How much does a PCR test cost in UK: Jet2, Tui, Ryanair, easyJet and Boots Covid PCR test costs for Green and Orange List countries

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Since Monday, May 17, holidays abroad have been authorized for the first time since last year.

However, holiday rules remain fairly strict, with travel only advised to a small number of countries on the government’s green list.

Anyone returning from abroad will also have to take a covid test and will have to take at least two if returning from an Orange or Red List country.

There are two types of tests, the PCR test and the faster but less reliable side flow tests, which anyone can do twice a week at home, reports the Mirror.

But what is the difference between PCR testing and lateral flow testing? What is the most effective? And what should you use when traveling?

Here’s all you need to know.

PCR tests



Laboratory technician holds tube with patient sample to perform COVID-19 testing

PCR tests are often considered the “gold standard” tests for detecting cases of Covid-19 because they require laboratory analysis.

It also has an accuracy rate of around 99% and much lower amounts of virus can be detected than with LFTs.

However, this sensitivity means that people can test positive after having Covid, even if they are no longer contagious.

A PCR is a diagnostic test that detects viral RNA, or generic virus material, from a sample taken from a person’s nose and throat.

This can be taken at home or at specific test sites – and the sample is sent to a lab for analysis.

It takes about four to six hours to process the test, but with transportation it increases the time patients have to wait.

Lateral flow tests

A lateral flow test is also a permutation test, but rather than detecting genetic material, it detects proteins specific to the coronavirus.

With LFTs, an exchange is taken from the back of the nose and / or throat, and the sample is mixed with an extraction fluid, before a drop of it is added to a strip of. test paper.

It looks like a pregnancy test, and similar to this, lines will appear on the test.

You can see how many people have been vaccinated in your area in the widget below:

What is the difference between PCR and Lateral Flow tests?

One of the biggest differences is that lateral flow tests return results much faster – typically within 30 minutes.

PCR tests often take between 24 hours and three days to return a result.

However, PCR tests are found to be much more accurate than lateral flow tests.

Public Health England (PHE) found that the sensitivity of the Innova Lateral Flow test was 79.2% when administered by a trained healthcare professional.

However, he said the accuracy dropped to 57.5% when used by staff at the Track and Trace Center.

PHE added that with regular mass tests several times a week, this should improve.

If you get a positive lateral flow test, you are asked to take a PCR test to confirm your result.



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What Covid test do you need to travel?

With international return travel starting May 17, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with Covid testing if you’re planning a vacation.

Many countries will require a negative Covid-19 test from incoming travelers, and under the new traffic light system, you will need to be tested when you return to the UK.

In the UK you will need to take a series of PCR tests – not a lateral flow test.

But the requirements differ slightly depending on whether you’ve been to a green, orange, or red country.

The government is asking people going to fly to book a private coronavirus test at their own expense and not to use the NHS testing service.

The government has shared a list of private providers of coronavirus PCR tests.

Your vacation provider may refer you to a private company, and you should always check if the country you are visiting has specific testing or supplier requirements.

People traveling from the UK to Europe could pay an average of £ 306 to leave and return to the UK.

Travel rules for green, orange and red countries

While the testing rules are different for each level of the traffic light travel system, all returning travelers require a minimum of two coronavirus tests.

Green countries, which include the holiday destinations Portugal and Gibraltar

Amber countries, including Spain and France

  • Covid test before departure 3 days before return – must be negative to enter UK

  • Covid PCR test on or before day 2 returning to the UK

  • Covid PCR test on day 8 after returning to UK

  • Travelers must self-isolate at home for 10 days after returning – can ‘test to release’ on day 5 if negative

Red countries like India and South Africa

  • Covid test before departure 3 days before return – must be negative to enter UK

  • Covid PCR test on or before day 2 returning to the UK

  • Covid PCR test on day 8 after returning to UK

  • Travelers must quarantine at a specified hotel for 10 days – no ‘release test’ available

All travelers are also required to complete a passenger locator form before traveling abroad.

How to book Covid PCR tests with Jet2

Jet2 has partnered with some third-party vendors to offer discounted testing starting at £ 75.

You can get the cheaper tests through the “Manage my booking” section, which will allow you to set up a test before your vacation.

How to book Covid PCR tests with Boots

Boots has partnered with MyHealthChecked and sells home PCR tests for £ 65, which you can buy at boots.com and have it delivered to your door.

An in-store Covid PCR testing service is also available, with results in 48 hours, for £ 99 at more than 200 of its stores in the UK.

How to book Covid PCR tests with TUI

If you are traveling with TUI you can get a £ 20 Covid test kit included in your holiday package.

TUI is working with Chronomics to offer cheaper tests, which will include the cost of shipping and returning the kits.

Four packages will be offered – two for Green List destinations, two for Orange destinations.

It is important to note that Tui does not offer flights to Red List destinations.

  • Green package at £ 20 per person containing 1 x side flow test before departure and 1 PCR test inbound for the second day

  • Green package at £ 60 per person containing 1 x outgoing PCR test with courier costs 7 days per week included, 1 x side flow test before departure and 1 x inbound PCR test for the second day

  • Orange package at £ 50 per person containing 1 x side flow test before departure and 2 x inbound PCR tests for days 2 and 8

  • Orange package at £ 90pp containing 1 x outgoing PCR test with courier costs 7 days a week included, 1 x side flow test before departure and 2 x inbound PCR tests for days 2 and 8

Those who are leaving can book their test kits through a dedicated booking hub (which launched on May 10), an hour after booking their vacation.

All they will need is their booking reference, departure date and country of travel.

How to book Covid PCR tests with Ryanair

Ryanair passengers can buy discounted Covid PCR test kits for their vacation, for just £ 60.

The low-budget carrier has partnered with test kit brand Randox to offer customers a half price cut on kits which typically cost £ 120.

The airline’s website offers a step-by-step guide on how to purchase your test kit.

How to book Covid PCR tests with easyJet

easyJet got half the price cut with Randox Health, which means you can get home test kits for £ 60 instead of £ 120.

You can find out more about the kits at easyjet.com .



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