UK Covid testing

Duffa

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Just thought I would post Mrs D's Covid test experience in the UK last week, the research having been done by me. (If you don't want to read on, I recommend Randox health - www.randoxhealth.com )
There has been a lot of UK press about rip-off testing companies so I did some searching myself and the press were correct!
Many companies offering lateral flow for £5.99 and when you click through you find that £5.99 is the "click and collect" price at their warehouse. The price to post it to your hotel or lodgings turns out to be nearer £20. However, a contact in the UK suggested I go with Randox so I checked them out.
1, £21.50 for a post-arrival lateral flow test posted out in advance. (The UK now requires a PCR test post arrival)
2, £55 for a PCR test by 23.59hrs the next day
3, £90 for a 1-3hr PCR test
Mrs D opted for 1 for post-arrival in UK and 2 for pre-departure and the service was excellent. Online booking was easy and there are multiple testing sites throughout the UK and Ireland, mostly at major airports.
When Omicron broke she decided to hightail it back home and Randox were more than happy to change the test date at no cost. They provided a digital certificate with QR code which came back in 15 hours - test 3pm Monday : result 5am Tuesday
 
Just thought I would post Mrs D's Covid test experience in the UK last week, the research having been done by me. (If you don't want to read on, I recommend Randox health - www.randoxhealth.com )

Appreciate the info - am supposed to be flying to London later this month, and these testing requirements are doing my head in... I guess the cost isn't going to come down much, but it's good to know that it's not overly difficult to book a test and get the result pronto.

Not sure I'll ever get used to having things stuck up my nose every day and paying for the privilege!
 
I think the UK rules recently changed?
As it stands, we need to have a lateral flow test on day two of our arrival in UK (6 weeks away so could change), and a PCR 72hrs before flying home. We will be in Ireland 72 hrs before we fly out of LHR on QF2, so will have our PCR test there. Will have a look at Randox as part of our planning.
 
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As it stands, we need to have a lateral flow test on day to of our arrival in UK (6 weeks away so could change), and a PCR 72hrs before flying home. We will be in Ireland 72 hrs before we fly out of LHR on QF2, so will have our PCR test there. Will have a look at Randox as part of our planning.
My wife flew to the UK on December 28th and returned on Tuesday. She needed a PCR test within two days so booked with Randox at Manchester Airport and used another company for her PCR test 72 hours before flying home.
 
So flying back from the UK, you appear to have two options:

PCR 3 days out, which gives you more time to change everything if positive, but could pick up older infection you didn't know you had and I would argue more likely to stop you flying.

RAT within 24hrs, less likely to be positive (both false negative and FAR shorter time would test positive during disease progression), but gives little to no time to change flight if is positive especially given Qantas's call waiting times!

What would people do?
 
I'd
So flying back from the UK, you appear to have two options:

PCR 3 days out, which gives you more time to change everything if positive, but could pick up older infection you didn't know you had and I would argue more likely to stop you flying.

RAT within 24hrs, less likely to be positive (both false negative and FAR shorter time would test positive during disease progression), but gives little to no time to change flight if is positive especially given Qantas's call waiting times!

What would people do?
I'd buy some RATs and test myself a few days early and if they are coming up negative, then get a supervised RAT within 24 hours.
 
I'd

I'd buy some RATs and test myself a few days early and if they are coming up negative, then get a supervised RAT within 24 hours.
I'd do the same but test prior to doing a PCR 3 days out. If negative then I'd get the PCR done and dusted. I guess the risk in that is that the PCR picks it up when the RAT didn't. But now with UK changing all their instructions for positive people, I wonder how that plays out now.
 
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I'd do the same but test prior to doing a PCR 3 days out. If negative then I'd get the PCR done and dusted. I guess the risk in that is that the PCR picks it up when the RAT didn't. But now with UK changing all their instructions for positive people, I wonder how that plays out now.
I'm playing with this "problem" now and currently thinking your method is best. If a positive PCR, well, there is nothing stopping you going back for a RAT within 24 hours and seeing if you get a...better...result? There is as much chance that it's a historical "infection" from a sniffle if one has been travelling for several weeks. It's not easy to get tested properly if you're moving around a lot I would say.
 
