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Old 20.04.2021, 12:23
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Travel to UK: Diary

So I had to, at short notice, travel to the UK.

Saturday: PCR test at the airport. I went without booking, checked first the provider in terminal 2 (long queue), so then went to the one in terminal 1 which had no queue. Both charge 150chuffs for a PCR test.

Scanned the QR code, provided my details, and paid my moneys for a PCR test. As I enter the room, I hear the doctor/nurse shouting (in German) "oh mein gott, it was PCR, I did a rapid antigen..." and run out the door. It started well! 10 minutes later I get my lobotomy, and leave.

The test results don't arrive until Sunday evening (Saturday around 10:30 was the test).

Sunday: Book the day 2 + 8 test on arrival at heathrow (expresstest - £250 including a day 5 test to release), and fill out passenger locator form (free, at least that!).

Monday: Flight out of ZRH, everything printed... Except I forget my passport at home. Luckily I have a backup passport in the car, from another nationality. I worry that nothing matches my tests, so I email expresstest who promptly update my booking with my new passport details and nationality. I go into the ZRH airside test center, and do a quick test (80chfs). The guy was kind enough to print the results for me.

Land in Heathrow, the queue wasn't too bad... EU queue, took about 30 minutes or so. The chap who was looking through papers glances over everything I printed, I explain I have updated versions with my new passport number on my phone in PDF... he says that I'm too honest, and lets me through.

So far, the only real pain has been the actual COVID tests... have my "day 2" test today at Heathrow. It's a drive-through site, so I really hope my car starts... it's been standing for several months!
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Old 20.04.2021, 13:47
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

All this and you still have to spend 10 days in quarantine?

I'm desperate to go but no thanks
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Old 20.04.2021, 14:00
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

Hi Spinal, great to hear that you had a much smoother entry into the UK
than I experienced. Perhaps some of the recent adverse media reports are having effect.

BTW, the inbound test does not necessarily have to be a PCR test, see here for details https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavi...ing-to-england
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Old 20.04.2021, 14:40
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

Why did you do a PCR test and a rapid test? Entry to the UK only requires an antigen test, no?
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Old 21.04.2021, 12:30
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

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All this and you still have to spend 10 days in quarantine?

I'm desperate to go but no thanks
I should be able to get out in 5 days, as opted for the test-to-release scheme.

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Hi Spinal, great to hear that you had a much smoother entry into the UK
than I experienced. Perhaps some of the recent adverse media reports are having effect.

BTW, the inbound test does not necessarily have to be a PCR test, see here for details https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavi...ing-to-england
Agreed, aware of the antigen requirement, but my worry was that the PCR test has a higher false positive rate. So I didn't want to rock up at the airport, get a false positive, and then not be allowed to fly as I needed to wait for a PCR test to confirm.

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Why did you do a PCR test and a rapid test? Entry to the UK only requires an antigen test, no?
Antigen would have been enough - but I did PCR for the reason above. The second test was a result of me forgetting my passport at home (the details of which are on the test result)

Also a quick update:
Tuesday: Drove to heathrow for the Day 2 - massive parking lot, one other car and no queue. In an out in 5 minutes, with a friendly American guy doing the swab. This was both throat and nose, without getting out of the car.

No results yet, I'm told I should have them before 10pm tonight.

The nearby NHS vaccination center was impressive to look at from outside, no idea on capacity, but it looked able to cope with thousands of people at a go... (that too in the Heathrow parking lots)
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Old 22.04.2021, 15:40
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

Quick short update, yesterday I got a call to remind me to self isolate.

I got the call again today, but also got a visit from a chap who was validating that I was indeed self-isolating at home.

He asked to see ID to prove I was indeed who I said I was, then left. Polite and quick, I was surprised that they actually do this.
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Old 22.04.2021, 16:34
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

That's interesting.

I'm assuming that you are based somewhere easy to get to, like London?

Perhaps the trick is to isolate in some God foresaken part of the country with an address that is impossible to find?!!
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Old 22.04.2021, 17:04
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

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Quick short update, yesterday I got a call to remind me to self isolate.

I got the call again today, but also got a visit from a chap who was validating that I was indeed self-isolating at home.

He asked to see ID to prove I was indeed who I said I was, then left. Polite and quick, I was surprised that they actually do this.
So someone turned up to actually check on you?! Was that during normal hours or late at night?
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Old 22.04.2021, 18:32
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

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So someone turned up to actually check on you?! Was that during normal hours or late at night?
The calls have been in the morning, and when I didn't answer, again in the late afternoon.

The guy who came round was around 9am; he did mention they may pop by again..... but surely (financially) they can't do this constantly...

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That's interesting.

I'm assuming that you are based somewhere easy to get to, like London?

Perhaps the trick is to isolate in some God foresaken part of the country with an address that is impossible to find?!!
Zone 6 - West London, so not totally in the sticks... reachable by tube + a 15 minute walk.

Taat said, based on CCTV, he came by car.
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Old 22.04.2021, 19:31
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

It seems to be quite random. When I did my UK trip in March I was also in an easy to get to place near London (close to Watford), and had no visits or calls at all. Maybe it's all or nothing, depending on whether your name comes out of the hat or not.
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Old 22.04.2021, 20:10
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

I wonder what happens if you don't answer the phone or the door, or tell them "I don't have to show you my ID", you know, like some people do.
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Old 22.04.2021, 20:16
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

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I wonder what happens if you don't answer the phone or the door, or tell them "I don't have to show you my ID", you know, like some people do.
No requirement for a Brit to even have ID!
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Old 22.04.2021, 22:39
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

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So I had to, at short notice, travel to the UK.

