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Lateral Flow Tests To Replace Day 2 PCR For Vaccinated International Arrivals


Day 2 COVID-19 PCR tests are to be replaced by the more affordable, efficient lateral flow test – for fully vaccinated UK travellers returning home.

From Sunday 24th October fully vaccinated passengers and most under 18s arriving in England from countries not on the red list can take a lateral flow antigen test, on or before day 2 of their arrival into the UK instead of a PCR test.

The tests will be available to buy from Friday 22nd October. The day 2 lateral flow antigen tests will be available to families planning to go away for the October half-term holiday.

The UK Government is yet to release the list of private providers.


What Do UK Arrivals Need To Do?

Fully vaccinated travellers can purchase a Day 2 Lateral Flow Antigen test kit for UK arrivals from 24th October. Order before 3pm for the same weekday dispatch or select your preferred delivery date during checkout.

Our lateral flow antigen travel tests include next day DPD delivery as standard at Health Hub so you can get your test as fast as you will get your results.

We recommend purchasing this day 2 arrival test at least 24 hours before arriving in the UK. The UK Government requires all UK arrivals to add the test(s) booking reference number to their Passenger Locator Form.

Booking reference numbers are sent in our order confirmation emails.

On or before arrival day 2, follow the online instructions to self-swab, process your results and record yourself taking the test. You’ll receive your results within 20 minutes and a verification certificate within 24 hours.


Do Children Need To Test?

The rules for children depend on age and country of residence.

Children residing in the UK or in a country with an approved vaccination programme:

  • If they are aged 4 and under they do not have to take any COVID-19 travel tests
  • If they are aged 5 to 17-year-olds must take a day 2 test on or before day 2 – arrival day is day 0.

Children aged 5 to 17 who are resident in any country that is not on the approved vaccination programme list must:

  • take a COVID-19 test (if aged 11 or above) before travelling to England
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 in England – arrival day is day 0
  • take a COVID-19 test on or after day 8 in England – arrival day is day 0
  • quarantine at home or in the place they’re staying for 10 days, or for the duration of their stay if it’s less than 10 days

Children aged 4 or under from these other countries do not have to take travel tests. They must follow UK quarantine rules.


What If I Have Already Bought A COVID PCR Test?

The UK Government has said that those who have already bought a COVID-19 PCR test do not need to buy another test. The PCR arrival test must be taken as soon as possible on or before the second day of a passenger’s arrival in the UK.


Further information

Due to the nature of COVID travel restrictions changing on an on-going basis, always check for changes in rules on the official Gov website before travelling to avoid delays and issues.

Sian Baker

Medically reviewed by Sian Baker, Dip ION mBANT mCNHC – Written by Beth Giddings (BSc)

Updated on 1st December 2021