Covid testing coming into the UK from US

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  • x2000traveller

    I’m a bit rusty on travel (haven’t done it for 18 months) and can’t work out what I’m supposed to do coming back to the UK. I am a US Citizen, living in the UK. What test do I need to have to get on a BA plane back to LHR. Will an antigen test do? Does it have to be certified by anyone? Or is a PCR test mandatory? I have looked on the UK Government/BA site and can’t understand it at all. BA’s specialist provider of info seems to imply that all tests including LAMP are OK for this. Is this really true?


    Are you vaxxed? It’ll make entry into UK easier (no quarantine). 72-hour negative Covid test required, antigen is accepted. You have to fill out a locator form and sign up to take another Covid test on day two of your stay. You can find more info on Sherpa


    Thanks for this as I will need it and wasn’t too sure..


    I flew DFW-LHR August 11.

    You need a Covid test taken no more than 72 hours before departure of the flight to the UK.

    CVS pharmacies offer these at no charge, in CA at least. Bookable on-line at short notice.

    You need to complete the UK Locator Form. Somewhat laborious, link from airline websites. The term ‘common travel area’ is used, with which many in the USA may not be familiar.

    You need to book another Covid test to be taken within the first 2 days after arrival, and another on day 8, unless you’re in a less than 24 hour transit.

    I used Express test. Efficient, reliable but £65 a shot. They have locations at LHR. Coming in from HEL last week I used the one on the forecourt of T3.
    In and out in 5 minutes, results emailed in just over 24 hours.

    All these documents must be presented at check-in. AA, which flew me from SNA to DFW, were unable to issue a boarding pass for the connecting BA flight.

    And that’s where the horrorshow began.

    Check-in for BA 192, DFW. A disorganised line of almost 100 passengers.

    No F/J Priority check-in. Only one (!!) agent, with very limited English skills (!!). Incomprehensible airport-noise smothered announcements. And about one in ten persons checking in did not have the required documentation, most often, seemingly, the UK Locator Form.

    Yes, it’s odd. A new requirement for most of us. But essential. Unless completed, approved and issued, you won’t be boarding.

    As several bewildered or infuriated passengers ahead of me found out, pleading piteously or shouting in vain down phones.

    Causing further delay. I must have been almost an hour in line.

    And then it was general boarding, the mad Covid spreading mob, no call that I heard for First and Club preboarding.

    I normally just take an orange juice after seating.

    Such was my state of mind after that monumental display of incompetence that I took two glasses of champagne and was all the better for it.

    Happy Trails!

    Finnair, in contrast, for my LHR-HEL RT, was a model of efficiency. Finland requires merely proof of vaccination and a short “FinEntry” form, on Finnair’s website.

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    Further hurdle: Although the CDC website says the simpler and quicker Lateral Flow test is sufficient for re-entry into the US, Sherpa and other info sources suggest a full PCR test may be required.

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