Saturday: PCR test at the airport. I went without booking, checked first the provider in terminal 2 (long queue), so then went to the one in terminal 1 which had no queue. Both charge 150chuffs for a PCR test.

Scanned the QR code, provided my details, and paid my moneys for a PCR test. As I enter the room, I hear the doctor/nurse shouting (in German) "oh mein gott, it was PCR, I did a rapid antigen..." and run out the door. It started well! 10 minutes later I get my lobotomy, and leave.

The test results don't arrive until Sunday evening (Saturday around 10:30 was the test).

Sunday: Book the day 2 + 8 test on arrival at heathrow (expresstest - £250 including a day 5 test to release), and fill out passenger locator form (free, at least that!).

Monday: Flight out of ZRH, everything printed... Except I forget my passport at home. Luckily I have a backup passport in the car, from another nationality. I worry that nothing matches my tests, so I email expresstest who promptly update my booking with my new passport details and nationality. I go into the ZRH airside test center, and do a quick test (80chfs). The guy was kind enough to print the results for me.

Land in Heathrow, the queue wasn't too bad... EU queue, took about 30 minutes or so. The chap who was looking through papers glances over everything I printed, I explain I have updated versions with my new passport number on my phone in PDF... he says that I'm too honest, and lets me through.

So far, the only real pain has been the actual COVID tests... have my "day 2" test today at Heathrow. It's a drive-through site, so I really hope my car starts... it's been standing for several months!
Excellent Info. Thank you.

I am catching my flight on Monday. I have booked my day 2+8 tests online (220 GBP), booked an airport hotel for the 10 day quarantine. Will do the Covid test at Zurich airport Sunday (PCR, which they say that results will be ready in 5 hours).

Overall, the arrangements were easier than I thought.

Fingers crossed I will have the same experience as you apart from forgetting the passport
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Old 22.04.2021, 23:34
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

PCR test is not needed for U.K., just do the cheaper antigen one at Zurich airport which gives results in 15mins. My partner went on the 7am flight to LHR today, 15mins waiting at the U.K. boarder control at Heathrow, then straight through. Track & Trace haven’t called her yet but she does have the day 2&8 tests booked as you need the codes for the passenger locator form. She also has the Halo test to release PCR Test booked which is £89 and releases you on day 6.
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Old 23.04.2021, 06:39
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

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PCR test is not needed for U.K., just do the cheaper antigen one at Zurich airport which gives results in 15mins. My partner went on the 7am flight to LHR today, 15mins waiting at the U.K. boarder control at Heathrow, then straight through. Track & Trace haven’t called her yet but she does have the day 2&8 tests booked as you need the codes for the passenger locator form. She also has the Halo test to release PCR Test booked which is £89 and releases you on day 6.
Yes - don’t understand why people are taking PCR tests for the U.K. - waste of time and money
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Old 23.04.2021, 06:58
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

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Excellent Info. Thank you.

I am catching my flight on Monday. I have booked my day 2+8 tests online (220 GBP), booked an airport hotel for the 10 day quarantine. Will do the Covid test at Zurich airport Sunday (PCR, which they say that results will be ready in 5 hours).

Overall, the arrangements were easier than I thought.

Fingers crossed I will have the same experience as you apart from forgetting the passport
Why are you not doing the day 5 test to release test? You could shorten the length of your quarantine if you did that.
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Old 23.04.2021, 07:16
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

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Excellent Info. Thank you.

I am catching my flight on Monday. I have booked my day 2+8 tests online (220 GBP), booked an airport hotel for the 10 day quarantine. Will do the Covid test at Zurich airport Sunday (PCR, which they say that results will be ready in 5 hours).

Overall, the arrangements were easier than I thought.

Fingers crossed I will have the same experience as you apart from forgetting the passport
Be cautious - they said 5 hours on the website for mine, but it was more than 24 hours before I got the PCR test results back...

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No requirement for a Brit to even have ID!
On the basis that these are just for travellers.... you'll have ID as you'll have entered the UK from abroad...

Side note - does anyone know if I can use the Day 5 test results to fly back to CH?
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Old 23.04.2021, 07:26
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

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Be cautious - they said 5 hours on the website for mine, but it was more than 24 hours before I got the PCR test results back...



On the basis that these are just for travellers.... you'll have ID as you'll have entered the UK from abroad...

Side note - does anyone know if I can use the Day 5 test results to fly back to CH?
Nope - it’s a scam - only the “Fit to fly” test have the required info for travel. Day 2,5 & 8 tests just give you a + or - result
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Old 23.04.2021, 08:33
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

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Be cautious - they said 5 hours on the website for mine, but it was more than 24 hours before I got the PCR test results back...



On the basis that these are just for travellers.... you'll have ID as you'll have entered the UK from abroad...

Side note - does anyone know if I can use the Day 5 test results to fly back to CH?
Thank you, I will take the rapid antigen test. I think it would be enough for travel to UK.
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Old 23.04.2021, 08:35
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Re: Travel to UK: Diary

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Why are you not doing the day 5 test to release test? You could shorten the length of your quarantine if you did that.
Two of my friends who did that and the results have come inconclusive / not valid. They had to do the test again and finally got the results on the day 9.
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