Blog Post 2: UK Covid Rules

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With the pandemic still ongoing the Covid policies of potential host nations should be on any prospective study abroad student’s mind. Though the United Kingdom is still struggling with the Omicron variant, there are various policies to help keep people safe while still avoiding a lockdown. While travel is still a risk, the commonsense laws in place in Wales should not necessarily deter students from considering “Cymru”.

Before one can leave the United States for the United Kingdom, there are a few steps they must take before arriving at the airport. The first requirement to enter the United Kingdom is getting a Covid test. The test can be either Lateral Flow or PCR, but the test must be conducted by a recognized facility and cannot be an at home test. The test must be done no more than two calendar days before your last departure. This means that if you have a connecting flight, you will need to factor in any time zone changes that may cause your test to be rejected for results being too old.

The second requirement will be to fill out a “passenger locator form” form. This form will tell the UK government the flight number of the planes you have been on during the duration of your trip to the United Kingdom, the address of where you will be quarantining upon arrival, your home country, and the nation your final departing flight departs from. The quarantine requirement brings up the third action you must take before arriving at your departing airport, the ordering of a post-arrival covid test.

All UK arrivals must fill out a test request form for after their arrival. The test must be a PCR test, which should arrive within two days of your arrival. While the United Kingdom has a nationalized healthcare system, all travel related covid tests must be ordered from a private provider, and cost around sixty UK Pounds. The test will come with instructions on how to properly carry it out and it is important that you follow them so that the result comes back accurately and not as invalid, or else you will have to pay the fee again and repeat. The test kit comes with a prepaid shipping label that will cover express shipping back to the testing lab. You will have to quarantine until you are contacted by your test provider, and informed that you have a negative result. This process can be sped up by some providers by paying additional fees, but otherwise it can take around 48 hours.

These policies help prevent avoidable contractions of the Covid-19 virus by both UK residents and travelers. They help keep any students traveling for study safe. It is vital that any prospective travelers familiarize themselves with these polices, as not having the proper paperwork can lead to being refused entry at the check in kiosk for one’s flight.