What’s travel like now? Portugal Part 2 – Returning to U.K. – Qured pre-departure rapid test for UK

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You can read about my outbound journey here and my stay at the Anantara Vilamoura Algarve here.

Returning to the U.K. is more complicated than travelling to the vast majority of countries that are accepting visitors. Even with a green country you still need a negative Covid test less than 3 days before and another day 2 test on or before day 2. The exact wording is “The service on which you will arrive back in the UK must set off for the UK within 3 days of when you took the test.”

The first test can be lateral flow or PCR with lateral flow being much cheaper and only taking around 30 minutes to get results. You can get tested at Faro airport but you must pre-book.

Children under 11 do not need a test.

You need to make sure it has the following information on the test results:

Your test result must be in either English, French or Spanish. Translations will not be accepted.

You must provide the original test result notification. It must include the following information:

  • your name, which should match the name on your travel documents
  • your date of birth or age
  • the result of the test
  • the date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider
  • the name of the test provider and their contact details
  • confirmation of the device used for the test, or that the test was a PCR test

You can find the official government page here. 


Qured lateral flow test by video

I chose to use Qured which is only £33 if you buy using BA’s discount code. You take the test with you. I’d advise doing the test as early as possible in the 3 days before your return in case of any hiccups.

You buy the kit online and book a video appointment for them to supervise your lateral flow test. You just need to remember to pack the kit!

The next piece of advice is to make sure you read the instructions before your appointment and get everything ready. It’s all pretty straightforward- it just speeds it up if you have opened and arranged everything.

You will get several text reminders about your appointment beforehand. My top tip is to take a pen with you. Many hotels have removed them from rooms and I ended up having to use eyeliner as I couldn’t find my pen at the time!

Whoops! Messy eyeliner

Once you are seen it takes around 10 minutes. You initially sign in to the video call and then are in a queue for a tester for a few minutes. I tried using Chrome and could not get the camera and microphone to work but it was fine on Safari.

You use the swab to take a sample from your throat and nose with the Qured person watching and instructing via video link.

Then you have to dunk the swab in a tube with some solution and then add a couple of drops of the solution to a cartridge.

To make sure you don’t cheat, you have to write the time and date etc on the cartridge and show it to Qured. Then you set a timer for 20 minutes and the appointment ends.

After 20 minutes (there are strict criteria of how long you have to send the email) you need to take a photo of you with the test and your ID and email it off.

Here is a video that shows the whole process:


I received my results 37 minutes later with the certification for travel. This seems about the normal time but it can occasionally take longer.



I had actually bought two of these anyway as they sounded like a great idea. Having done the test I will definitely be using these in the future for any travel. It was a very low hassle way to test before your return and cheap with it. You don’t have to waste time finding somewhere to test you, worrying that they won’t put the correct information on it or spending money to get to a test centre. 

You can find more information and the BA discount code here. 




16 Comments on "What’s travel like now? Portugal Part 2 – Returning to U.K. – Qured pre-departure rapid test for UK"

  1. I used this service and found it very poor quality. The certificate issued wasn’t in the correct time zone and required 3 corrections before it met the validity criteria. My results also took 9 hours to return. I would use an alternative if possible.

  2. Looking forward to the comments on this. I have bought two (on your advice) and booked it just under 72 hours ahead of time (Sunday night for Weds morning) – I figured if there’s an issue that’s sufficient time to correct it. I’ve seen people are leaving it to the final day and then in a panic. Great tip on the pen – thank you!

  3. K Tomas Krejci | 1 June 2021 at 7:24 am |

    I used Qured pre-departure test last week. The testing itself went well (although there were some videolink connection issues in the beginning). The biggest challenge was at Funchal airport where the check-in agent wanted to see my test and couldn’t get how I can produce a UK-issued certificate when I was in Madeira for a week! It took a bit of explaining.

  4. Francesca | 1 June 2021 at 7:44 am |

    Can you do the video call etc with a smart phone or would you need to take a laptop?

  5. Mark sambrook | 1 June 2021 at 8:02 am |

    Did mine yesterday. Now it’s nose swab only and you only have to wait 15 mins before taking a picture of the cassette. They asked when I was travelling back as demand is high and results are taking longer to issue. Having said, I got the result certificate 4 minutes after sending the photo of my cassette back.

    • I think that it was always a concern that most testing companies would get swamped as travel ramps up. There are quite a few companies that have had this issue and had to stop selling tests.

  6. Mine worked smoothly a couple of weeks ago, but have heard about people who’ve had various issues (no appointments, advisors not picking up). I think having two just in case and doing it as early as possible is definitely a good idea. And perhaps doing a quick search for a back-up testing location in your destination just in case.

  7. I was just browsing through today’s news, & was surprised to see a news item saying many people had been let down timewise by Qured, so had missed flights/ been unable to fly home/ had to do unexpected quarantine. I was going to use Qured, as it is recommended by BA. I have no direct experience, but suggest you check this out

    • Thanks Margaret. I have heard of issues with the outbound PCR test but not so much the inbound one. Sadly this was always predicted to happen for many testing companies where they simply get overwhelmed by the volume of people.

      Even government tests can have the same issue. Last year people in Barbados got stuck in quarantine for nearly 2 weeks after test results didn’t come back when they got overwhelmed.

      My advice is to keep looking at Trustpilot for recent reviews, have a back up in mind and get the test done exactly 3 days before.

  8. Thank you for that – I’ll try that if I pluck up the courage to go to Lisbon for the weekend end of June! I’m going just over 72 hours so sadly I have to do a test there otherwise I could use the one from the UK I think!

    Quick question – does the day 2 test have to be uploaded anywhere or is it a trust thing if you see what I mean?

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