Travel this Summer and potential PCR testing for return to UK

At present it has not been disclosed by the UK what testing (if any) will be required by people following travel abroad before they return to the UK.

It can be surmised sometime in early Summer travel corridors will be opened probably with a traffic light system similar to last year and dependent on level, conditions will be made on people both ways.

Greece has gone a long way down this path and stated entry will be allowed for everyone with either;

  • Vaccination certificate (still to be determined how this will be proved )
  • Negative PCR test
  • Covid antibodies ( having had the virus)

and

  • Passenger locator form

The UK requirements for returning are unknown at present but it is possible that it might include negative PCR testing for some people.

In Greece as in the UK PCR testing has been a business set up quickly to cope with domestic demand for testing residents which this Summer may also be required by some tourist, here are some headlines to consider should you require this service.

  • Greece introduced a law which capped PCR testing at €60 which is directly applicable to Greek citizens and long term residents.
  • Some companies may if the marketplace allows and/or they can differentiate their service charge tourists more. 
  • It is essential YOU check the specification of the test with the laboratory you use aligns with the requirements for re-entry to the UK (at present) this is as follows;
    • The test must meet performance standards of ≥97% specificity, ≥80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml.

      This could include tests such as:

      • a nucleic acid test, including a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or derivative technologies, including loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) tests
      • an antigen test, such as a test from a lateral flow device

      It’s your responsibility to ensure the test meets the minimum standards for sensitivity, specificity and viral load details. You must check with your test provider that it meets those standards.

      You may not be able to travel if the test does not meet these standards. It’s your responsibility to ensure you get the right test that meets the above requirements.

 

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