Going on holiday last summer included quarantine roulette, as countries were dramatically added or taken off naughty lists for Brits returning home.
As if that wasn’t fun enough, the summer of 2021 added a whole new level to the game: COVID test roulette, which seems like the government is on the verge of simplification today.
If the shake-up comes, it would be wise to focus on what we want out of testing, because the system that requires people to be tested, but not using the abundance of free NHS testing we have in the UK Can do, that sounds strange.
Sadly, any move would be too late for families who paid hundreds of pounds for tests to go on vacation over the summer, but it wasn’t just the financial costs that were the problem, it’s working. Was what you needed and who you could trust.
Traveling in the summer meant playing a game of COVID test roulette as vacationers tried to figure out what they needed and which providers they could trust.
The game went like this: Have you navigate your way through a maze of testing requirements for different countries when you return to the UK, get the right ones before you go, find out if your kids need them, and choose a provider who will. Will you actually get your certificates when you need them?
Did you need a PCR or lateral flow to leave the country, can you choose the right test, get results on time, avoid bursts, get the right test to come back, and what? You need another day and a day 8 PCR, and a day 5 test to release one?
These are all fun questions you can ask yourself as you peruse endless Gov.uk and foreign countries web pages, sifting through test providers, and mentally wondering how much it’s going to cost. is, wondering where you’ll slip
This came in addition to Quarantine Roulette, which this year came with color coded levels – these could change for added fun or a new one could be invented – and the ultimate booby prize of ten nights in a quarantine hotel.
It’s been really tough this year for some European sunshine to escape Britain’s depressing heat, somewhat disappointing, given that vaccines weren’t even invented this time last year, while now about 80 percent They both have coronavirus jabs in the adult population. .
But, I think in a way it makes sense. This time last year many thought we were out of the woods and we weren’t, now we know more about the variants, and the memory of the brutal second wave and harsh January lockdown is fresh in people’s minds.
A visit to Amber-listed Portugal for a family of four with two double-pocketed adults included lateral flow tests for dropping and returning adults and PCR for the second day at home.
Curiously, the government once again delivered a piece of confusing public policy and then backtracked on private enterprise to dissuade and rinse the people.
We are told time and again that the UK has the best COVID testing capacity in the world. And it sounds true: unlike in the early days of the pandemic, it’s much easier to get tested for coronavirus these days.
Many of us have boxes of free lateral flow tests that the government provides and PCR tests are easy to get.
A lateral flow test result is almost instant and the NHS will usually get your PCR test result back in a day or so.
Yet, despite this redundancy of testing capacity, you are not allowed to use NHS tests to travel.
If you rock up with an NHS text or test result on your app at an airport in the UK, the airline has been told not to let you fly, and when you return to the country you will have to wait at least a day 2 Will have to book. PCR test in advance with a private provider.
Several private companies have stepped in to breach: some providing great service and some not; Some charge reasonably and some charge what appears to be highly inflated prices.
And it’s up to you not only to fork a small fortune on the tests – hopefully you’ve read the rules right – but to figure out which of these providers to trust.
Ember List Testing and Travel: What’s Included?
Portugal is on the Amber List, which has the same UK return requirements for each country.
However, different countries may have different requirements for Britons.
In our case it was a lateral flow test 48 hours before arriving in Portugal.
On return we needed no more than 72 hours of lateral flow testing before landing back in the UK and then a day 2 PCR.
So, how did it all work? We booked tests on the website of Qured, where there was a menu for fit to fly, return to fly and different day PCR tests.
We needed to book a video appointment for a lateral flow test for my wife to go back to Portugal and the UK, where we were connected with one of the company representatives who tested us and then to give us time to write Said, the date and a reference number on the test cassette.
Then after 15 minutes we had to send a photo of it next to our passport.
We heaved a sigh of relief as our tests came back negative and then another when a few hours later we were fit to issue a certificate confirming this.
Overall, it was relatively simple and good service.
On the second day of our stay at home, our PCR tests arrived and the four of us did one. They were sent back on Friday and on Tuesday afternoon the results of two of us came but the other two did not get it till Wednesday.
You don’t need to be isolated while waiting for the PCR results. (And I had a lateral flow test at work the day after I got back anyway.)
We also needed proof of our dual vaccination status to fly and to fill out passenger locator forms online for both Portugal and the UK.
The UK required a reference number proof that we had day 2 PCR tests booked.
Documents were checked by EasyJet’s check in staff – we checked in a suitcase, so it was done…