Day 2 tests: Antigens accepted by England from October 24, just in time for school holidays

England will now require travellers to do an antigen test after they arrive, rather than a more expensive PCR test. The new rule, announced yesterday, will be effective as of 24 October.

Although called a ‘day 2 test’ it can, in fact, be done on or before day 2, as we revealed last month. Day 0 is the day you land in the UK, so you effectively have 3 days to get an antigen test done.

The change applies to fully vaccinated travellers and most under 18s arriving into England from non-red list countries. Those arriving from red list countries have to go into managed quarantine hotels for 10 days and take a PCR test on or before day 2 - and on or after day 8 of quarantining. These are included in your hotel package.

Where can you get a lateral flow test?

Day two lateral flow tests from private providers will be available to book here from 22 October.

It’s important to remember that free NHS Test and Trace tests are not allowed to be used for travel.

How will the new lateral flow system work?

From 24 October, travellers will be required to take a photo of their completed lateral flow test alongside the booking reference from the testing company. This should then be sent back to them to verify the result.