If you’re planning to travel overseas – either coming to the UK or going to another country from the UK – you must check the COVID-19 travel requirements as you may need a COVID-19 PCR test certificate.
Many countries require you to quarantine upon arrival and travellers are increasingly being asked to show a negative COVID-19 test result from an approved laboratory before they’re even permitted to board an aeroplane, train or ferry.
The UK has a number of ‘travel corridors’ with other countries, where there is no quarantine requirement. However, these travel corridors change frequently and usually at short notice, making planning overseas travel unpredictable.
There are now two schemes in the UK that can help you with these COVID-19 travel requirements: ‘Fit to Fly’ and ‘Test to Release’. As PCR tests done by the NHS are not valid for either the ‘Fit to Fly’ or ‘Test to Release’ schemes, you’ll need to use a private service provider to get this test done.
Help with my visa! has partnered with Agilis Health, a UK-based, government-approved service provider so you can access these schemes and get a valid PCR test certificate when you need it, whether that’s to travel overseas or reduce the amount of time you need to quarantine after arriving in the UK.
Fit to Fly
The ‘Fit to Fly’ scheme used by many countries, airlines and other travel operators requires you to show a negative PCR test result dated less than 72 hours before your arrival at your destination. Travel operators may deny you boarding if you can’t show a valid test certificate when requested.
Even if your travel operator doesn’t require a negative PCR test certificate, your destination country might need you to show one. You may be asked to present the certificate at the border and will be denied entry if you cannot do so.
You should use this service if you’re applying for a visa to visit Russia.
Test to Release
The ‘Test to Release’ scheme is for people travelling to the UK from a country not on the travel corridor list who want to reduce the amount of time they need to spend in quarantine upon arrival.
The standard duration of quarantine – or self-isolation – is 10 days after arrival, but with a negative PCR test result this could be cut to six or seven days.
You must order your PCR test from an approved laboratory before you travel to the UK and complete a passenger locator form. A PCR test will be shipped to your UK address, and after five days of self-isolation you can take the test. When your results come back, if they’re negative, you no longer need to self-isolate.
Test to Release
Fit to Fly
UKAS-approved laboratory with Agilis Health
We’ve partnered with Agilis Health to bring you this PCR test service.
Agilis Health works with a UKAS-approved laboratory in the UK to provide a secure PCR testing service. Agilis Health is also on the UK government’s approved ‘Test to Release’ scheme, where the PCR test certificates they issue are widely accepted by other countries and travel operators under the ‘Fit to Fly’ scheme.
Agilis Health offers a rapid 48-hour turnaround on PCR tests and has put in place a strong supply chain to ensure the security, integrity and speed of service.
How the PCR Test Works
The PCR testing process is very straightforward and you’re guided through it every step of the way.
To get started, click one of the buttons below to order a test from Agilis Health. You’ll need the ‘Test to Release’ test if you’re coming to the UK from overseas and want to cut your self-isolation requirement; and you’ll need the ‘Fit to Fly’ test if you’re in the UK and want to travel overseas.
Test to Release
Fit to Fly
You securely enter your details on the Agilis Health website and pay for your test. Each person travelling with you needs to take a PCR test if they want a test result certificate.
Under Test to Release, you’ll also need to complete a passenger locator form, which is included within the booking form.
For both tests, the test package will be securely couriered to your address in the UK. Tests ordered before 15:00 will arrive by noon the following business day. Tests ordered after 15:00 will arrive one day later, again by noon.
Shortly after placing your order, you’ll be contacted by an Agilis Health customer services representative who will explain the rest of the process and book a video call with you to take the PCR test.
On the video call, a trained nurse will guide you through the swab process and tell you exactly how to use the packaging materials to secure your swab for shipment to an Agilis Health laboratory.
Under the Fit to Fly scheme you can book this video call to suit your travel schedule. If you’re using the Test to Release scheme, you’ll need to self-isolate for five days after arriving in the UK before you can do your swab.
When your swab is securely packaged using the materials provided, you can organise to have it dropped at a Royal Mail priority mailbox or post office.
Agilis Health will process your swab and email you your test result and certificate within 48 hours of your test. If your test result is negative, you’re then free to travel overseas (subject to any other travel operator or destination country rules) or end your period of self-isolation in the UK, depending upon the type of test you purchased.
PCR Test Price
The Agilis Health PCR test costs £195 + VAT per test. Every member of your travel party needs to take a PCR test if they’re travelling under either the Fit to Fly or Test to Release schemes.
Payments are securely made online using a credit or debit card.
The Agilis Health laboratory holds all necessary certifications to provide valid PCR test certificates under both the Fit to Fly and Test to Release schemes. PCR test analysis is fulfilled by 20/30 Labs Ltd on behalf of Agilis Health.