25.01.2022

Cost of Covid travel tests ruining your #HotGirlSummer?

Mission #HotGirlSummer is in full swing, but chances are the hassle of travelling abroad has put a lot of you off. First off, there’s the rules to try and wrap your head around, then there’s the additional cost of actually going, which is where we come in.

Since it was announced that free NHS lateral flow tests wouldn’t be accepted at airports, several private companies have launched their own services. The NHS also offer paid-for options of their own, which have recently been reduced in price, but are still more spenny than their private counterparts.

Researchers say there will then be a new ‘cheaper and quicker’ Covid test available at all airports, but it’s not known exactly how much this will cost, nor just how long it will take to come into fruition (although three months has been given as a benchmark).

In the meantime, we’ve rounded up the cheapest and most reliable Covid travel tests to make flying stress-free. Just remember to check the rules according to your destination.

Here’s a quick checklist on our chosen tests:

  • All prices below are what you’ll pay with British Airways’ discounts – some codes are automatically applied, others you’ll need to input. These work whether you’re flying with BA or not.
  • If certain tests aren’t mentioned below a company, it’s because they don’t offer that particular service.
  • The home testing kits work via video call, which means you’ll be sent the kit in the post, then an official will watch you perform the test on camera. You’ll show them the result, and they’ll email you your certificate pronto.
  • If you do opt for home testing kits, be sure to order them as early as you can before travelling, to avoid the panic that inevitably comes with delayed post.
  • The type of test you need (PCR or antigen) depends on your destination. Make sure you’re swotted up on your chosen country’s rules.

Type: Home test
Test to leave the UK: £63.75
Test to enter the UK: £33 (Antigen)
UK arrivals, day 2 test: £63.75
UK arrivals, day 2 and day 8 test package: £127.50
Test to release: £63.75

Type: Home test
Test to leave the UK: £45
Test to enter the UK: £38 (Antigen)

Type: Home test
Test to leave the UK: £22.40 (Antigen)
Test to enter the UK: £22.40 (Antigen)
UK arrivals, day 2 test: £79
UK arrivals, day 2 and day 8 test package: £139

Type: Home test and in London clinic
Test to leave the UK: £75
UK arrivals, day 2 test: £59.99
UK arrivals, day 2 and day 8 test package: £114.99
Test to release: £100

Type: Airport test
Test to leave the UK: £55.20
Test to enter the UK: £32 (Antigen)
UK arrivals, day 2 test: £55.20
UK arrivals, day 2 and day 8 package: £110.40
Test to release: £76 (LAMP)

Type: Airport test and national test centres
Test to leave the UK: £57
UK arrivals, day 2 test: £66
UK arrivals, day 2 and day 8 test package: £124
Test to release: £66

Type: Home test
Test to leave the UK: £75.65
Test to enter the UK: £33.15 (Antigen)
UK arrivals, day 2 test: £84.15
UK arrivals, day 2 and day 8 test: £168.30
Test to release: £75.65

Type: Home test
Test to leave the UK: £43
UK arrivals, day 2 test: £43
UK arrivals, day 2 and day 8 test package: £86
Test to release: £43

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