Need A PCR Test At Heathrow? Here’s What You Need To Know

According to the UK government, all non-red list visitors must undergo a PCR test at Heathrow on their second day in the country. Those who have been fully immunized in one of the UK’s eligible vaccination countries are only required to take the day 2 PCR test. Unvaccinated arrivals or travellers must submit to PCR tests on days 2 and 8. Every passenger must provide a negative COVID PCR Test result to establish that they are safe to fly and do not have a current coronavirus infection. If you are intending to travel overseas soon or have just returned from a trip abroad, you will undoubtedly need a COVID-19 Certificate.

What To Do When Preparing For Your Flight

When scheduling your PCR Test at Heathrow, keep the following points in mind.
  • Testing should be completed within 72-48 hours after arrival (although this is different for some countries).
  • You will need to schedule your appointment ahead of time to allow for a fair amount of time for results, but not too soon, since you may not be inside the 72-hour window.
  • Testing should be done privately by the passenger, and no tests sponsored by the government are acceptable for travel.

What exactly is PCR testing?

PCR tests identify viral RNA in the body prior to the development of antibodies or symptoms. This means that the tests may detect viral infection relatively early in the disease’s progression. A nasopharyngeal sample is treated with reverse transcriptase or DNA polymerase during Covid-19 PCR testing. These substances aid in the replication of viral RNA. This is done to ensure that there is enough RNA available to provide a positive result when certain primers and probes bind to viral genetic code regions.

Is a PCR Test at Heathrow required before traveling?

Many countries will require proof of a negative COVID-19 test within specific departure timeframes. France, for example, requires proof of a negative test performed within 24 hours of departure. Heathrow has independent test providers who provide the most commonly requested tests by other countries. Passengers must check the rules, type of test, and timing before traveling or risk being denied entry. The rules also differ depending on whether or not the person has been vaccinated.

Check to see whether you are completely immunized.

Fully vaccinated means you received a full course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before your arrival in England. The day you received your last dosage is not one of the 14 days. The vaccination must be given in one of two ways:
  • The UK vaccination program 
  • An international immunization program that has been authorized for travel to the United Kingdom.
Even if you are not fully immunized, you must follow the fully immunized recommendations if you:
  1. Are under the age of 18 and a resident of the United Kingdom or one of the countries or territories having authorized immunization evidence.
  2. The United States (US residents only for trials in the United States) cannot have a COVID-19 vaccination for a medical reason approved by a clinician under the new medical exemptions process if you are a resident of England.

Before you go to England, make sure you are properly vaccinated.

You must do the following before traveling to England:
  • Take the COVID-19 test – you must finish it three days before your trip to England.
  • Arrange and pay for COVID-19 testing on days 2 and 8 after arrival in England.
  • Complete a passenger locater form within 48 hours of your arrival in England..

When you come to England – not be completely vaccinated.

When you arrive in England, you must do the following:
  • You must be quarantined at home or wherever you are staying for ten days.
  • Take your pre-planned PCR Test at Heathrow exam on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 — these tests must be scheduled ahead of time.
You must quarantine for the length of your stay if you are in England for less than 10 days. Travel tests must be scheduled on days 2 and 8. You are only required to take the examinations if you are still in England on those dates.

Countries on the Red List

If you have been in a red list nation within the last ten days before arriving in England, the regulations are different. If you have visited or travelled through a nation or territory on the red list within the last ten days before arriving in England, you will be permitted to enter the country only if you either:
  • Do you have the right to live in the UK if you are a British or Irish national?
  • Travel to countries or territories on the red list should be avoided if you reside in England.