COVID-19 PCR tests now available on arrival into England at some airports

Mar 11, 2021

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Arrivals into England now have a new, cheaper option when planning their two mandatory COVID-19 PCR tests to take during their mandatory 10-day quarantine.

The tests will be available immediately after landing at select airports thanks to Collinson — the first private provider to offer the tests.

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From Thursday, airlines, as well as Border Force officials, are permitted to accept Passenger Locator Forms (PLF) filled out with a unique Collinson customer reference code. PLF’s must be completed before checking in for a flight to England.

The tests will be available to pre-book only for passengers arriving into East Midlands (EMA), Heathrow (LHR), London City (LCY), Luton (LTN), Manchester (MAN) or Stansted (STN).

The first test on arrival into England is classed as the “Day 2 or before” test. The second “Day 8 or before” test must be also be carried out by Collinson. The package of two tests costs £198 — £12 cheaper than the NHS alternative.

Related: Government details stricter quarantine measures, hotel quarantine to cost £1,750

Those who would prefer to not take a Collinson test at the airport also have the option of visiting the firm’s drive-through facility at London’s O2 Arena.

We first heard of at-airport testing by Collinson back in October, but this was for departing passengers only. The firm has since been given the government go-ahead to launch its new testing option for arriving passengers.

“This green light today makes us the only provider who can offer testing as soon as the passenger arrives at the airport — from day zero,” said David Evans, Joint CEO of Collinson. “And it means we can help alleviate some of the burden from the NHS, which is currently the only organisation running the mandatory testing for arrivals.”

As per the current government guidelines, all arrivals into the U.K. must self-isolate for 10 days. Additionally, there are stricter regulations in place from arrivals from the travel ban list. Arrivals from the 33 countries in question must quarantine in government-approved hotels. Finally, all passengers have to take two tests in quarantine — on days two and eight.

England’s Test to Release scheme was introduced in December is also still an option, however, this has now largely been made redundant given the mandatory testing on days two and eight of quarantining.

Featured image by Bertrand Guay/Getty Images

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