Are you looking to travel abroad and find the cheapest PCR Covid-19 tests? The Government’s traffic light system remains in place, and Covid-19 testing is still required. Holidays can be expensive and especially now with additional testing costs.

Airlines, airports and the high street are offering cheap PCR tests, and we have listed some of the cheapest options available.

WHAT IS A PCR COVID-19 TEST?

A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detects Coronavirus’s RNA. Resulting in the test being the most effective to determine current infection.

Patients with Coronavirus usually show as positive by PCR testing up to 2 days before symptoms show. If you show symptoms, you need a PCR test.

The PCR test is the ‘gold standard’ test for diagnosing Covid-19 as it’s the most reliable and accurate test.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE CHEAPEST PCR COVID-19 TESTS WITH AIRLINES?

Whilst covering the costs of PCR Covid-19 tests, it’s important to know where you can find the most reliable yet cheapest tests.

Here is all you need to know!

VIRGIN ATLANTIC COVID-19 TESTS

Virgin Atlantic offers many discounted self-testing PCR tests through Project Screen by Prenetics. However, you must confirm the destination you are travelling to accepts self-testing as opposed to in-person testing.

Here are some of their cheapest tests:

Tests travelling out of England

Virgin Atlantic

Tests returning to England

Virgin Atlantic Travel

Project Screen by Prenetics also exclaimed, “If your destination changes its entry requirements to a lower-costing test, we’ll refund the difference and if the cost increases, we’ll only charge you the difference.”

RYANAIR COVID-19 TESTS

Everyone loves a discount! Ryanair has released a “FLYRYANAIR” discount code with Randox giving you £5 off Randox’s home PCR testing kits. It is important to double-check the destination you are travelling to accepts self-testing results.

Ryanair Tests

EASYJET COVID-19 TESTS

EasyJet works with multiple testing supplies however their cheapest provider is once again, Randox with home kits available from £43 when using the discount code “ejg2021”.

Easyjet Covid Tests

BRITISH AIRWAYS COVID-19 TESTS

British Airways links to multiple PCR Covid-19 test providers supplying both home-testing kits and in-person testing kits. The cheapest kit is supplied by Eurofins, costing £40 after a BA discount.

Eurofins also offers an additional feature, presenting an interactive map showing sampling stations in many countries including, Germany, Spain, UK and Brazil. It also gives you the option to filter your results depending on which test you are opting for.

British Airways Tests

JET2 COVID-19 TESTS

Jet2 also works with multiple Covid-19 test suppliers with discounts available for some. They offer tests for pre-departure, return, day 2 and day 8 testing etc.

Here is an example of some return Covid-19 tests on offer. A great feature is the TrustPilot rating they include within their chart, which in some cases will provide security and reassurance on tests the public are purchasing.

Jet2 covid

TUI COVID-19 TESTS

For “green list” countries who require testing before entering their country, Tui offers a test package for £60, including the PCR test for entry, the lateral flow test upon return to the UK and a PCR test for day 2. They also provide a list of providers such as Klarity, Screen4 and Randox.

ALTERNATIVE PROVIDERS FOR CHEAP PCR COVID-19 TESTS

When you purchase one of the below, you will receive a “Fit to Fly” certificate that you can use at airports, train stations or ferry terminals.

Cheap PCR Providers

Health secretary Sajid Javid commented:

“Too many providers are acting like cowboys and that needs to stop. The public should be allowed to enjoy their summer holidays without having to face excessive costs or anxiety”.

ARE AIRPORTS OFFERING PCR COVID-19 TESTING?

To help make travel easier and smoother for travellers, airports are facilitating Covid-19 testing centres, ranging from walk-in to drive-through facilities. You will also find rapid testing services set up in departure and arrival lounges.

For example, whilst most airports charge £99 for a PCR test, Manchester airport offers PCR testing charging £60 for next day quick results.

HOW DOES THE NEW NHS COVID-19 TESTING PRICE COMPARE TO ITS COMPETITORS?

The cost of NHS coronavirus tests for international arrivals to the UK have been reduced for the second time following a review in May.

From the 16th August, the cost of one test has been reduced from £88 to £68 for green or fully vaccinated amber arrivals and two tests have been cut from £170 to £136 for amber arrivals who are not fully vaccinated.

CAN I TAKE A PCR TEST AT HOME?

A PCR test can be carried out within your home however, depending on the country you’re planning to visit, the criteria may differ.

Most destinations will accept tests carried out at home then couriered to a laboratory, although a small number of destinations state that the test is to be carried out in a clinic.

HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO TAKE A PCR COVID-19 TEST?

As part of the UK Government’s traffic light system, travellers returning to England from ‘Green countries’ must take a Covid-19 PCR test on day 2 of arrival.

Unvaccinated travellers arriving from ‘Amber countries’ must take two Covid-19 PCR tests on day 2 and day 8 of arrival and can take an additional PCR test on day 5 to end self-isolation early. This is known as ‘Test to Release’.

Fully vaccinated travellers arriving from ‘Amber countries’ may be eligible for a day 2 Covid-19 test without quarantine.

Travellers from ‘Red countries’ cannot purchase arrival tests from private providers and must follow the UK Government’s regulations.

How often to take a covid test

WHAT IF MY PCR COVID-19 TEST RESULTS ARE LATE?

If your test kit or test results fail to arrive in time, you can contact the provider and request a refund. You must arrange another PCR Covid-19 test as quickly as possible.

One solution is to make use of testing services offered through your airline or tour operator, as previously mentioned.

Another option is to purchase a quick turnaround test; this can be costly but will reduce the right of disruption to your travel plans.

WHICH EU COUNTRIES REQUIRE A COVID-19 TEST?

Europe has opened its borders again after a period of caution, and under certain conditions, welcomes travellers who have been vaccinated and can prove a negative Covid-19 test result. The types of tests and requirements vary for each country.

Countries such as Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain are open to travellers dependent upon the requirements. Other countries include:

Countries requiring covid test

Coronavirus testing requirements are changed and introduced regularly, so it is important to check the Government’s Foreign Travel Office “entry requirements” page for the country you’re visiting to see the latest rules.

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

The cheapest PCR Covid-19 tests are likely to be in high demand, and it may be wise to take the time to look at the cheapest options available to you rather than choosing the first cheap price you see.

It is worth taking the essential steps to make this process as easy and affordable as possible so you’ll be on the right track to enjoying a great holiday!

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