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I wonder how COVID testing will work?

One the US is "green lighted" by the UK, travelers will start flying there. Based on the rules of traveling, travelers will need to be tested a maximum of 2 days after entering the UK. I wonder how that may work?

My wife and I are planning a trip in September and we are flying to Heathrow, then we have to go to Gatwick to catch an Easyjet to Inverness. I wonder how we get tested through all of this....

Posted by
2664 posts

I just looked at link (UK government) that Tom provided, according to it that as of May 17, the US will be on the Amber list…..traveling from the US you have to before leaving take COVID test, book and pay for 2 day and day 8 COVID travel tests and complete a passenger locator form. On arrival in England you have to quarantine for 10 days and take the COVID tests on day 2 & 8. You have to do this even if you been vaccinated.

US will not be on the Green list.

Posted by
726 posts

I have tickets for mid-July to LHR to visit family in Cambridge, UK. The UK travel list is reviewed every three weeks. I anticipate perhaps the US will get the green light in June sometime as Airlines are lobbying hard for a US/UK corridor. It may not happen, but I am not giving up yet. The 10-day quarantine currently in place and testing day on 2 and 8 is a deal-breaker for the majority of travelers.

Posted by
11441 posts

As reported earlier, May 17 is the date England, and much of Scotland, eases lockdown rules. The U.S. wil be amber.

The G7 summit takes place from Jun 11-13 in Cornwall, England. Here the leaders of the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and the EU will get together. Travel between these countries will probably be on the agenda.

On June 21, the British PM is expected to lift almost all lockdown rules in England.

I wouldn't be surprised, not thinking it is going to happen, but wouldn't be surprised, to hear about some deal for fully vaccinated Americans and British to be able to visit each other's countries without quarantine and multiple testing.

The word will probably come sometime between the two above events.

As for the EU, they are further behind in vaccinating so it will be interesting to see how they pull this off. But they probably will.

My guess, and it's just a guess, is that U.S. travelers will have to show proof of vaccination and a negative covid test BEFORE boarding the plane. Larger airports in the U.S are opening testing centers that offer quick results.

Posted by
1949 posts

I have been reading about new rapid COVID tests that rival the accuracy of the PCR test. If this is true then many travel restrictions will become less burdensome.

Posted by
5704 posts

The rules, both current and proposed at present are designed to deter Brits from travelling abroad, as the government sees this as a risk. As few people can travel here, not much regard has been had to incoming visitors, but if they don’t want us going abroad, when most of us have had at least one vaccination, then it follows that they still don’t want others coming here. This will change over time.

The English traffic light system for foreign travel will be reviewed every 3 weeks from 17 May, whereas the Scottish list will be reviewed every 4 weeks from 24 May.

Hopefully things will become clearer before September, when we will supposedly be receiving our third booster jabs.

Posted by
11 posts

As I asked this question yesterday, I was delivered the following email from United Airlines last night....
"We're Making Return to the U.S. "Worry Free" for International Travelers

We’re launching a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Abbott to use their BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Home Test and NAVICA app to help make the international travel experience more seamless.

United customers can depart the U.S. with the BinaxNOW Home Test in their carry-on bag and administer the test via the eMed digital health platform while overseas, avoiding the need to find a testing center abroad.

We’re the only airline to offer end-to-end integration between a digital platform and a testing app with the integration between the United Travel Ready Center platform and Abbott’s NAVICA app which provides a seamless passenger experience when departing and re-entering the U.S.

Learn more []"


Posted by
11441 posts

British Airways is in trials for a new Covid 19 test that will give results in 25 seconds. They are first using the test on their crews and comparing to other Covid tests.

When it comes to interntional travel, covid testing, rule changes.....this is a very fluid situation that seems to have new information almost every day. What is true today may not be true tomorrow.

Posted by
6788 posts

Good news that testing is becoming easier. But is it clear that The US and UK gov'ts will accept those test results as meeting the existing re-entry requirements? Or is that something TBD?

Posted by
40 posts

"Hopefully things will become clearer before September, when we will supposedly be receiving our third booster jabs. "

At the moment that is only planned for the over 70s and at risk demographic.

Posted by
40 posts

"I wouldn't be surprised, not thinking it is going to happen, but wouldn't be surprised, to hear about some deal for fully vaccinated Americans and British to be able to visit each other's countries without quarantine and multiple testing. "

Unlikely in the short > medium term as Westminster, wrongly or rightly has steered away from that - testing as means to enter England the devolved nations is here for the foreseeable future.

Posted by
5704 posts

The U.K. plan is for a third vaccine for everyone over 50 not 70 this autumn.

Some travel has opened up today for U.K. residents - Portugal and Iceland are the two mainstream destinations on the green list. For Portugal, both going and returning, it’s all about testing and vaccinations are irrelevant. There are likely to be different agreements between countries and the situation may change.

Posted by
10 posts

Does anyone know how and how long the PCR test review is for "airside" transit at LHR? I am considering taking a longer layover to a connecting flight so as not to miss the connecting flight, but would appreciate other people's experience, if anyone has been able to get there recently. I am also trying to get back to the UK within a few months to visit relatives but it does not sound promising from what you say re US being put/or not on the green list.

Posted by
2664 posts

The below is from the UK website……this what you have to do if you are arriving from a Green list country.

Green list countries and territories
This section tells you what you will have to do if you travel to England from a country or territory on the green list. You must only have been in or travelled through a green list country or the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man in the previous 10 days.

You must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated.
Before travel to England
Before you travel to England you must:

take a COVID-19 test
book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England
complete a passenger locator form.

Posted by
7700 posts

Yes, and hardly anywhere is currently a green list country.

Posted by
3 posts

Hello there

How do I find out if the USA is a 'green lighted' country? I don't plan on traveling until late 2022. I hope the virus is gone by then.