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Given that the graphs I have seen recently (like the one below) suggest that PCR tests pick up infection earlier, and continue to detect Covid after the RAT has given up, there does seem to be a sound argument for private RAT at 3 days, and PCR if negative (with fingers crossed). If it comes back from PCR positive then test with RAT again 24hrs out and then if negative get a supervised RAT before thinking about re-booking.
RAT vs PCR.png
 
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I'm playing with this "problem" now and currently thinking your method is best. If a positive PCR, well, there is nothing stopping you going back for a RAT within 24 hours and seeing if you get a...better...result? There is as much chance that it's a historical "infection" from a sniffle if one has been travelling for several weeks. It's not easy to get tested properly if you're moving around a lot I would say.
And a complication may be that UK labs wind back providing even travel PCR tests making them even less accessible but maybe that's overthinking. Currently we are going to be driving back from Scotland so have worked out Labs in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
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Given that the graphs I have seen recently (like the one below) suggest that PCR tests pick up infection earlier, and continue to detect Covid after the RAT has given up, there does seem to be a sound argument for private RAT at 3 days, and PCR if negative (with fingers crossed). If it comes back from PCR positive then test with RAT again 24hrs out and then if negative get a supervised RAT before re-booking.
View attachment 271670

Kind of a Qantas HUACA approach then....
 
And a complication may be that UK labs wind back providing even travel PCR tests making them even less accessible but maybe that's overthinking.
Yes I think so. "Complication" for me is I am flying to Dublin for a night then back to Australia. So if I go for the early PCR route and asymptomatic positive, will have to test negative on the RAT before even thinking about flying out. I don't intend on testing on my journey unless I feel sufficiently ill.

You have to balance it all out as if you get a positive PCR early in the trip then there is time to organise a certificate of recovery and not derail your travel back to Australia. But you don't want to have that test in a country that requires self isolation or mandatory placement in to a quarantine facility either, for obvious reasons.
 
I did a "home" RAT 25 hrs before flight - if positive I would have cancelled my redemption flight for a full refund.
As it happened, it turned out negative so I went to a French pharmac_ 90 mins later (i.e. within 24 hr departure window) knowing it too would be negative.
Simples!
 
And a complication may be that UK labs wind back providing even travel PCR tests making them even less accessible but maybe that's overthinking.
I understand UK is winding back free RAT and PCRs for residents, but i would think since travel PCRs are paid that some labs would still be offering these for those that need them since its a nice little earner.
 
I understand UK is winding back free RAT and PCRs for residents, but i would think since travel PCRs are paid that some labs would still be offering these for those that need them since its a nice little earner.
Yes. Our UK based son said last night he’d tried to get the last of the Free RAT but could not get any. A switch. We offered to bring some over. You are right - labs will always provide a paid for service.
 
Thanks guys,

I forgot there won't be a centralised database, will probably do PCR and then roll the dice on a RAT if it is positive (unless I'm symptomatic in which case I'll be isolating and rescheduling obviously!)
 
Yes I think so. "Complication" for me is I am flying to Dublin for a night then back to Australia. So if I go for the early PCR route and asymptomatic positive, will have to test negative on the RAT before even thinking about flying out. I don't intend on testing on my journey unless I feel sufficiently ill.

You have to balance it all out as if you get a positive PCR early in the trip then there is time to organise a certificate of recovery and not derail your travel back to Australia. But you don't want to have that test in a country that requires self isolation or mandatory placement in to a quarantine facility either, for obvious reasons.
Similarly, we are flying to Dublin 5 days before our return to AU, with one night back in London before joining QF2. Our plan is to self-RAT in Dublin, and if clear get and early PCR test there. But like all plans, there could be many permutations before we get to fly out on QF1 (next week) let alone return here.
 
Similarly, we are flying to Dublin 5 days before our return to AU, with one night back in London before joining QF2. Our plan is to self-RAT in Dublin, and if clear get and early PCR test there. But like all plans, there could be many permutations before we get to fly out on QF1 (next week) let alone return here.
Hopefully a nice TR for us still waiting.
 
Similarly, we are flying to Dublin 5 days before our return to AU, with one night back in London before joining QF2. Our plan is to self-RAT in Dublin, and if clear get and early PCR test there. But like all plans, there could be many permutations before we get to fly out on QF1 (next week) let alone return here.
Indeed. I am flying out next week as well for 4 weeks, you just have to accept that things may change, things may get complicated and you have to be as agile as possible. Booking refundable hotels where possible is a good start. Airfares you can't really do much about, but some are better about offering vouchers than others.
 
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