NEWS: New same day Day 2 test, next gov review may be sooner, Virgin planning new US route?

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New same day Day 2 test

Despite adding in a pre-departure test within 2 days of travel, you must still isolate until you get your day 2 test results even if you are fully vaccinated. It seems that this requirement is already stretching testing centres. Yesterday at T3 I waited in a long queue to get my Express Test PCR in the hope that I would get the results back sooner than sending one-off. Sadly the usual 24-hour turnaround (guaranteed before 10pm next day) that I had on almost every test I have taken with them has disappeared as I am still waiting 27 hours later. 

I will be changing my next booking to Collinson’s new same-day PCR test for Day 2. 

This is a Day 2 PCR Premium test for travellers who have received the full dose of their vaccine.

Travellers who take their test before 6pm will receive results the same day. Tests taken after this will have results delivered by 6am the next day.

It’s currently available at St Pancras, O2 Arena, and London City Airport.  It is also available to book for 9th December onwards at Heathrow, East Midlands, Gatwick, Luton, Stanstead, and Manchester airports.  

Here are a few points to note:

  • For travellers that are fully vaccinated
  • Same day results if test is taken before 6pm. Tests taken after this, results by 6am following day
  • 14 Days must have passed since the final dose of your vaccine
  • Also applicable for those who are under 18

It costs from £79.20 which is currently reduced from £99. Given that I pay £66 for Express Test to send it back by 10pm the next day, I think this is very good value at this price. The downside is that it is not at the airport itself but near the Airport Bowl behind Bath Road at Heathrow. 

It would appear at the moment testing companies are struggling to cope thanks to the government’s last minute decision. It’s all very well imposing the restrictions but if the infrastructure is not there to supply the tests, what are people supposed to do? Collinson has a notice on their website stating they are currently behind on testing but expect to be back to normal on Tuesday. 

You can find the booking page here. 


Next government review may be sooner than 18 December

The government is due to review its travel restrictions every 3 weeks, but as we know it can change at any time. They were due to next review the restrictions by 18 December. Obviously, this would be terrible timing for those that wish to fly to see relatives for Christmas. The Sun is reporting that a Downing Street source has said that the review will come quicker than that. Given that they already think Omicron will become dominant in the next month anyway, I’d hope as soon as there is any firm data to suggest it is no more threat than previous variants, that they would undo the restrictions anyway. 

There was due to be a review of all current restrictions including things such as mask-wearing on 18 December. This may also include travel restrictions and sources are now saying this is likely to be brought forward so as not to impact Christmas at the last minute. 


Virgin reveals it is looking at a new US route to be announced soon

According to an interview this week with Virgin Atlantic’s Chief commercial officer Juha Jarvinen by TTG, the airline is likely to announce a new US route soon. Speaking with Will Payne on the recent press trip to the Bahamas that I was on, Juha said that “There is something coming up, most likely forming next week, and we will be offering a new destination that we’ve never flown to before”.

Although there has been a decrease in booking for the immediate future, booking for next spring and summer are holding strong despite the latest restrictions. 

Juha said, “Assuming Omicron doesn’t turn out to be more serious than other variants, we are extremely confident 2022 will be a good year, and we are obviously ramping up operations to meet that demand.”



9 Comments on "NEWS: New same day Day 2 test, next gov review may be sooner, Virgin planning new US route?"

  1. Huge queue at St Pancras on Saturday evening for the test facility there (alongside the hotel). Would be interested if anybody has experience of the St Pancras facility.

    • Have used St.P twice….Aug was fine, fairly new opening, straight in, registered, tested and out.
      Second time in Oct…queue was 45 mins to registration, and then another 10-15 to get tested. The facility seems too small for the number of people they are booking in…. I’d think twice before using it again…. but as long as you allow an hour AFTER your booked time to get through…then it’s ok…. People had to ask to jump the queue due to trains etc

  2. I used the Halo testing facility at The Sofitel for my Day 2 when I arrived back at Heathrow T5 yesterday, efficient and well managed. Took test at 15.45 and received results at 21.25 last night.

  3. Jeremy Chandler | 7 December 2021 at 11:42 am |

    Hi Michelle,
    We have a debate going on in the family and I wonder if you can help?
    We depart YVR on Monday 10th January to land at LHR next day.
    I have booked pre departure PCR tests in Whistler (at huge expense!) on Friday 7th at 3:45pm
    We are pretty sure now that this may be too early for our departure.
    However, the website states 24-48 hours for results.
    I understand that the test has to be within 48 hours of departure? But we are going to need the results back in order to depart?
    Which is the most important?
    Test results in the 48 hour period or the actual taking of the test?

    • Yes you will need the results to be able to get past check in or you will be denied boarding. It’s actually 2 days according the published guidelines. The 48 hours is only mentioned in the press release. You need to achieve it within 2 days of departure and get the results back or you will not be allowed to board.

      You only need a rapid test so if you can cancel it I would. Results for these should be 20 minutes. You can buy a UK test online for around £20 per kit. If you are based in Canada and know someone in the UK get them to post you some!

  4. Dean Stannard | 9 December 2021 at 3:12 pm |

    We have booked a LTF test for entry into AMS on Thursday at 8.00am and fly at 14.00, we will return to the UK the next day at 18.00. Can I use the result of the LTF for AMS for my test to get back into the UK as it will have been taken less than 48 hrs before we arrive back in the UK?

    • Yes providing it has the info needed by the UK government on the certificate. Each government require slightly different info such as DOB passport no etc so worth checking it will have that.

  5. Note the Collinson Premium test is only £79.20 if you have a discount code. Might be worth updating the article to give some that are available 🙂

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