instructions included in your test kit carefully. You should then collect your sample using the swab provided and send it to our laboratory on the same day using the postage-paid return envelope. The Royal Mail is experiencing severe pressure during the pandemic so you may wish to consider returning your sample using a courier.
Can I stop self-isolating if I test negative?
In accordance with the UK Government’s guidelines, even if you test negative for Covid-19 on Day 2 or Day 8, you must continue to self-isolate for the full 10 days. You can only shorten your self-isolation period if you test negative with our Test to Release. This is a separate test which you can enquire about here.
What is a test to release (TTR)?
Should you wish to end your quarantine period early, you can request a TTR test.
Test to release is a test that can be done on day 5 to reduce your quarantine time from 10 days to 5 days. This test is optional and for those who don’t wish to reduce their quarantine time they don’t need to do this.
Here at Linbury Doctors, we can arrange this test for you with a same-day courier to the laboratory, ensuring results are available as soon as possible.
One of our GMC registered private doctors will then sign and issue you a PDF certificate with your results within 24 hours of completing the TTR test.
How do I book a Covid test?
You can book any of the above tests by filling out our web enquiry form and a doctor will get back to you to discuss your requirements. A subsequent questionnaire will be emailed to you to ensure we have all the correct details for whichever certificate you may require.
How much do these Covid travel tests cost?
Covid travel: Day 2 and 8 package:
- Postal kits: £210 (postal kits)
- If a visit is required from the doctor for the tests the cost is: £310
Covid travel: Test to release and Fit to Fly certificate:
- Postal swab for members of Linbury Doctors: £150
- Doctor visit and swab for members: £180
- Postal swab for non-members: £160
- Doctor visit and swab for non-members: £200
- Courier charge: POA
Private doctors in the Cotswolds, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire
If you live in the Cotswolds, Warwickshire, Worcestershire or parts of Oxfordshire our private doctors can discuss home visits to arrange doctor-led swabs if this is a preference.
If you’re looking for a Private GP in these areas, we’d love to help. With extensive experience in a range of different specialisms, we can care holistically for your whole family.
Here are just a few benefits of becoming a member:
- Get your own dedicated private GP
- Get GP appointments to suit your schedule
- Home visits
- No more time limits on appointments
- Get next-day results
- Fast-tracked Covid test results
Find out more about our private doctor memberships here, or give us a call on 0333 050 7338.