The UK Government continues its efforts to keep the COVID-19 infection rate down and reduce the introduction and transmission of new variants by implementing stringent travel restrictions.
Individuals leaving the UK are required to present a COVID fit to fly certificate, attesting that they do not have the virus and are safe to travel. Accordingly, travellers arriving in the UK must follow quarantine and testing measures. They must book and arrange their travel test package from a reputable private COVID-19 test provider before travelling or arriving in England. This will allow them to carry out polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing while undergoing quarantine.
With the different COVID travel tests required for individuals entering or returning to England and the frequent changes with travel regulations, it is easy to get confused and struggle to understand and keep up with them.
Persons arriving in the UK from overseas must take COVID-19 tests on days 2 and 8 of their 10-day quarantine. In addition, there is also an optional test that they can avail to shorten their quarantine period; however, this is not available for all.
Here are the differences between Day 2 and 8 and Test to Release:
Mandatory vs Optional Test
The main difference between Day 2 and 8 and Test to Release is that Day 2 and Day 8 testing are two required coronavirus tests that individuals must take during their quarantine period upon arrival in the UK. Meanwhile, the Test to Release is an additional test that people can take on Day 5 of their self-isolation period.
Purpose of Test
Another difference is their purposes: Day 2 testing is a gene sequencing test to help identify any potential harmful variants of COVID-19; Day 8 is carried out to check and ensure that an individual does not have the novel coronavirus; and Test to Release is a COVID-19 test that people can take to exit quarantine early, provided that their result returns negative.
Required COVID-19 Tests for Individuals Returning to England
After announcing that the ‘Stay in the UK’ regulation will no longer be in force from May 17, the UK Government implemented a traffic light system to classify international travel destinations based on levels of COVID-19 risks. The system places foreign countries into three categories: green, amber, and red.
Foreign countries in the green list are considered the safest countries from coronavirus in terms of transmissions and variants. On the other hand, countries under the amber list have medium risks from COVID-19, and foreign destinations in the red list have the highest risks from the virus.
Travellers from each group will need to carry out a PCR test before departure to the UK and present a negative result upon arrival at the airport. Still, they will have different quarantine and COVID testing requirements on their return.
Green: Day 2 COVID-19 testing for arrivals to the UK
Arriving passengers from a Green-list country must carry out a COVID test on or before their second day back in the UK. They do not need to quarantine or self-isolate on their return, except if their Day 2 test returns positive.
Amber: Day 2 and 8 (and Optional Day 5) COVID-19 testing for arrivals to the UK
Arriving individuals from Amber-list countries are required to quarantine for ten days upon arrival in the UK and carry out PCR tests on Day 2 and Day 8. Individuals travelling from an amber country are qualified to participate in the Test to Release scheme and take an additional COVID-19 test on Day 5 to end their quarantine period early.
Red: Day 2 and 8 COVID-19 testing for arrivals to the UK
Individuals arriving from Red-list countries will be subject to tighter travel restrictions. They are required to stay in a managed quarantine hotel and self-isolate there for ten days. They also need to carry out Day 2 and Day 8 PCR testing.
Where to get a Private COVID-19 Testing?
Harley Medic International is a private COVID-19 test provider offering PCR Tests in London and other UK cities. We are in partnership with Government approved laboratories and clinics to provide both Day 2 and Day 8 testing and also Test to Release testing.
If you wish to book our travel test package, you may contact us today at 0207 629 0253 or 0330 390 3666 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our website at Harleymedic.co.uk for more details about our services.