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Covid-19 testing before and after your holiday

Last updated Thursday 17th March 2022

Travelling to Latin America

Many Latin American countries require visitors to take a Covid-19 test (usually a PCR) within 48-72hrs of arrival, and present a negative result to enter the country. If you are transiting through another country, such as changing planes in Europe, Latin America or the US, additional requirements are also likely for both your outbound and return flights. Please visit our Covid Destination Information page for the current entry requirements and other essential resources.

We strongly advise travelling with proof of full vaccination against Covid-19. Even where this is not a requirement for entry, it may be needed to access places of interest, accommodation and restaurants and avoid further testing throughout your holiday. If you are not fully vaccinated, local restrictions may significantly impact your holiday. Regulations continue to evolve, particularly for the non-vaccinated, and changes are likely between the time of booking and travel.

Returning to England

From March 18th 2022 travellers will no longer be required to complete a Passenger Locator Form or take a Covid-19 test to enter England. This applies to all nationalities and ages whether vaccinated or unvaccinated against Covid-19.

If you are flying via another country on your return journey to England you should check the entry requirements with the relevant local authorities as some countries do still require proof of a negative Covid-19 test result, of vaccination status and the completion of a Passenger Locator Form prior to boarding.

Different rules may apply for travel to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Top tips from our travel experts WHERE COVID-19 TESTING IS REQUIRED

  1. Check carefully which test is required to ensure you book the one which meets your needs; some destinations insist on a PCR rather than a LAMP or antigen (lateral flow) test and the pre-departure window in which the test must be taken can vary by destination.
  2. Most providers offer both in-clinic tests (where the tests are administered by health professionals) and home testing kits. Where possible we strongly recommend you arrange an administered test in order to minimise the risk of an inconclusive or incorrect test result. Indeed, some destinations will not accept self-administered tests.
  3. Most countries require visitors to take their PCR test within 48-72hrs of arrival. If you decide to use a home testing kit, where possible we recommend avoiding services that rely on Royal Mail due to the potential for postal delays.
  4. Book your tests well in advance of when it is required, particularly during peak periods when in-clinic testing availability may be limited.

Covid-19 testing providers

There are many government approved private providers of coronavirus testing so we have compiled a list of providers our staff and previous travellers have been happy to recommend:

Randox Health provides clinician-administered Fit to Fly PCR tests with certificates from £50 at testing centres in Heathrow, Stanstead and Manchester airports as well as London (Waterloo, Clapham Junction, Kensington High Street, Liverpool Street), Liverpool, Castle Donington, Glasgow, Dublin and Belfast. They aim to deliver results by midnight the day after your test. They also offer both same day and 3hr express PCR services at their testing centres as well as home-testing kits (from £43). Visit www.randoxhealth.com for more details.

Journey Latin America clients benefit from a 10% on their Covid-19 tests. Just add the discount code AITO43 at checkout.

Nomad Travel Clinics provides clinician-administered Fit to Fly PCR tests with certificates from £115 at their London (Liverpool Street, Bond Street & Turnpike Lane), Manchester, Bristol and Cardiff city centre clinics with results guaranteed within 48 hrs. A more expensive same day service is also available as are home testing kits (from £43). Conveniently, Nomad Travel clinic also offer other essential travel vaccinations as well as products for sale such as antiviral sanitiser and face masks. Visit www.nomadtravel.co.uk/travel-clinic for more details.

Journey Latin America clients benefit from a 10% discount on Nomad Travel Clinic services. You can book online or over the phone. Payment is made in person at the time of the appointment. Quote AITO10 to have the discount applied.

ExpressTest provide clinician-administered Fit to Fly PCR tests with certificates from £59 at 32 locations across the UK including Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, and Edinbburgh airports and city centre locations in Bristol, Cardiff, Southampton, London, Oxford, Northampton, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast. They aim to deliver results by 10pm the day after your test. A 3hr express PCR service is also available at selected sites. Bookings must be made online. Visit www.expresstest.co.uk/book-a-test/testing-centres for further details.

Journey Latin America clients benefit from a small discount by entering discount voucher code AITO21 at checkout.

Wren Healthcare provides in-clinic supervised self-administered Fit to Fly PCR tests with certificates from £99. Results are delivered the day after your test, by 6:30pm (9:30pm Sundays). There are clinics in Buckhurst Hill (Essex), Chiswick, Orpington, Dartford, Sandwich (Kent), Cobham (Surrey) and Southampton. Visit www.wrenhealthcare.co.uk/covid-19-pcr-testing/ for more details.

Eurofins provide Fit to Fly PCR tests with certificates from £39.90 via their drive-through stations (self-administered), sampling stations (supervised self-administered) and home-testing kits (self-administered, unsupervised). Results are provided within 12-48hrs depending on the chosen service Visit https://www.traveltesting.eurofins.co.uk/tes-to-depart to check the nationwide sampling sites and drop box locations and for further information.

Sofitel Heathrow (Terminal 5) and Sofitel Gatwick (North Terminal) hotels are offering special ‘Test & Rest’ packages, whereby you can take a self-administered Covid-19 test included in the price of your stay. Tests are couriered overnight to ensure results are available the next day. The package includes a room, breakfast and one test kit per guest, although walk-in travellers with no reservation can also purchase a test.

Boots offer in-store clinician-administered Fit to Fly PCR tests from £79, with results and certificate provided in 48 hours. Other services on offer include travel vaccinations and the sale of PPE. PCR testing is available at 37 selected stores nationwide. For more details visit www.boots.com/covid-19-testing-service.

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