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Pay for a test, cut quarantine time

According to the BBC Article below, starting December 15, visitors to England (not the entire UK) who are not from a country exempt from quarantine--like the USA--can cut their quarantine time down if they are willing to pay for a test after 5 days. One to two days to get the results. So, technically, if you test negative you could cut the quarantine time in half.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-55052381

Posted by
4175 posts

The difficulty is going to be finding somewhere to get the PCR test. The pharmacist Boots is going to be offering a 48 hour service, but this hasn’t started yet and there will only be in 20 stores across the U.K. initially. My closest store will be a 40 minute drive away. Friends in Devon’s closest store is a 4 hour drive away! The cost is c £120 pp. Booking one of these slots could be difficult if demand is high.

The government haven’t said what happens if you test positive. Also, many tests are inconclusive, which presumably means you need to pay for another test. And wait another 2 days for the results. In the meantime, quarantine means that you aren’t allowed to leave the garden of your accommodation even for exercise. Food will need to be delivered. Checks are being made and the breach penalties are high.

We wait to see on Thursday which areas are going to be placed in each of the 3 tiers, which will determine how much or how little will be open. We are all anticipating another lockdown in January as the isolation rules are being relaxed for Christmas, so the virus will start spreading rapidly. It’s still not the time for intercontinental travel.

Posted by
47 posts

Jennifer I believe you can have the tests sent to your address- we were going to do that earlier this summer before our travel plans fell through.

But I am wondering if this will really make big difference for people coming from abroad for recreational travel. 5-7 days of quarantine when you arrive in the UK is still a lot of time/money wasted if you don't live here or have family/friends to stay with. I don't think may RS travelers will take advantage of this. Or am i wrong? I'd be interested to know what people think.

Posted by
24386 posts

or have family/friends to stay with.

then they have to quarantine too - so one person's problem becomes the whole family problem

This new wheeze is meant to make taking Christmas holidays easier - but more expensive - for Brits returning from those holidays, not to make it sort of easier for tourists coming here

Posted by
11739 posts

This new wheeze is meant to make taking Christmas holidays easier -
but more expensive - for Brits returning from those holidays, not to
make it sort of easier for tourists coming here.

Its unfortunate that they didn't write the rules stating UK Citizens that ...... Cause the way it sounds, its a restricted invitation to all.

Posted by
6390 posts

So, technically, if you test negative you could cut the quarantine
time in half.

That's an improvement over the status quo, but the bottom line still is: what's the compelling argument to make an unnecessary trip in the first place and override CDC's and my local public health department's judgment to "stay put and stop the spread"? So you end up in England, you pass the quarantine hurdle and then what?....you're still at risk of Covid transmission in a country that hasn't handled it well (that's being charitable) and now is trying its best to save the Christmas season and lift the airlines (that's an economic argument, not a public health argument). The airlines need business travelers to come back more than anyone else - even a 5-7 day quarantine won't bring them back.

Posted by
820 posts

I am definitely not rushing off to England, but was very interested in this change. However, I was interested in Jennifer’s phrase “many tests are inconclusive”.

I have read about antigen tests having a number of false negatives; but I haven’t read anything about PCR tests returning inconclusive results, although I have also read that PCR tests can give false negatives under certain circumstances. However we either get a negative or a positive report (in my area). Is it common to get an inconclusive report in England from a PCR?

Posted by
562 posts

I just want to go to the UK to visit family. I am hoping this will cut down on the quarantine time needed while still being safe. I just plan to sit in my sister's garden away from the crowds of the North Essex/Suffolk border. It's just not the time for tourists to come back yet but those of us with family would like to see them at some point over the next few years. I have tickets for June 2021. That will be two years since I have seen my family members. I hope I don't have to stretch it to three years. That's why this is important.

Margaret

Posted by
11739 posts

I was optimistic that the vaccine would be available in 2020 or early 2021 despite the "experts" prediction of 2023. I have faith that when humanity pulls together .... I am also optimistic that you will be able to see your relatives in the UK on or before June 2021. But only time will tell. Optimism isn't a bad thing. If those scientists weren't optimistic they wouldn't have had the drive to break so many dower expectations. So let's optimistic that the energy persists through distribution.

Posted by
6013 posts

For those of you happy to listen to the much maligned experts you might find this online discussion, to be held Tuesday 1st Dec 4pm GMT, interesting?

Life with the coronavirus vaccine
With several COVID-19 vaccines closing in on approval, join The Conversation for a virtual discussion with leading scientists as we consider what their impact will be in the first half of 2021.
Four health experts will discuss how the first COVID vaccines are set to roll out around the world, and what we can expect their effects to be – on the virus itself, on people’s health and liberties, as well as on the functioning of society.

https://theconversation.com/life-with-the-coronavirus-vaccine-join-us-for-an-online-discussion-on-december-1-150761

I have no connection to the website running the discussion other than I find it a useful resource for up to date research.

Posted by
4497 posts

Heathrow for one is hoping to sell test kits in Arrivals shortly. BA and AA are trialling doing this too on some flights.

EDIT - an inconclusive PCR test is where not all of the RNA signatures being looked for are detected. In the covid-19 test I believe this is usually one out of two.

Posted by
24386 posts

Stansted started doing it in departures yesterday if Look East (West) is to be believed, with arrivals starting from the 15th....

Posted by
562 posts

Nigel, I haven't heard or seen "Look East" for a while!

I am beginning to get more optimistic about my summer trip this June. Hoping the vaccine roll out for England goes well this Spring. Unfortunately, here in the middle of Missouri, we are in a COVID hot spot. I am staying at home as much as I can (besides work). My goal is to stay healthy to travel on Memorial Day.
Margaret