COVID-19: UK Pre-Departure Testing for Travel

Coronavirus cases are in flux across the globe, and the United Kingdom has seen one of the highest numbers of deaths from Covid-19 in the world, resulting in multiple lockdowns. Most recently, the Omicron coronavirus variant has spread through the UK, affecting the travel industry.

Furthermore, arrival testing for visitors to the UK has been removed. According to the rules, visitors will no longer be required to quarantine unless they are not vaccinated, which took effect at 4 a.m. on Friday.

However some countries like the USA still require pre departure testing when returning to the USA from other countries like the UK. In order to get a valid test, you’ll need to book one before your return journey. You can book UK predeparture testing online and most will require you to visit a testing centre if it is a PCR test.

Pre-Departure Testing: What Is It?

Visitors should register and undergo the PCR or LFD coronavirus testing inside the 2 days preceding they go to the UK if they’re over 18 years of age. If you go by Thursday, for instance, then get this exam on Monday or Tuesday. If they cannot have it three days before the start of the first leg of their trip because it’s a multiple leg journey, visitors should have it 2 days before the first leg starts.

Arriving EU citizens may display the EU DCC (EU Digital Covid Certificate – see here) to verify a negative test outcome. Several countries have entrance limitations, meaning they might not examine individuals there. Visitors should utilise a particular examination provider if they do their exam in the UK and back within 3 days.

What Would You Do if You Found You Were Positive?

The test findings that came out positive would be communicated to you through mobile or via the testing certification, which they will deliver to you. If you test positive, you may be able to complete another test to rule out a false positive.

If you have undergone an online Antigen examination, a person of the test centre personnel would be able to assist you with any self-isolation and flight advice you might require. If the Antigen tests came back positive, you’d have to self-quarantine for 10 days. You can breach your quarantine for an NHS PCR examination around 48 hours, according to state regulations. If the outcome of this NHS testing came out negative, they might be able to terminate your self-quarantine.


Unless you are travelling to the United Kingdom, certain visitors do not have to undergo pre-departure testing. Here are the individuals that may be excluded from several COVID-19 related flight limitations:

  • Travelling for emergency medical care 
  • Supporting those travelling for emergency health treatment 
  • Obtaining COVID-19 testing that is negative inside the 3 days prior to leaving is not feasible.
  • Having a health issue that prevents you from taking a test, you should submit a statement from your doctor at verification and to Border Agency personnel upon landing in Northern Ireland.

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