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BREAKING: PCR tests scrapped from 24th October for those returning to England

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Grant Shapps announced on Twitter this evening – because that’s where you make important Government announcements – that PCR tests will be scrapped for people returning to England from 24th October.

This will only apply to people who are ‘fully vaccinated’ against coronavirus under the Government definition, covering speficic vaccines and specific countries of vaccination.

The exact wording of the tweet is:

Mandatory PCR tests will be gone in time for October half-term! for vaccinated adults and families seeking some winter sun abroad. From 24 Oct take a cheaper lateral flow test on return, to make travelling easier and simpler for everyone”

PCR tests for your return to the UK to be scrapped from 24th October

The tweet doesn’t answer any key questions:

  • what sort of lateral flow tests will be accepted?
  • will they still need to be pre-ordered before you fly in order for a reference code to be added to your Passenger Locator Form?
  • what happens with children?
  • will they need to be taken in the presence of a medical professional?
  • if not, how will results be submitted?

…. but I’m sure more details will emerge on Friday.

The key thing for now is that you shouldn’t pre-order an expensive PCR ‘Day 2’ test if you are going away for half term, because it won’t be needed.

Comments (72)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • MD says:

    “will they still need to be pre-ordered before you fly in order for a reference code to be added to your Passenger Locator Form?”

    Well, I’d assume so. Hope on earth can you expect an honest Tory donor to keep properly lining their pockets otherwise?

  • N says:

    What toss.

    Millions of unused NHS latflo tests in the system. Why can’t we just use those?

    Those Tory donors need to eat somehow….

    • Federico says:

      Because you need someone to check you have done it, and done it correctly. (Ie not reporting results without doing or reporting negative instead of positive result)

      FYI very few countries have free testing for travel and very few countries offer free lateral flow testing as we have in England. I would rather pay £20 for travel testing than having to pay for my weekly testing

      • Dayle says:

        “Weekly testing” Does anyone actually conduct weekly tests on themselves for the lols? I’ve never even taken a test and flown plenty of times

      • Martin Seebach says:

        > Because you need someone to check you have done it, and done it correctly

        We didn’t need that for the PCR travel tests that have been in place for the past several months. Unsupervised home-test-kits were perfectly acceptable (although the sample had to be sent off for processing).

        The gov.uk article above states “Passengers must upload a photo of their test to verify results as soon as possible”. That doesn’t sound like in-person checking.

      • A says:

        Even the US – with its ruinous healthcare system – offers free testing for all, at any time, for any reason. There is no excuse.

  • Bimbo says:

    Why don’t you just bother to read the gov.uk official page. All your questions are answered there and have been since 10:30…

  • Nancy says:

    Let me fix this for you, instead of

    “Grant Shapps announced on Twitter this evening – because that’s where you make important Government announcements”

    The official and full guidance has been published on GOV.UK before that tweet. And that’s where you should get the important Government announcements from.

    For people subscribed this was the email.
    ======
    Update from GOV.​UK for:

    Entering England during coronavirus
    Lateral flow tests to be introduced for vaccinated international arrivals

    Page summary:
    From 24 October fully vaccinated passengers and most under 18s arriving in England from countries not on the red list can take a cheaper lateral flow test, on or before Day 2 of their arrival into the UK. These can be booked from 22 October.

    Change made:
    First published.

    Time updated:
    10:30pm, 14 October 2021

  • Natasha says:

    How much will the lateral flow tests be on for sale. If PCRs were as low as £1.98..

    • Kev says:

      London Doctors Clinic on London Bridge charging £199 for a 4 hour lateral flow, haha you have to be joking. Talk about a rip off…just a heads up to avoid these jokers.

    • Travel Strong says:

      I can see it now… “Those expensive 1.99/9.99/28.99 PCR test are no longer necessary or valid. Introducing the new fairly priced £45 lateral flow!”

    • Lady London says:

      Lidl in Germany sold antigen (lateral flow) tests for practically nothing. I think they were 5 euros (just over £4) for 2. And remember, Lidl is a profitmaking enterprise.

  • Natasha says:

    Whats the code format for PFL form again?

  • Laura says:

    Daft that we can’t use NHS LFT as we’re all entitled to two a week anyway..
    Somebody has to make some money I guess

    • Natasha says:

      Even those nhs ones are not going to be free soon… prepare for nhs privatisation

      • mradey says:

        Can’t come soon enough.

      • ChrisC says:

        You cant even just go to a pharmacy now and get them.

        You have to go on line and get a collection code.

        Which is all very will until the pharmacy doesn’t have any kits!

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