How to get a PCR Test for Travel in 2021
As part of the UK government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on 18th January 2021, it was announced that you must stay at home and all travel abroad is only allowed if you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.
As a result, if you intend to travel to or from the UK, regardless of whether or not you are a UK national, you must provide certification of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. Failure to comply (and without a valid exemption) is likely to result in your airline or carrier refusing to allow you to board and/or you may be fined on arrival.
For more information on the UK government’s rules on international travel click here.
What type of COVID-19 test should I get?
The PCR Swab Test is established as the gold standard of COVID tests. At the time of writing, very few countries accept anything other than the PCR test. It is for this reason that we only offer the RT PCR COVID-19 test. Therefore, if you are required to travel internationally for a legally permitted reason, it is essential that you book a PCR test with a trusted provider, such as Fit for Flying.
What evidence will I be provided with as proof for travel?
Fit for Flying provide you with the result of you RT-PCR test coupled with our Fit for Fly certificate, which meets the requirements for international travel. The timing of the sample will be displayed on your certificate and so it is of paramount importance that you schedule your test within the 72-hour window prior to departure, and that you are aware of postage timing.
The POSITIVE/NEGATIVE result of the COVID-19 RT PCR test is emailed to you within 8, 12 or 24 hours of receiving your sample dependent upon the test package purchased. You should print this out and have it with you ready for travel.
Free 24-hour Royal Mail tracked postage is included with every COVID-19 RT PCR test issued by Fit for Flying for you to send your sample to the laboratory. It is your responsibility to ensure that the sample is returned via Royal Mail Priority Postbox before the last collection time.
For additional guidance on exactly when you should book your test click here.
How should I book my test?
Booking your test is quick and easy – just click here.
Simply select the speed of time you would like your result within and select the number of tests you would like to be sent. It is important to note that you will need one test per person travelling.
Add the item(s) to your cart and follow the instructions for payment.
When entering your email address please be careful to check the address you provided is accurate and for an account that you have immediate access to. This is the email address that Fit for Fling will use to issue you with your COVID-19 RT PCR test result within your chosen time frame.
Tax is included on all purchase prices.
The, sit back and relax. Your test will be with you shortly – it really is that simple!
How do I take my test?
It is recommended that you follow Public Health England’s advice on how to complete your PCR test when it arrives. To watch a video demonstrating how to carry out your test click here.
There is also a copy of the instructions included in your test kit. Click here to view them.
Summary of steps:
- Open the sab kit stick end first DO NOT open the kit swab end first. If you do open the kit swab end first an inconclusive test might be drawn when you send it to the lab. In the event that this happens, you will not be certified to fly and you will need to be retested.
- Use a mirror and rub the swab on the back of your throat around the tonsils 5 times. If you have had your tonsils removed, do this where your tonsils would have been.
It is vital that you do not touch your teeth or tongue with the swab whilst doing this.
- Using the same swab, you must insert it up the left nostril of your nose until you feel resistance. Then turn the swab five times.
It is vital that you do not touch any other part of your face with the swab whilst doing this.
Now insert the swab up the right nostril of your nose until you feel resistance and repeat step 3.
- Unscrew the cap of the sample tube and insert the swab fabric-end first into the tube.
Snap off the end of the stick that is extending out of the tube by bending it at the break point.
Screw the cap on the sample tube and ensure that it is tight.
- Place the barcode label over the length of the tube.
- Place your test back in the delivery box and ensure that is correctly labelled to be returned to the Fit for Flying lab for testing.
- Post your sample back to the Fit for Flying lab via your nearest Royal Mail Priority Postboxbefore the last collection time.
The POSITIVE/NEGATIVE result of the COVID-19 RT PCR TEST and certificate will be issued to you via the email address when purchasing the test that you provided within 8, 12 or 24 hours of receiving your sample dependent upon the test package purchased.
Is there anything else I should know?
It is important to note that as of 18th January 2021, the UK government announced that you must stay at home and all travel abroad is only allowed if you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes. If you travel for an illegal purpose you could face a fine of up to £10,000.