Brian’s Travel Spot: Day 2 PCR Test

The entrance to the Collinson test centre at London Heathrow.This is not a Travel Spot that I particularly wanted to write, since it very much ended what had otherwise been a very good journey on a down note. Exactly two weeks ago, I landed at Heathrow having flown back from Boston with British Airways at the end of my trip to Atlanta (Georgia) and Portland (Maine). However, that wasn’t quite the end of my journey. On arrival in the UK, everyone has to take a COVID-19 test within two days, with the test booked in advanced. When I left the UK, the requirement was for a lateral flow test, but during the trip, this was changed to a PCR test.

That in itself was nothing new: I’d taken a Day 2 PCR test on my return from Iceland. There was, however, one crucial difference. Another rule change means you now must self-isolate until you’ve received a negative test result. That wouldn’t have been an issue had my PCR test result come back within the stated 48 hours. Unfortunately, it didn’t. And the rest of the process, with the honourable exception of the staff at the testing centre, was a complete shambles, my problems starting as soon as I left the terminal.

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