PCR tests in UK

We’re having to go to UK in 10 days and are worried about having to pay out large sums for PCR tests (£210 each for 2 tests, one on day 3 the other on day 8). We understand the need to have a negative test before we go (free in France!) and another one when we return (£175 each) and the need to quarantine for 10 days, but does anyone know how to get round at least the 2 tests on day 3 and 8 (ie if you’re quarantining during that time, what’s the point?!) For all the tests needed it’s going to cost us nearly £800 if we abide by the rules. Your thoughts gratefully received. Thanks.

Rules are rules, and in this case designed to deter travel. If you have to travel, then you probably have to fork out for the tests (and quarantine). If you travel and don’t have the tests then I guess you might end up in a predicament costing a whole lot more, or you might get away with it ( but its not the right thing to do IMO)


yes, its certainly currently necessary, with no way around it; as it needs to be booked before you leave france…its something we deal with regularly.
currently a 1 day of freedom in france looks like:

negative pcr before you leave UK
1 week quarantine at home, then a negative pcr in france…
one day living !!
another PCR so you can return to the uk…
plus booking the .gov tests prior to returning to UK…
then get back to uk quick…
if you dont want the 10 days quarantine in the Uk then you can pay out even more and have a further PCR on day 5 under test to release…but you still need a negative result, obviously…so youll get that around day 7…
its all expense, but a very safe system for everyone…
its the right way to be i believe…
good luck, and safe trip

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I did look at popping to UK à couple of months ago when the test to release was in place. At that point for a 8 day stay you could get the test to release on day 5 then return to France before day 8 using the same test at approx £150 each person but only having to pay for 1 test each.

Boots have a service at £120, if anyone knows of a service in the UK which is cheaper let me know.

I just need to figure out how to get tested in France for the return journey if we are able to get over in May.

@ptf - can you use the same testing service in France that we have - this was with Synlab Link - it was free for us and plenty of availability, results (well) within 24 hours.

I’m not sure - I did a quick Google this morning but some of the pages that I found mentioned presenting a Carte Vitale which would be a little difficult in our case.

I probably need to leave it until closer to we plan to travel as the situation might well change. In any case the April 12 review is critical - if the May 17th date turns out to be over-optimistic I might not be travelling at all.

I used Synlab before I had a Carte Vitale. We were not required to present Carte Vitale for any of our tests.

They seem to claim a location to have the tests done in Rochefort-en-Terre which would be pretty convenient. I’ll make some enquiries early April if the May 17th date holds good.

I would love to go back to the UK to give my sister a last hug before she dies but with a family and 2 jobs and lack of transport / quarantine / cost etc it just isn’t feasible sadly. :cry: Thank god for video calls.


So sorry Tory. This is the toughest of times.

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You pay £95 each at Heathrow or London city airport.

If that’s just as you leave, or arrive I am greatly surprised it is relatively inexpensive.

I’m curious - is this for the 2 and 8 day test requirement - they aren’t on the government list

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Might explain why it is cheap.

See that there are plenty of people here telling you it can’t be done. It can’t. You cannot book your return trip without booking two tests which have to be taken on day 2 and day 8 during your quarantine. You have to have booked tests which are also ratified by the uk govt. so no cheap short cuts. People have been turned away from ports and airports without this in place.

you have to take a test within 72 hours of leaving. You cannot travel without pre booking government certified tests to be taken on day 2 and day 8. Three tests to be taken in 3 weeks. You are in quarantine for 10 days on arrival in UK. Unless of course you come from a listed country and then you have to do your quarantine in a registered hotel

Yes, those are the rules at the moment - though I think you need a test within the 72 hours before arrival in the UK as well as the day 2 and day 8 tests - the two tests seem to be being sold as a package around the £200 mark. With £120 for the test before you leave the UK and enter (eg) France, plus the tests on the way back foreign travel is an expensive proposition at the moment.

I’m hoping that when leisure travel is allowed in May (assuming that is the case) the testing will be relaxed a little.