Travel news: British tourists should ‘check status’ of lateral flow test provider | Travel News | Travel

Since October 24, double-vaccinated passengers can take a lateral test on or before day two after arrival in the UK. The tests must be booked on the Government website with an approved provider.

Denis Kinane, an immunologist and founder of Cignpost Expresstest, told how to avoid some classic mistakes.

Kinane said those that feel unsure while taking a test could watch an online video online make sure they are doing so correctly.

He said: “It is advised that travellers read the instructions provided with the lateral flow test and it is recommended to watch video tutorials provided by the test provider or NHS on the correct way to take a lateral flow test.

“Travellers must send a photo of their test result along with the booking reference to the test provider and failure to do so could result in a fine of £1,000.”

READ MORE:Flight attendant shares thing passengers should ‘never do’ on plane

In order to get an accurate result of their status, travellers will need to take the lateral flow test properly.

Tourists can not use NHS lateral flow tests for travel purposes and must purchase from a Government approved company.

At the time of writing, the price of a day two lateral flow on the Government website ranged from £8.99 to £39.

Travellers are advised to check all terms and conditions when booking as there may be hidden extras.


Kinane told “Travellers should ensure that their test provider is Government listed on its register of authorised providers.

“We would also advise they check the accreditation status of the provider with UKAS, and that they display the kite mark for the LITO (Laboratory Testing Industry Organisation).”

For passengers who think they might have symptoms of Covid on arrival, Kinane advised they order a PCR test.

He said: “PCR tests are the gold standard, and it is advisable that anyone with symptoms while abroad get a PCR test immediately and before their return home.

“A PCR will highlight even the smallest trace of the Covid virus, and through laboratory testing, identify whether the virus is a new variant. Anyone testing positive must quarantine immediately.”

British tourists are advised to think ahead when it comes to booking tests for their return from holiday.

Kinane said: “Prior to travel you must fill in a passenger locator form with the test details that you have booked- these are provided by the testing company.

“You must have an arrivals test booked before you start your journey back to the UK.”

Tourists should also check the entry requirements for their destination on the Government website before travel.

From November 1, all seven countries currently on the red list will be removed and hotel quarantine will be scrapped.

The Government has said the red list will remain an option if restrictions need to be brought in to protect public health.

Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Pamama will all be removed from the red list on November 1. 

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COVID-19: Travel rules relaxed as cheaper lateral flow tests replace PCRs from today | Travel News

Coronavirus travel rules have been relaxed for those returning to England, allowing fully vaccinated holidaymakers to take cheaper lateral flow tests instead of PCRs.

The new rules came into force at 4am, just in time for the half-term holidays.

They mean people arriving in England from a non-red list country can use a lateral flow test instead of the more expensive PCR on or before day two.

However, the lateral flows must be purchased from a private provider – not those provided by NHS Test and Trace for everyday domestic use.

Everything you need to know as COVID travel rules change again

British Airways planes are seen at Heathrow Terminal 5 in London, Britain May 27, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Travellers returning to England are able to use lateral flow tests from Sunday

It follows backlash from members of the travel industry, who suggested the costly PCR tests were putting people off flying to non-red list countries.

There are 24 private providers for people to book lateral flow tests from listed on the coronavirus website, with prices ranging from £19 to £39.

According to the Department for Health, passengers need to send a photo of their test result to the private provider – travellers who fail to do so could be fined £1,000.

Anyone who tests positive will need to isolate and take a free PCR test from the NHS to confirm the result.

People travelling on to the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man in the 10 days after their arrival will need to follow the rules for testing and quarantine in those countries.

Lateral flow tests can be carried out at home
Lateral flow tests must be bought from a private provider

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “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.

“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.”

Grant Shapps says requirements for lateral flow tests instead of PCRs should be in place for travellers by October half term
Grant Shapps hailed the UK’s vaccine rollout

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps added: “The change in rules for post-arrival tests will give passengers more options and faster results, just in time for many half-term holidays.

“It’s thanks to the success of our vaccination programme that we can make this switch, giving the industry and consumers a much-needed boost.”

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “Testing and self-isolating if you are positive remain crucial steps to managing the pandemic and stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

“It is also critical that those who have positive lateral flow tests when returning to England go on to get this checked through a NHS test and trace PCR. This way we can continue to monitor new variants and stay on top of the virus.”

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Cheapest lateral flow travel test – Government approved list in full | Travel News | Travel

The Government has unveiled its list of “approved” COVID-19 lateral flow test providers two days before the latest travel testing update is due to come into force. The aim of the new “simplified” system is to offer “lower-cost” tests to those who have been fully vaccinated according to Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps.

What are the rules for day two lateral flow tests?

Testing requirements will change for fully vaccinated UK arrivals from October 25.

The new rules will also apply to arrivals from “eligible” countries such as the European Union (EU) and the US.

