Since the summer, the government has guided which countries or regions we can visit through the ‘Travel Corridor’ scheme. This allows anyone to travel back to the UK without the requirement to quarantine. Starting yesterday, an additional scheme has been introduced to reduce the quarantine period for those travelling from destinations which are deemed to be ‘unsafe’ and are not on the travel corridor list, which is called Test to Release.
Initially, the quarantine period for these unsafe countries was 14 days, which this week has been reduced to ten. The new scheme allows you to take a Covid-19 test after five days, allowing to end the quarantine period early if a negative result is returned.
This sounds great, although there is a catch. Unlike when you travel outbound from the UK and you need a test, with 100’s of providers offering private tests, the Test and Release scheme only allows you to be tested by a handful of authorised centres. The government have stipulated that it can only be done privately, and they won’t accept one which has been provided by the NHS – which is quite standard for travel.
Obviously, in the current climate, and with the UK borders still being open – the suppliers of these authorised tests are being overwhelmed by demand.
The providers of these tests are being updated constantly and can be found here.