TUI, easyJet, Ryaniar and Jet2: how to buy discounted test kits to go on vacation
Starting May 17, we can all travel abroad for our leisure time – something we have been aspiring to do for months.
However, it is not as easy as it was before the pandemic.
As it did last year, the government has implemented a system of traffic lights with countries labeled green, orange and red, indicating how safe they can travel and what you will need to do in return.
Only countries listed as ‘green’ will allow you to avoid self-isolation – but even then you will need to provide a negative coronavirus test when you arrive at your destination and when you return to the UK.
Seems like a small price to pay for a week on the beach, but these tests can be expensive, with some sometimes costing as much as Â£ 300, reports HertsLive.
Fortunately, some of the major airlines have launched their own low cost test kits – as cheap as Â£ 20 – to help passengers and encourage people to travel with them.
Although the testing rules are different for each level of the traffic light travel system, all returning travelers require at least two coronavirus tests.
However, traveling to an Amber List country requires a minimum of three tests and a fourth can be taken to reduce the quarantine period to five days if negative.
Here’s everything you need to know about testing requirements when traveling and the latest airline deals.
What Covid test do you need to travel?
There are two types of Covid test – a PCR test and a lateral flow test.
The government has not clarified whether the Covid test before departure to your vacation destination should be a PCR or a lateral flow.
But when you return to the UK, you will need to take the PCR test. A list of private coronavirus PCR test providers is available on the government website. Prices range from Â£ 150 to Â£ 350 for a test kit.
How to book a TUI PCR Covid test
The cheapest test kits available are provided by TUI, which range from Â£ 20 to Â£ 90 per person depending on your destination.
TUI has partnered with Chronomics to offer its 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 (the company does not operate trips to red destinations).
- Green package at Â£ 20 per person containing 1 x side flow test before departure and 1 PCR test inbound for the second day
- Green package at Â£ 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 Â£ 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 Â£ 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
Brits can book their test kits through a dedicated booking center (launched May 10), an hour after booking their vacation.
All they will need is their booking reference, departure date and country of travel.
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How to book a Ryanair PCR Covid test
Ryanair passengers can buy discounted Covid PCR test kits for their vacation, for just Â£ 60.
It is the second cheapest test price among airlines and is much cheaper than the Â£ 300 that some people can pay for tests to travel.
The low-budget carrier has partnered with test kit brand Randox to offer customers a half price cut on kits which typically cost Â£ 120.
The airline’s website offers a step-by-step guide on how to purchase your test kit.
How to book an easyJet PCR Covid test
easyJet also got a half-price cut with Randox Health, which means you can get home test kits for Â£ 60 instead of Â£ 120.
You can find out more about the kits at easyjet.com.
How to book a Jet2 PCR Covid test
Jet2 has partnered with some third-party vendors to offer discounted testing starting at Â£ 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.
You can get all the details at jet2.com.
How to book a Boots PCR Covid test
Boots has partnered with MyHealthChecked and sells home PCR tests for Â£ 65, which you can buy on boots.com and be delivered to your home.
There is also an in-store Covid PCR testing service available for Â£ 99 in over 200 of its UK stores, which offers results within 48 hours.