According to the Government, under the new rules “eligible fully vaccinated passengers and those with an approved vaccine from a select group of non-red countries will be able to replace their day two test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England.”

Prior to this, fully vaccinated arrivals were still required to book and pay for a day two PCR test, often costing upwards of £50.

READ MORE: The top 10 countries that offer the best expat opportunities exposed

Tests must be pre-booked and purchased from a testing provider included o. n the Government’s “approved” list.

Anyone who tests positive using a lateral flow test will be required to self-isolate and take an additional PCR test at no additional cost.

This PCR test will be provided by the NHS and will be delivered to the traveller’s home.

Anyone who received an inconclusive result will also be required to self-isolate.

Testing for unvaccinated passengers from non-red countries will continue to include pre-departure tests, day two and day eight PCR tests. Test to release on day five remains an option for those who want to reduce their quarantine period.

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Which company currently provides the cheapest lateral flow tests based on the “approved” list?

The Government has updated its list of “approved” providers under the new lateral flow testing scheme.

However, it notes this list may continue to be updated.

According to, they are still working to “bring the site fully online.”

Based on the Government’s current list, a firm named PeopleBio offer the cheapest day two lateral flow test costing £18.

This is a self swab to take at home.

But travel expert Paul Charles has warned Britons to do their research and be savvy before selecting the cheapest options they can find.

He said: “It’s vital to shop around and choose a low-cost but bona fide provider.”

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Travel UK news live: Covid lateral flow tests go on sale ahead of PCR switch, with prices from £1

Lateral flow tests, also known as antigen tests, have become available to pre-order ahead of the switch from PCR tests for vaccinated travellers, permitted from Sunday.

The change was announced by the UK government on 14 October, and planned to happen in time for families returning from half-term holidays in the next two weeks.

The government website lists suppliers with prices starting as low as £1. But research by The Independent shows the cheapest tests are accompanied by onerous terms and conditions. In all cases when clicking through, travellers are presented initially with much more expensive options.

In other news, Australia has confirmed several steps towards its reopening to international travel – most significantly, the state of Victoria has announced that it will scrap quarantine for vaccinated international arrivals from 1 November.

The country is planning to open only to Singapore in a “travel bubble” arrangement initially, then to further countries in Asia and Australasia before Christmas.

Follow the latest travel news below:


Simon Calder answers this week’s biggest travel questions

At this stage of October, the travel correspondent of The Independent is usually to be found in his private compartment travelling east over the central section of the Trans-Siberian railway in eastern Russia, en route to Ulan Bator ahead of the nationwide celebrations on 25 October of Mongolian Republic Day.

This year he has instead chosen to venture no further east than Ulan-Ude – where the Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian lines diverge – and this afternoon found time to respond to readers’ urgent travel questions for an hour.

Whether you have concerns about proof of vaccination, the likelihood of more travel bans or individual destination rules, Simon Calder is likely to have the answers.

Lucy Thackray22 October 2021 16:24


Australia announces steps towards reopening to international travel

Australia has announced further steps towards reopening to international travel.

The state of Victoria – home to the city of Melbourne and the Yarra Valley wine region – announced today that it will scrap quarantine for fully vaccinated arrivals from 1 November.

The Australian prime minister Scott Morrison also announced that the country is planning a “travel bubble” air corridor with vaccinated Singaporeans, with plans coming into effect as soon as next week.

Mr Morrison said that the Australian government was in the “final stages of concluding an arrangement with the Singapore government” ahead of the plans.

“We anticipate that being able to be achieved within the next week or so, as we would open up to more visa class holders coming out of Singapore, we will see that occur,” he added.

Lucy Thackray22 October 2021 15:00


It’s opening up – but is the world ready for us?

As some of the UK’s great travel firms have told me during the Covid crisis, it is tougher to take apart a holiday than to put one together. In particular, companies offering multinational itineraries face multiple problems.

“The world isn’t ready for us yet,” says Charlie Hopkinson of Dragoman – an overland adventure firm with an excellent reputation. Attempting to take a truckload of people from a dozen nations, each with a different vaccination status, across a series of international frontiers is fraught with hazard.

He has shrewdly decided to put the firm into temporary hibernation. In the coming months Charlie’s team will set about rescuing the overland trucks scattered far and wide across South America, Africa and Asia. As international barriers started to clatter shut, these specialist vehicles had to be abandoned while tour leaders hurried their passengers to the nearest airport.

Lucy Thackray22 October 2021 14:18


Scotland’s bike-friendly trains are ripe for adventure

As UK travel remains admin-free and appealing, and many looker for greener modes of transport, Scotland’s new bike-friendly trains are inspiring adventurous travel closer to home, writes Robin McKelvie.

Mercifully, the nightmares of train travel with a bike are in the past on the Glasgow-Oban line, thanks to the green shoots of Britain’s first dedicated cycle carriages; a new sustainable artery into Argyll’s mountain and ocean-sparkled network of cycling trails.

