Travellers returning to England now able to take lateral flow tests

Travellers returning to England are now able to take cheaper lateral flow tests.

New rules that allow travellers returning to England to take cheaper lateral flow tests instead of more expensive PCR tests have come into force today, 4:00 am, Sunday, October 24. Fully-vaccinated (double-jabbed) people arriving from a non-red list country can now use a lateral flow test on, or before, day two of their return.

Passengers will have to send a photo of their test results to their provider, with those failing to send proof risking a fine of £1,000, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said. Those who return a positive result will need to take a free NHS PCR test to verify the result and then isolate.

Lateral flow tests for international travel must be purchased from a private provider as NHS Test and Trace lateral flow tests cannot be used. Bookings for the tests first opened on Friday, October 22, with a list of 25 providers available on GOV.UK.

The government hailed the move as a “huge boost” for the travel industry.

Wales will make the same change next week later, with Scotland and Northern Ireland indicating they may soon follow suit. Before that happens, anyone travelling on to the other UK nations in the 10 days after arrival in England must follow the rules for testing and quarantine in those places.

“I’m delighted that from today eligible travellers to England, who’ve had the life-saving Covid-19 vaccine can benefit from a cheaper lateral flow test, providing faster results,” said Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

“This huge boost to the travel industry and the public will make it easier and cheaper for people to book holidays and travel abroad, and it is because of our incredible vaccine programme that this is possible. Anyone who tests positive must take a PCR test, which, if positive, may be genomically sequenced to check for variants and further help us fight this virus.”


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Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.