Covid tests at UK airports explained – price and how long results take

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If you're travelling abroad one of the best ways to get a Covid test and ensure that you get it in time for your flight is to pick one up in-house.

For travellers, getting tested for Covid before a flight is now just another thing they need to remind themselves of, like carrying your passport or packing sunscreen.

Fortunately, 2Chill has created a handy guide, listing the options, prices and timings at every major airport in the UK.

Here's what you need to know:

Manchester Airport

Travellers have access to both Collinson and Randox tests at Manchester Airport, but prices and result times vary.

For RT PCR (Reverse-Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction), Collinson has a £55.20 tests which produces results within 48 hours.

However if you need faster results, Randox has three other options available. They include £60 for next day, £70 for results within 12 hours, and £95 for results within three hours.

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When it comes to RT LAMP (Reverse-Transcription Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification),

Collinson has a £68 test which gives out results within 90 minutes. The Randox version costs £70 and also produces results within 90 minutes.

Both Collinson and Randox’s Rapid Antigen tests provide results within an hour. However, Collinson’s is cheaper costing £32 compared to Randox’s £39.

At a similar price, Collinson’s Antibody test costs £32 and give results within 60 minutes, compared to Randox’s £39 test with results within 48 hours.

Heathrow Airport

People wanting to travel from Heathrow Airport have access to PCR drive-through testing, park and test, in-terminal testing centre. It provides next-day results by 10pm and costs from £59.

They also have lateral flow/rapid antigen drive-through testing, in terminal testing. This gives results within 30 minutes and costs from £35.

The LAMP testing, also in the terminal testing centre, costs from £85 and gives results within 120 minutes.

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However, if you have time, you can undergo home testing with the lateral flow/rapid antigen test from £39, with results within 120 minutes. Their PCR Home Self-swab, results come back within 24 hours (from receipt at lab), and cost from £69.

Gatwick Airport

This drive-through centre located on Perimeter Road South (RH6 0PQ), offers a Fit to Fly PCR swab test for £59. It also offers PCR Green Arrivals tests for £69. You must book in advance. Results by 10pm the next day.

At their Expresstest Walk In (North Terminal), Fit to Fly PCR swab test costs £59 to have results by 10pm the next day. This compared to rapid antigen test which costs £35 and gives results in 30 minutes.

However, tests are also available in Boots (South Terminal Arrivals Area), with Private PCR swab test costing £85 for results within 48 hours.

There’s also a range of tests available via Collinsons. (Collinsons have consistent pricing so will match other airports).

Luton Airport

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Luton Airport has both drive-through tests and walk-in available with Collinson, which dropped its prices earlier this year.

Their Pre-Departure PCR test gives results typically within 48 hours and costs £66. This compares to their Rapid Pre-Departure PCR Test (available at Heathrow – Cardinal Point, Newell Road only) which provides results typically within three hours.

Their Pre-Departure LAMP test costs £68 for results usually between 90 to 120 minutes, and their Pre-Departure Antigen test produces results between 45 to 60 minutes at a cost of £32.

Lastly, the airport’s Pre-Departure Antibody test costs £32 for results within 45 to 60 minutes of test being taken.

City Airport

The airport’s testing centre is delivered in partnership with Collinson. Tests are carried out by Collinson nurses and are available for passengers travelling from London City, or other airports.

Travellers have access to RT-PCR tests with results within 48 hours at a cost of £66, and RT-LAMP tests which produce results within 90 minutes and cost £68.

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Their Antigen and Antibody results both come back within 45 minutes and cost £59 and £32 respectively.

Belfast International Airport

Belfast International Airport works in collaboration with diagnostics firm Randox. There are Randox testing facilities in Holywood and Crumlin, as well as at the front of the Belfast International Airport terminal building.

Slots can be booked online through the Randox website.

Travellers can receive their RT-PCR results over email by 11.59pm the following day after paying a cost of £60.

Their Antigen results come back within one hour following a £45 fee. Antigen Tests taken on the same day as your flight must be booked four hours before the departure time.

Those who opt for Antigen tests are advised to confirm with their destination that the test is accepted as a means of entry. Customers should also check the time frame for a negative Covid-19 result with their airline and final destination.

A statement on the website reads: “The type of test required varies depending on the destination, however usually it is necessary to take the test at least 48-72 hours before arrival at your destination.”

You must bring your passport and booking confirmation to your test. Find more information here.

London Stansted

Well-established companies Randox and Collinson both operate at London Stansted. Drive-through and walk-in options are available depending on the individual test.

Randox RT PCR Test claims to give next day results by 11.59pm at a cost of £60 per test. This compares to Collinson RT PCR tests which give out results within 48 hours and costs £55.20.

However, you can receive your results back within 12 hours when taking Randox RT PCR. But tests must be taken before 3pm. It costs £70. There’s also three hour tests available with Randox RT PCR that costs £95.

For Randox RT LAMP, travellers should receive their results in 90 minutes after paying £70 at the walk-through facility. The Collinson RT LAMP results take 90 minutes at a similar costs at £68.

Both Collinson and Randox’s Rapid Antigen tests take one hour to receive results. They cost £32 and £39 respectively.

When it comes to Antibody testing, Randox can give back results in 48 hours after paying £39 at their walk-through facility, compared to Collinson at 60 minutes for £32.

The drive-through facility is located at Jet Parks Zones T&P, on Bury Lodge Lane. The Walk-through testing centre is on Terminal Road North, CM24 1RW. Both are open from 7am to 7pm.

A spokesperson said: “All the prices or the details are available on the website it's really down to customers to make those choices. These are two well-established companies that have been in this business for a long time.”

They added: “The results will only be valid for the length of time that the country of entry requires them.”

Birmingham Airport

ExpressTest runs two sites at Birmingham Airport that departing travellers can use a walk-in at the South Terminal, and a drive-through in Car Park 7.

PCR with Fit to Fly Certification claims to give results by 10pm UK time the following day but can take up to 48 hours. It costs £59.

Their Lateral Flow Antigen aims to provide results in approximately 30 minutes at a cost of £35. It is available at the drive-through only.

Tests must be pre-booked through the ExpressTest website.

Travellers are advised to check what tests the country they are travelling to accept, on the Government website here.

You must bring your passport to your test.

East Midlands Airport

Both Randox and Collinson offer tests at the East Midlands Airport, but prices and result times vary.

Randox RT PCR test gives next day results by 11.59pm for £60, and Collinson RT PCR provides results within 48 hours after paying £55.20.

However, travellers can opt for 12 hour results with RANDOX RT PCR at a £70 costs – however the test must be taken before 3pm. There is also a three hour version which costs £95.

Other Collinson tests include RT Lamp with results in 90 minutes for £68, Rapid Antigen which produces results in one hour for £32, and Antibody which costs £32 for results in 60 minutes.

There is one walk-through within the East Midlands Airport Administration Building, and two Drive-through centres in Long Stay 1 Car Park and JetParks 2 Car Park.

Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport offers ExpressTest tests. These are available at the walk-up testing centre, open 8am to 6pm, as well as a drive-through facility, open 10am to 6pm.

Lateral flow testing gives results in 20 minutes, via email, and costs £50. While their PCR test provides results by 10pm the day after the test, but can take up to 48 hours. It costs £80 for airline passengers, £60 for airline staff and £90 for general public.

Tests must be booked prior to arrival and with sufficient time prior to your flight.

More information and booking here.

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