COVID-19 testing before you travel
Many of our favourite holiday destinations will soon be welcoming back travellers to their sunny shores once more. Although you might now find that some destinations require you to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, or a printed or digital ‘Fit to Fly’ certificate to be shown upon arrival. Additionally, the government has announced that anyone returning home from abroad must take a test within two days of returning to the UK.
COVID-19 tests can vary in cost depending on which test you need to complete for your destination, and your testing options can also vary depending on your location in the UK – so it’s always best to do your research before you book your appointment. To get you started, we’ve outlined the options available to you below, with a little more info on what to expect from each one.
Entry requirements change frequently and vary from country to country. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) website for all updates.
Please note that you must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel to England from abroad. Please see the government website for more information.
Compare PCR test packages
Looking for a COVID-19 testing package for your holiday that ticks all the boxes? Compare packages and tailor them to suit your needs with the Covid Testing Network.
At-home PCR testing kits
Home test kits are also a good option for anyone heading off on their holidays. You will be provided with all the instructions you need to complete the test correctly and safely, and the postage back to the laboratory is usually covered in the cost.
Up to 50% off at-home PCR tests with Randox Health
Randox Health are offering all On the Beach customers fantastic discounts on their at-home PCR testing kit, so you can fly with confidence this year.
It couldn't be easier to claim your discount...
- To order the pre-departure home testing kit, simply enter promo code OTB43 on the Randox Health website.
- To order the day 2 and day 8 home testing kit package, simply enter promo code OTB43 on the Randox Health website.
- Your PCR testing kit(s) will be delivered to you, and then simply follow the instructions in the package to register and take your test
- Once you have taken your test you can send back to Randox Health either via the free postage method included, or via courier if you require results urgently.
- Once received, Randox Health guarantee next-day results, so that you can fly knowing that you are covid safe.*
Other at-home testing options
Another option Confirm Testing have a quick turnaround system in place to ensure you receive your ‘Fit to Fly’ certificates exactly when you need them. There are many at-home testing options available, so we recommend researching and finding the product that best suits your needs.
Several UK airports have now set up COVID-19 testing centres, including Manchester, East Midlands and London Stansted. There are a range of different COVID-19 test types available at the airport testing centres, so the first step is to check the latest government advice for travel to your destination and find out which test you will need to book.
Make sure you also check that the test certificate is provided in the format needed for your holiday destination, as some countries do specify that this should be provided in paper or electronic format. You’ll find more information on what rules apply for your chosen destination by checking our travel updates page.
The next step is to head over to the airport’s website, where you’ll find the different types of test available along with a link to the test provider so you can book your appointment. Remember to consider how long your test will take to process and the entry requirements of your chosen destination before you book. The negative COVID-19 PCR test that is required for entry to many popular holiday destinations can take up to 24-72 hours to process - so timing is key.
Wear a face covering at all times when attending your appointment and make sure you bring the required identification and test booking confirmation with you. Do not go to the airport if you suspect you have COVID-19.
Book your PCR test with Collinson
Your health and wellbeing are at the heart of our concerns. That’s why we’re working with Collinson, the UK’s leading test provider, to provide an exclusive discount on all your COVID-19 testing requirements, available across the UK at London Heathrow, Manchester, London City, Luton, Stanstead and East Midlands Airports.
Collinson is a government-approved provider and has carried out over 250,000 tests across the UK and Asia Pacific. Collinson are experts in making sure you are fit to fly via their Mandatory Testing Packages for inbound and outbound travels, including PCR, Lamp and Antigen tests, as well as the optional ‘Test to Release’ protocol for those wanting to reduce their quarantine days upon return to the UK.
Visit the Collinson website to book your tests today. Don't forget to enter code OTB20OFF at checkout to activate your discount*
COVID-19 testing with British Airways
You may be able to arrange a COVID-19 test for a discounted price if you’re a British Airways passenger. From just £33 you could be given a rapid antigen test from a government-approved provider, such as Qured. Results are available in just 20 minutes, with a video call with a health advisor to guide you through the testing procedure and how to process the nose and throat swab. A ‘fit to fly’ certificate is also included, providing the test is negative. This can be downloaded onto your device.
COVID-19 testing with The Doctors Clinic Group
Rapid PCR tests for COVID-19 can be obtained from The Doctors Clinic Group in as little as three days' turnaround. This government-approved provider offers quick, easy home testing kits and an easy way to book online or by phone. You will be notified of your results by text and email, and the results are available to view on a secure online portal, along with a free fit to fly certificate on request. Rapid antigen tests and antibody tests are also available.
COVID-19 tests at Boots pharmacies
Boots pharmacy are now offering (PCR) COVID-19 testing at several selected stores across the UK. You will need to book your appointment before you go for your test, which you can do up to 28 days in advance via the Boots website.
When booking, Boots recommend that you schedule your appointment no earlier than 72 hours and no later than 60 hours before your flight. Check before you travel that your test will meet the requirements of your chosen location on the Government website.
When attending your appointment, make sure to wear a face-covering and bring identification with you. The appointment will take around 15 minutes, and once completed your test will be sent off to the laboratory for PCR testing. You will receive your results by email within 48 hours, and providing the test is negative, you can then download your results certificate straight away.
If you’re travelling from Manchester Airport, you can also get a 5% discount on your Boots COVID-19 test by calling 0808 164 0804 (9:00 – 17:00, Monday – Friday) before booking.
Obtain a COVID-19 test from another private provider
Qured is one example of a government-approved COVID-19 test provider*, and more companies are offering them all the time. The main thing to remember when choosing a private testing company is that you do your research. This could be as simple as checking with your airline or holiday provider that the test results will be accepted from that organisation.
*Terms and conditions: Discount codes are available to UK-based On the Beach customers only. It is your responsibility to ensure that any completed tests are returned to the testing company in sufficient time prior to departure. Please note these services are provided by a 3rd party and are not part of the package, therefore On the Beach are not responsible for the quality, timing or results of any testing and any impact this may have on your ability to travel. All future communication regarding the testing process and results should be between the customer and testing company directly.
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