Real thought – and design (the striking exterior is the work of Scottish artist Peter McDermott) – has gone into the ‘Highland Explorer’ carriages, with a wide passageway either side of racks holding up to 20 cycles. There are 24 seats too – for a small supplement you get a trail map table, snack box and hot drink, though you avoid the supplement sitting elsewhere.

Lucy Thackray22 October 2021 13:40


How does the new lateral flow tests system work?

From Sunday, vaccinated travellers into the UK (and some unvaccinated under 18s) can book a cheaper lateral flow or antigen test around travel, rather than the more costly PCRs.

Privately manufactured lateral flow test kits are now available to book, with the UK government publishing an approved list on the website.

In terms of travel out of the UK, several countries also allow an antigen test result as part of their entry requirements, so the newly-vetted private lateral flow tests could also be used for this function.

However, this varies from destination to destination, so please check individual travel advice for each trip to ensure an antigen test is appropriate.

But how does the new travel testing system work, and what does this mean for unvaccinated passengers?

Here’s everything we know:

Lucy Thackray22 October 2021 12:45


Ask Simon Calder your travel questions before 1pm

Concerned about what Morocco’s ban on the UK means for other holiday destinations? Want a steer on what may chance in next week’s travel update?

The Independent’s travel expert Simon Calder will be on hand to answer your travel questions at 1pm today.

Whether it’s advice on trips booked or in the works for this autumn and winter, long-range predictions for the travel industry or something entirely different, Simon will do his best to answer as many of you queries as he can between 1 and 2pm.

Submit your questions in the comments section of this article:

Lucy Thackray22 October 2021 12:20


Antigen tests from as little as £1 – but what’s the catch?

Travellers returning to England from abroad are now able to book cheaper lateral flow tests rather than PCRs. For fully vaccinated international arrivals from Sunday 24 October, the cost of the so-called “day two” test for travellers is set to fall.

Announcing the change, the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “Taking away expensive mandatory PCR testing will boost the travel industry and is a major step forward in normalising international travel and encouraging people to book holidays with confidence.”

The government website lists suppliers with prices starting as low as £1. But research by The Independent shows the cheapest tests are accompanied by onerous terms and conditions. In all cases when clicking through, travellers are presented initially with much more expensive options.

Simon Calder22 October 2021 12:01


Good morning

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s liveblog, where we’ll be sharing all the latest updates.

Lucy Thackray22 October 2021 11:58

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Travel rule change delayed by lateral flow test shortage

“Travellers need a testing system they can rely on, meaning that tests are easy to access, affordable, and that they will receive a reliable service from their provider. The government must ensure that any changes to the system – including replacing PCR tests with lateral flow tests – ensure this”.

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Covid travel tests – what to expect from PCR, lateral flow and Lamp versions

Holidaymakers will require proof of a negative Covid test – even if they have had both doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Many countries demand a negative Covid-19 test result from incoming travellers with each nation setting its own rules on the sort of check it will accept – PCR, lateral flow or Lamp..

Tests search for the virus in the system or evidence that a person has already had it.

Most popular test is the PCR – polymerase chain reaction – variety. Other accepted versions are the antigen lateral flow test, which are cheaper and quick, or the Lamp, that are also relatively rapid.

This is what the tests involve:

PCR Test

Throat swab

A doctor or nurse will carry out the test, that will involve a swab inserted into the throat and nose.

To take a swab from the throat the clinician will ask the patient to sit upright and tilt their head back.

You need to open your mouth and stick out your tongue with the clinician pressing down on the patient’s tongue.

They will then gently rub a swab at the back of the throat and mouth on both sides. It won’t hurt but may be a little uncomfortable.

Nasal swab

The patient will be asked to blow and clear their nose before the swab is taken.

You will need to sit up straight and tilt the head back. The swab will be inserted into the nostrils and be pushed gently towards the back of the nose.

The clinician will then place a finger on the tip of your nose and press slightly before easing the swab further inside.

It will not hurt but may be a bit uncomfortable.The swab will then be removed, placed in a tube and sent off for testing.

People carry out lateral flow antigen tests
People carry out lateral flow antigen tests

Antigen (Lateral flow) Test

This is the test that has been used by students and school pupils in England.

It also involves a swab inserted into the back of the throat and/or the top of the nostrils. Results are prodiced within 30 minutes.

Lateral flow devices are effective at finding people with high viral loads who are most infectious and most likely to transmit the virus to others.

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Lamp Test

The full title is loop-mediated isothermal amplification test, which uses similar swabs, or more comfortably – a saliva sample.

For anyone returning to the UK, a test before departure is required. Most varieties are acceptable, including lateral flow and Lamp.

However, after arrival, pre-booked tests are mandatory from all travellers from overseas.

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