What private COVID-19 testing services are available for fit to fly
May 16, 2022
What private COVID-19 testing services are available?
Not all providers offer the same testing services including PCR or Lateral flow testes.
Before you look for a private provider, you’ll need to identify what testing service you need.
Pre-departure travel tests (‘fit to fly’) Some airlines and countries expect a negative COVID-19 test before travelling abroad. Though this is beginning to be removed. We epect this to be completley gone with the next 6 months from all countries.
Private providers offering these tests must meet the government’s minimum standards for general population testing services in order to legally provide the services.
General population COVID-19 tests
Some providers offer ‘general population’ COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic individuals who want to book and pay for their own test.
Please note that not all providers listed on the general population COVID-19 test providers will offer pre-departure fit to flow testing and travellers must use the type of test required, e.g. fit to fly by the country they want to travel to.
How to choose a provider There are several steps to take and things to consider when arranging a private COVID- 19 test.
Find a provider Find a private provider offering the testing service you need.
You can use one of the provider lists on GOV.UK, or find one using your own research.
If your test is for travel purposes, your travel operator may be able to help you find a provider.
Check the provider is listed on GOV.UK for guidance.
A list of providers for fit to fly tests rare self-declared against the government’s minimum standards.
While Some test providers who have completed the self-declaration have opted not to be published on the GOV.UK list.
There are different minimum standards for different testing schemes – read more about minimum standards below.
This means that consumers should always check the specific list for the testing service they require.
Members of the public are encouraged to find a test provider PCR or Lateral flow test via the appropriate GOV.UK list to ensure they are self-certified as meeting the government’s minimum standards. See here for minimum standards: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/minimum-standards-for-private-sector-providers-of-covid-19-testing
It is always recommended that consumers carry out their own independent research before choosing a specific private provider.
Things you’ll want to consider include:
-the total cost of the testing service -where and how you want to take the test – for example, a self-swab at home, or supervised at a test site -how long you’ll have to wait to get test results -how the provider deals with any complaints regarding their service -what the provider’s refunds policy is in case your plans change -Many providers send test kits by post or courier – you should leave enough time for your test kit to arrive. If you need an in-person test, check with providers directly whether this is possible.
Some airlines and travel operators offer discounts on travel tests – check their websites to find out more.