FROM TODAY, NEW ENTRY RULES for British travellers come into force for fully vaccinated people returning to the UK from Spain, including the relaxation of pre-departure testing and cheaper testing. But where can you buy the cheapest day 2 tests in the UK?
Cheaper lateral flow antigen tests can now be used for the legally mandated Day 2 test to satisfy UK Government rules for entry to the country. Previously, the more expensive RT-PCR diagnostic tests were the only accepted testing method for returning UK residents.
Crucially, the UK Government has abandoned the requirement for a pre-departure test before arriving in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, meaning that fully vaccinated people completing a return journey between the UK and Spain will require just a single inexpensive test.
The new rules for pre-departure testing enter into force from today, with the change to testing requirements following on Sunday:
- From 04:00 GMT on Friday 7th January 2022 fully vaccinated British travellers and under-18s will no longer need to take a pre-departure test two days before travelling to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. On arrival, they will have to take a PCR test but won´t have to self-isolate while awaiting the result.
- And from 04:00 GMT on Sunday 9th January 2022 arrivals in the UK will only have to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test on day two. This test must be bought from a private testing centre, free NHS tests won´t be permitted.
- Unvaccinated passengers will need to continue to provide a pre-departure test before travelling to the UK, PCR tests on day two and day eight, and to self-isolate for 10-days upon arrival.
Fully vaccinated UK travellers benefit from cheaper travel testing
The Welsh Government has reluctantly agreed to introduce identical measures, although the authorities are still advising people not to travel overseas unless it is essential, despite the amended regulations.
The Northern Ireland Executive has also adopted the new health protocol aligning with the new rules in England, and the Scottish Government announced changes to its entry requirements just this morning.
The relaxation of testing requirements applies only to fully vaccinated people returning to the UK. Arrivals must have had a complete course of a recognised vaccine at least 14 days before entering the country.
“Fully vaccinated” means that inbound travellers must have completed a course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before arriving in the UK.
Accepted vaccines are those produced by Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen (or formulations of the vaccines in the relevant countries such as AstraZeneca Covishield), and administered in the UK, in Spain, or any other country in the EU.
Passengers returning from Spain who are not fully vaccinated with an authorised vaccine must still take a local pre-departure test in Spain, a PCR test on Day 2 and Day 8, and complete 10 days of self-isolation (with the option of “Test to Release” for residents of England).
Completing the UK Passenger Location Form (PLF) remains mandatory
Under the new system, returning UK residents still need to complete the obligatory Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before travel.
Before travellers commence their return journey to the UK, passengers must book and pay for their Day 2 test and enter the unique purchase code or booking reference on their PLF before they fly.
The rapid antigen lateral flow antigen test must be administered within the first two days after arrival in the UK, but crucially, simpler digital verification of the results is now permitted, meaning it won't always be necessary to post or courier samples back to a laboratory.
British residents can still opt for more expensive PCR testing if they prefer, but free NHS tests cannot be used to facilitate international travel.
The UK Government has published a list of approved testing centres and private test providers authorised to provide LFT and antigen testing for return UK travel. We've compiled suggestions and recommendations from members of the La Zenia Community Facebook group, to bring you this list of the cheapest Day 2 test suppliers.
The cheapest Day 2 tests for return UK travel, available now
These tests are suitable for arrivals into the UK from Spain for travellers who have been fully vaccinated by the NHS, or vaccinated as part of an EU or global vaccination programme approved by the UK Government.
These are the cheapest day 2 tests recommended by our group members. Click each one to visit the test supplier's website for more information:
C19 Testing | £22.00
Self-administered Day 2 self-swab rapid antigen lateral flow test. Simple online process, DPD next day delivery, and verified results emailed within 12 hours. UK Government listed, immediate delivery of PLF booking reference number.
Chronomics | £18.99
Private self-administered Day 2 Healgen rapid antigen test. Priority postage included in the price, online registration and results within 30 minutes. UK Government listed, compatible with IBM Digital Health Pass and Verifly apps.
Expert Medicals | £15.00
Self-administered at-home Day 2 testing package. UK despatch in 1-5 working days, price includes Royal Mail Tracked-24 return of the completed sample. Please note: at the time of publication this supplier is not currently UK Government listed.
Lateral/Bio | £15.00
Unsupervised self-administered at-home Day 2 lateral flow test. Reference number for the UK Passenger Locator Form emailed within 24 hours. Digital photo upload with results by email. UK Government listed (registered as PeploBio).
Cheapest day 2 tests and private LFT test providers for flying back to the UK
Living Care | £19.99
Private self-administered at-home Day 2 lateral flow antigen test. Self-swab testing with digital photo upload of the result online. Test kits are dispatched by Royal Mail Special Delivery within 48 working hours of online ordering.
Nationwide Pathology | £14.99
One of the cheapest day 2 tests for fully vaccinated travellers, complete with instructions. Royal Mail First class post included in the price, kits despatched same working day. Test results via email and UK Government listed.
Randox | £21.50
Day 2 lateral flow self-administered at-home test. Randox CertiFly mobile app compatible testing. Price includes UK delivery, but only available with a purchase coupon code, and showing as “Coming Soon” on the Randox website at the date of publication.
Simply Test Me | £12.00
Day 2 lateral flow test with online result validation. Passenger Locator Form (PLF) reference number issued immediately upon checkout and via e-mail. Please note: at the time of publication this supplier is not currently UK Government listed.
Testing For All | £17.00
Self-administered at-home Day 2 lateral flow test. A photo of the completed test must be uploaded for verification. UK Government listed, certification typically issued within 5 business hours. Price includes tracked UK next-day delivery.
Where can I get a cheap day 2 lateral flow antigen test for return UK travel?
This article provides aggregated information only from public sources available on the internet. Recommendations were based on existing recommendations from members of the La Zenia Community Facebook Group. Details and prices have been reviewed and verified as correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
Claims made about products in this article were taken from the websites of the testing providers. The performance of the tests or testing providers is solely the responsibility of the companies providing these products.
LaZenia.com does not recommend or advocate any particular test provider, nor are we affiliated with a testing centre. It´s important that you do your own research (for example, read reviews) about available providers, the tests they supply, and their terms and conditions before you commit to a purchase.
Looking for holiday ideas and travel inspiration? Find out more about our favourite recommended things to do on the Orihuela Costa or join the La Zenia community Facebook group and find out what's going on in the local area.
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