Travel is "opening up" but for most people, myself included, the prospect of all the forms, tests and hoops to jump through all seems overwhelming.
I did a post talking you through the passenger locator / day 2 and 8 process a few weeks ago, go and have a read through if you haven't already. You can find it here https://www.jetsetgypsea.com/post/drama-at-the-airport
There have been some changes in the last few days and I wanted to go over them along with my most recent experience of travelling into the UK from Spain.
Let's start with the test providers listed on the gov.uk website. By law when travelling into the UK from any country whether it be Green or Amber, whether you are fully vaccinated or not you MUST have some kind of return testing pre booked and it MUST be from a company on the government approved list.
Whilst this system is quite blatently the perfect cocktail of racketeering and price fixing with a dash of insider trading to boot, there is no way around it, but there are some things you should know about the pricing.
The list of government approved services is supposed to be presented in ascending price order. It looks simple, and, at a first glance, quite hopeful, pricewise with the first with www.123tests.co.uk at an amazing £27. It's hard to work out how they came to this number because the actual price for the day 2 and 8 testing on their site is £150.
I won't bore you with the price inaccuracies of the next 12 companies but the prices advertised vary between £30 and £70 and the actual prices ranged between £130 and £250.The actual cheapest price is from www.dantelabs.co.uk . The price advertised on the government website stands at £84, refreshingly the exact same price you can buy it for!
I have used Dante before and found their results to be frustratingly slow but if you are planning on enduring the full ten day quarantine anyway it doesn't really matter and all you really need is the reference number for your passenger locator form.
From 4am on Monday July 19th you no longer need to quarantine when flying into England from Amber List countries if you have been double vaccinated. Your vaccine must have been administered by the NHS and must have been in the UK. You do still need to have a negative test before you fly and have pre booked a day 2 test from a provider on the goverment list.
Children under 18 will not have to isolate when returning to England. Children aged 4 and under will continue to be exempt from any travel testing. Children aged 5 to 10 will only need to do a day 2 PCR and 11 to 18 year olds will need to take both a pre-departure test and a day 2 PCR.
I talked to you guys about the level of security and paperwork checks when I flew into London Stanstead in May. Every single passenger had every inch of their paperwork checked, tests, locator forms, documents. On Tuesday I flew into Manchester airport and had quite the opposite experience. Despite multiple signs promising otherwise, I walked through passport control without a single person looking at my covid test or other documents. I didn't see any other passengers having paperwork checked either. This was surprising and shows just how much entry varies depending on where you fly into!
As always please do take two mins if you have them to comment and let other readers know about testing services you have found to be great (or terrible), with companies buying fake reviews word of mouth seems to be the only good way of finding out info in this area.
For fit to fly I can personally recommend https://www.collinsongroup.com/en/covid-19-testing who have testing available in airports, I have also heard great things about www.Boots.com PCR services.
I massive no from me was Assured Screening who were apalling, I received my fit to fly certificate from them almost a week after my flight landed and it was only because Collison testing in the airport saved my skin that I got on the flight at all. Assured Screening refused to refund me and I would hate for anyone else to go through the same stress I did because of them.
I'll keep updating you with changes as they come. Good luck and passports at the ready my loves!
Ciao Bye for now!