Travel to The UK: What and Why You Should Have a Travel Testing Package

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor May 5th, 2021 Posted in Destination, Europe Travel Blog, Travel Blog, Travel Guides No comments

Learn more about the UK’s COVID Travel Testing Package if you wish to enter and travel to England in your future summer vacation.

We all want to travel now. Wherever you are, it doesn’t matter what country you’re from, and I know that you are just waiting for everything to get back to normal so that you can start exploring the world again. The bad news is that we still don’t know when it will end, and some countries still banned other travelers from entering their territory. The good news is, scientists have already provided vaccines in hopes that we can get back to our normal lives earlier than we would expect. 

Travel to The UK What and Why You Should Have a Travel Testing Package
Photo by Transformer18 CC BY-ND 2.0

Moreover, with the help of vaccines, restrictions will not be that strict anymore. But, that doesn’t mean that testings will be ignored. Conducting Coronavirus tests is as important as giving vaccines to help control the cases in each country. That basically means that you still need to take a Covid-test before and after arriving at your certain destination. If you’re thinking of traveling to the UK, specifically England, you need to follow the UK government’s policies regarding travelers entering the country. That is why you need to know about the Travel Testing Package.

What Is The Travel Testing Package?

Travel to The UK What and Why You Should Have a Travel Testing Package
Photo by Rum Bucolic Ape CC BY-ND 2.0

The UK Government announced last February 15 that all international travelers that will arrive in England are required to do these:

  • take two coronavirus tests on day 2 and day 8 via a Travel Testing Package;
  • quarantine for 10 days;
  • and follow the national lockdown rules.

Things You Need To Remember:

1. This package is only for those international travelers arriving in England from countries that are not on the UK’s travel ban red list

2. If you have been in or through a country that bans travel to the UK, you need to follow separate guidance.

3. You also need to follow separate advice if you need to quarantine in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland

What To Do Before Traveling To England

Travel to The UK What and Why You Should Have a Travel Testing Package
Photo by Shai Barzilay CC BY-NC 2.0

Here are the things that the UK Government wants you to do before arriving in England:

1. You need to book and pay for a Covid Travel Test Package from a private provider like the Project Screen. 

2. After you order, you will find a reference number for your package on the Order Confirmation screen of Project Screen’s app. You will also receive an Order Confirmation email that includes your reference number. 

3. This package comes with COVID-19 tests that need to be taken on day 2 and day 8 of your quarantine. This is for variant surveillance purposes. 

4. Travelers must fill out and complete a passenger locator form at least 48 hours before arriving. The details on the form should include:

  • where you will spend your quarantine when you arrive (the place’s complete address);
  • and your Travel Testing Package booking reference number (mentioned in number 2)

What To Do After Arriving In England

Travel to The UK What and Why You Should Have a Travel Testing Package
Photo by Victor CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Once you arrived in England (congratulations!) there are, of course, important things you also need to remember and to do:

1. Go directly to the place you will be staying;

2. Quarantine there and do not leave until at least the 10 days have passed;

Note: The day you arrived in England is considered day 0. So let’s say you arrived on September 1, your day 2 is September 3, and day 8 is September 9.

3. Project Screen will send your Travel Testing Package via Royal Mail Tracked 24 to the address you put on your order. So, you have to make sure that the address is the place you will be quarantining;

4. Project Screen will send off the two test kits to arrive on or before day 2 of your quarantine (if you placed your order at least 3 business days before arriving in England.) 

What To Do On Day 2 Of Your Quarantine

Day 2 of your quarantine will be your first Covid-19 Test after arriving in England. These are the things you need to do:

1. Once you activate your Kit, you will find simple and easy-to-follow instructions on how to finish your self-collection Covid test in just around 30 seconds; 

Note: The test is a swab-based test. 

2. After taking the test, seal your swab and place it in the clear sample bag. Put everything into the return mailer. Project Screen has multiple options on how you can return your samples to their laboratory for analysis. You can check them here.

It’s highly recommended you choose the free Royal Mail return mailer. You can just drop it off at a priority postbox that you can find across England for collection Monday to Saturday. 

3. Once they received your sample, they will start analyzing your swab. The result will be sent to you via email within 24 hours. 

What if the result is Positive?

If, unfortunately, you got a positive result, Project Screen will do further analysis for variant detection. No worries since they will cover the cost of the genomic sequencing if it is required. In the meantime, this is what you need to do:

  • You must quarantine for additional 10 days beginning the day after the day 2 test was taken. That means until day 13 of your quarantine period;
  • You do not need to complete the day 8 test.

What if the result is Negative?

On the other hand, if your result is negative, then all you have to do is take the day 8 swab test. It has the same procedure as day 2. 

Note: If you received a positive result from your day 8 test, you will need to quarantine until day 19. 

If you’ve completed your 10-day quarantine and got negative results on both tests, then you can leave the place and start enjoying your trip!

What About The Test To Release Scheme? What Does it Do?

Travel to The UK What and Why You Should Have a Travel Testing Package
Photo by Prachatai CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The UK Government also approved the use of the Test To Release COVID-19 tests for international travelers arriving in England. This is what it does:

  • It allows travelers to take another PCR Covid Test on the 5th day of their quarantine;
  • With Project Screen, you can choose between testing via their at-home test kit or at one of their test pods located at multiple locations in England;
  • If your Day 2 and Day 5 results are both negative, then you can leave your place and end your quarantine period early. However, you will still need to do the second Travel Testing Package test on day 8;
  • In conclusion, you need to take 3 Covid tests (Day 2, 5, and 8) if you decide to use the Test to Release scheme.

What Is Project Screen?

Now, you’re maybe wondering about Project Screen and why we recommend them? Project Screen has been conducting Covid Tests in the UK and abroad since April 2020. They make health information more accessible by using blood self-collection test kits and a range of innovation DNA via their two consumer brands, DNAfit and CircleDNA

Just April of last year, they evolved into coronavirus testing at their laboratory network, with the help of scientific expertise and digital systems. They’ve already delivered over 1,000,000 tests across multiple sites. To get to know them more, you can follow their social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram

Travel to The UK What and Why You Should Have a Travel Testing Package
Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

Frequently Asked Questions

1. With the Travel Testing Package, can I now travel to England?

If your country (or the place you’re coming from) is not included on the UK’s travel ban list, then yes, you can.

2. My country is not included on the UK’s travel ban list, can I travel now across the UK with the Travel Testing Package?

Only if it is in England, please remember that the package is only available for travelers arriving in England. Other parts of the UK have different guidelines that you need to follow. See them here: Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland

3. How much is a Travel Testing Package and where to order?

A travel testing package costs £164, and you can order it here. Please note that it is advisable to place your order at least 3 business days before you arrive in England so you will receive it on or before your 2nd-day quarantine.

4. Do I need to purchase the Test To Release Kit as well?

No. It’s your choice if you want to buy this as well. The only difference it makes is you can have your quarantine period end earlier (5 days) than the usual 10 days, assuming that you got negative results in all of your tests.

5. What is the complete list of the travelers coming from countries banned from entering the UK?

If you’re coming from any of this country, then you are banned from entering the UK:

  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ecuador
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

This is the list as of this writing. Be informed and updated by checking out this website from time to time.

6. Where can I find more information about traveling to the UK?

You can check out this UK Government Page to find more information regarding your travel.

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Written by Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor

Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog is a travel blog and website. We quickly grew into a valuable source of inspiring travel stories, advice, itineraries and travel guides, with the aim of demonstrating how to live a sustainable life of travel, whilst living your own definition of success. If you'd like to contribute and write a guest post, contact us at [email protected]