Are NHS Covid Tests Accepted for Travel?
With the peak of Covid cases subsiding, and the WHO declaring that the “end is in sight”, it can be all too easy to forget about the importance of testing to protect those around you. In fact, testing becomes even more important when you want to travel abroad - moving to different locations whilst infected can help to spread the virus and put more at risk, which can easily be detected with the use of frequent testing.
Issues such as this have led to many asking the question, “are NHS Covid tests accepted for travel?”.
Statistics have shown that in the United States alone, air travel has hit 2 million daily passengers, closer to the pre pandemic level of around 2.5 million. As travel returns to its booming normality, the risk of undetected exposure to the virus skyrockets.
In this article, we will take a look at whether or not NHS Covid tests are accepted for travel, what circumstances they may be accepted and which ones are needed. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Covid testing, testing abroad and more.
Can I Travel With An NHS Covid Test?
Since NHS Test and Trace launched, roughly 1,160,953 tests were sent out across the UK. With the NHS being one of the biggest Covid test providers, it would make sense for their tests to be available and acceptable for international travel at all times. However, this is not always the case, as the validity of NHS tests for international travel can vary significantly on a number of factors.
The most important factor is the results of your Covid test. The chance of getting a truly positive Covid test has fallen to 29% since the peak of the pandemic, although it is still a much larger percentage than the chances of getting other common illnesses. This means that there is still a large enough chance of you being infected with the virus, which can prevent international and domestic travel for at least 5 days. Even if your test is negative, if you are displaying symptoms of Covid-19, you may be prevented from travelling and forced to isolate at home.
It is always important to check the requirements of each country you are travelling to. Each country varies significantly in what they require when you want to visit their country. For example, as of September 2022, Russia has a temporary ban on all high-risk regions where Covid cases are spiking to attempt to reduce the spread of the disease internally. On the other hand, countries like Canada are allowing visitors in with extensive screening, and places like Australia have dropped all Covid restrictions. Before taking a NHS Covid test, it would always be best to check that you are meeting the requirements of each country.
In most cases, we found that NHS provided rapid antigen tests are normally accepted by the EU & UK, and can get you into countries such as Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands. However, these countries often need the tests to be completed within 48 to 72 hours to show their validity, and self-test kits are usually not accepted. Because of this, it can be extremely difficult for you to use a NHS test as proof of being Covid free. As a result, it may be easier to do your tests privately for faster results and easier certification for travel, such as by using our Rapid Antigen Tests. This helps you to get your results within 15 minutes.
Do I Need A Negative Covid-19 Test To Travel?
As we slowly ease away from the more extreme Covid numbers, many people are left wondering of the importance of Covid testing for national and international travel. After all, if cases are falling, there should be less of a demand for testing as less people will be exposed - and those that are will be in the minority, and infect less.
However, this is not the case. Regardless of how many people are infected, they will still be able to infect others and spread the virus to those most vulnerable, and testing can help to save more lives with a little extra effort from everyone. Spreading the virus can be easy - when someone with the virus breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release small droplets containing the virus. You can catch Covid-19 if you breathe in these droplets or touch surfaces covered with droplets. It only takes a single ‘super-spreader’ to continue to infect others.
As such, you do still need a negative Covid-19 test to travel in the form of a ‘fit to fly’ test. These are proof of negative Covid tests that you provide before travelling abroad. Although the testing requirements vary by government and country (and even the airline), the general consensus is that you provide a negative Covid test up to 72 hours before your flight.
Even if restrictions are much more relaxed, you should opt for travelling only once you are Covid-free for ethical reasons. In the United Kingdom alone, 206,000 people have died from Covid-19, with 23.6 million total cases. With so many fatalities as a result of the virus, it would be irresponsible and uncivil to travel whilst knowingly harbouring an illness that could potentially harm various different people on the plane with you.
To accurately take a test with minimal chances of creating a false positive, we found that you should swab both your throat and your nose and use your testing resources within 30 minutes of opening it and ensuring that everything is prepared accordingly. By keeping the sterilised equipment pure, you can get more accurate and reliable results as to whether or not you are infected with the virus.
Where Can I Get A Covid Test For Travel?
There are a range of government-approved sources that provide accurate and reliable Covid tests for a range of purposes. The NHS are the most well-known distributor of testing kits, although there are a range of other options that also provide results just as well, if not better.
The best Covid testing kit provider is Official Rapid Tests; as the highest rated UK government listed provider on Trust Index, they have returned over 99.8% of results in time for their emergency deadlines, putting customer satisfaction at the forefront of their operations. With customers describing their service as “quick and efficient”, they have a market-wide reputation for being one of the largest distributors of Covid-19 rapid antigen tests and PCR tests.
Normal NHS PCR tests can take up to a week to return, as there are extensive queues and testing centres that need to be accommodated for. With Official Rapid Tests, you can expect results within 24 hours of receiving your sample, with a free next day delivery for your fit to fly certificate to show airlines and countries that you are able to travel. This will help you to be prepared for your flight and limit the hassle you will have to deal with once arriving in the country, or at the airport. Furthermore, your results can be saved and accessed on your phone, which helps with organising and further reduces the stress on your mind.
Do You Need An Emergency Covid Test?
If you believe that you may be suffering from Covid-19 and would like clarity so that you can seek treatment, or have plans to travel abroad, it’s always best to take a test as soon as possible. Our specialist team is on hand around the clock to provide quality care and services to help get Covid-19 tests to you so that you can start the road to recovery earlier. With our innovative new services and products, we are able to provide you with a unique and speedy service that will help redefine the meaning of ‘customer service’ forever.
Our mission is always to reinvent the modern way of taking and receiving Covid-19 tests and provide a service which is reflective of modern-day issues and solutions. We have always been proud to be able to say that our service has catered to 15,000 travellers to date, with many more expected to come in the following years.
For more information on how to reach us and order your tests today, you can contact Official Rapid Tests using our online form for the quickest responses and swift support from members of our team. Alternatively, you may choose to book an appointment for consultation either in person or over the phone to discuss your options and what may suit you best. Whatever you choose to do, we have no doubt that you’ll find what you’re looking for with us.