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Newcastle/London trip & Covid Test Help

Appreciate input on our plans and Covid testing suggestions. I have rerouted this trip several times dues to restrictions, closures and uncertainty. Now I am just confused and need help!! We leave in 14 days, we are vaccinated.
Basically flying from US to Newcastle Upon Tyne ,few days in Newcastle then train to London, few days in London & depart Heathrow to US on AA(BA).

  1. Saturday: ** Take Covid test** in US for preflight--3 days before flight
  2. Tuesday: Depart for England 5:00pm
  3. Day 0: Wednesday: Arrive NCL. Assuming this is considered Day 0.
  4. Day 1: sight see/sleep
  5. Day 2, Friday: *Take Covid Test.* Any suggestions where to take in-person test in Newcastle or should I have test kit sent to hotel(which one??) OR bring BinAX Now with me?
  6. Day 3,Saturday: Train to London Kings Cross Station. LNER site, says "no fares found" for Saturday. But the Omio site has tickets.
  7. Day 4-7: sight see London. Perhaps Theater tickets. (Following RS 3 day itinerary)
  8. Day 5,Monday: Another Covid Test! Test recommendations?
  9. Afternoon day 7- train to LHR. Need convenient/budget hotel easily accessible to Terminal 5.
  10. Day 8,Thursday: Depart mid morning for USA

Our tickets are booked with American Airlines but BA is the carrier.

Please review and offer suggestions, recommendations for EZ testing! Seems like we are going to be spending as much time taking tests than sightseeing!
Appreciate the help.

Posted by
710 posts

Howay, bonnie lass (lad!). I’ve just had a look at LNER Newcastle to London Kings Cross and the ticket options are showing up for me here in the U.K. Suggest you book in advance and try get the Advance Single ticket. If you travel off peak, it’s cheaper and also avoids the packed commuter trains to London.

Try going into the ‘tickets page and type in where you want to go and let the website guide you. Don’t forget to tell it you are only going one way (a box to click - it defaults to return). Otherwise seems to be working fine!

If you can’t get LNER site to cooperate, try booking through National Rail website.


Posted by
25725 posts

your number 3,4,5 which is UK 0,1,2. There is no need to wait until day 2. You can take it any time on any of those days. It is called the Day 2 test but is Day 2 or before in the the UK.

You cannot bring a test with you for the Day 2 Test. It must be from an approved provider.

You need to plan in advance - you need to have booked and paid for the Day 2 Test before you complete your Passenger Locator Form. You need to put the number from the booking form on the PLF. The PLF needs to be completed before you commence travel to the UK, they will look at it when you check in.

Your number 8, for your test to go home you can bring one with you. I have no experience of those, others here have had slightly mixed but overall good experiences. I think you need the one from home to be proctered.

Posted by
25725 posts

Don't use third party ticket sellers. Omio is not a train company and may not have the most current information. The train websites also have real time train running information, including platform numbers, and if you use National Rail you can set up WhatsApp notifications for your particular train.

What are you going to be doing in the Northeast? Do you need any assistance with anything Geordie?

I am seeing Advance Single Fares from £26.20 on 25 September
What ever you do don't use Omio or any other third part ticket sellers

Posted by
5 posts

UPDATE: Appreciate everyone's replies and suggestions. But still need some help.
1. In regards to Day 2 covid test, I loved the idea of taking the test upon arrival at NCL airport, Newcastle. I had email conversation with NPH group to find out how to schedule the test b.c. on the site you have to select a time to take the test. Factoring in arrival, baggage, customs-- I gave myself an hour after arrival. BUT according to NPH- if your flight is delayed and you are not there for your scheduled appt, there are no refunds or alternative times to take the test. This is somewhat unsettling. In Google search, I found "walk up" Covid testing sites near our hotel in Newcastle, however, not sure if they are operational(they looked like parking lot testing tents). So I will have test sent to hotel. If anyone knows of in-person testing site in Newcastle city center, please pass along the information.
2. I booked my USA preflight Covid PCR test for Saturday @11:00am for flight departing Tuesday @5:00pm/arriving UK the following day at 10:30am. Did I make a mistake booking the test too early. UK says "3 days before travel to England". Does that mean "land in England" which is Wednesday. And "travel to" means departing on Tuesday. Please unravel this puzzle for me!
3. I was able to book LNER tickets directly. thank you!

Posted by
25725 posts

number 1 - if those walk-up centres are as you describe, they are NHS centres for the residents. You are not allowed to get your Day 2 test at an NHS facility. You must have it booked and paid for prior to arrival because you need the reference number on your PLF which you need to show to board your flight.

number 2 - I think you are a day too early. 3 days. Tuesday, flight day, day 3; Monday day 2, Sunday 3 days.

Posted by
1848 posts

From the gov website

When to take your test You can take the test any time in the 3 days
before the service on which you will arrive in England departs.

For example, if you travel directly to England on Friday, you could
take a test any time on the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.
The test result must be available for boarding.

Using the above example. The service on which you arrive in England departs on a Tuesday. You can take it on the Tuesday or any 3 days before i.e. Monday, Sunday, or Saturday. If you think about it, it's not really practicable to take a test on your flight day - what if your flight left at say 6 am, there would be no time. That's why they say three full days before.

Posted by
5 posts

Followup nightmare! took our covid test on Saturday for Tuesday 5;00pm departure. BUT the testing site will not send the test to lab until Monday. So now we are scrambling to find a lab that will give us results in 24 hours so I can complete the PLF.
Question-- Do I need a PCR test with QR code (more expensive). Since you cannot see what questions/answers on the PLF until 48 hours before, I am not sure.

Posted by
2624 posts

You need book and pay for day 2 Covid before leaving on your trip, have it delivered to your hotel/b&b.