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Covid testing for travel to England

Which test do I need for a negative covid test? I am traveling from the U.S. to England. The rapid test? Or the 2 to 3 day test? How much does this cost ? What kind of proof does the doctor's office give of the test result? I am also vaccinated. Do I need to show my vaccination card? Where do I get a covid test in London or if I am in the Costwolds for when I return to the U.S.? This information is not on the BAirways site or the CDC site.

Posted by
103 posts

I returned from London last week. Two days before I departed for London, I went to my local Walgreens and did the IDnow covid test. The test was free with my insurance. I received the result in approx one hour after my test per email. I had the result on my phone and I also printed it out. This was accepted by my airline ( I uploaded to my profile before departure) and at immigration at LHR. I had my CDC card with me, but never was asked for it.

I purchased the day 2 and 8 covid testing which was a requirement at the time. I believe there is only a day 2 covid test requirement now. Go to the UK government site and it lists many places to buy covid tests (along with prices) to have sent to your location in the UK or you can set up appt for on site testing. You will need to show proof that you have scheduled or purchased the test to immigration so it must be done before leaving the US. You will also need to fill out the passenger locator found on the UK site to show to immigration.

Boots does testing. So do a search in the area where you will be and you should get some info. Of course, there are other places to get tested for your return, including airports. I had mine done at LCY airport. An antigen test is all you will need for your return to the US.
Good luck!

Posted by
3217 posts

It’s my understanding that if you’re vaccinated you don’t need a test going over. Your CDC card is proof. Once there you need to have a day two test that should be scheduled prior to going over. To return to the U.S., you’ll need either a negative PCR or antigen test within 3 days of your flight. Day 2 test providers can be found at:
Your hotel might be able to provide information on which is close to the hotel. Another poster said you should be able to get an antigen test at most Boots stores.

Posted by
25750 posts

It’s my understanding that if you’re vaccinated you don’t need a test going over. Your CDC card is proof.

I had not seen that before so I checked if anything had changed today. No it had not.

The US is currently Amber List.

Regardless of Green or Amber, vaccinated or not, CDC card or not, all entrants must provide evidence of a negative test (within 72 hours), to the airline and on the Passenger Locator Form before travel.

I just copied the below from the official government webpage, it is as updated as you can get. ::

Take a COVID-19 test in the country you’re in. To board your transport
to England, you need proof of a negative result from a test taken in
the 3 days before the service departs.

Complete a passenger locator form. You can do this any time in the 48
hours before you arrive in England.

Posted by
3217 posts

Corrected again. Hence another reason we’re not planning to head overseas anytime soon. Thank you Nigel.

Posted by
13 posts

Susan, thank you for the information. A few questions, if you don't mind: Were you able to schedule an appointment at Walgreens for the advance COVID test? My concern is that I might miss the 72-hour testing period before leaving for the UK without an appointment in place. My understanding here in Western Washington is that I just need to drive through the testing window, and that no appointments are necessary and possibly not even accepted. (It's been difficult to get accurate information.) But if so, this seems kind of risky. What if my local Walgreens runs out of tests on the day that I drive through? And can I be certain that my results will arrive in time? These concerns have me pretty jittery... Also, how far in advance did you purchase the Day 2 test in England and make arrangements for it to be sent to your location? Thanks so much for any help (and assurance) you can provide!

Posted by
6 posts

I had planned to take a train to Scotland. How does one handle the 2nd day testing in that case?

Posted by
2 posts

I purchased a Day 2 test from Boots last week, not knowing how much lead time was needed. They mailed it out the next day and it arrived at my AirBnB two days later. The proprietor kindly agreed to keep it safe for our arrival two weeks from now.