How Are Lateral Flow Antigen Tests Going To Be Used For Travel

By the end of November 2021, UK residents who wish to travel to the USA will have to undergo mandatory testing for fever and LFDs. The new requirement on US-bound flights is that it must include a lateral flow antigen test which includes a simple one-step process. This article will cover all of the details you need to know regarding why this is happening and how it will affect travellers.

How Are Lateral Flow Antigen Tests Going To Be Used For Travel

What Is Changing?

The UK government is changing the requirements for US travel because of the growing number of cases reported to Public Health England. Those who are traveling to the USA will need an LFD test which includes a telehealth video consultation. This will be in place starting from the end of October where you can book an appointment with their GP online. The results should be available in 10 minutes.

Who Needs To Be Tested?

This requirement applies to all UK residents who are traveling to the USA for less than 90 days before returning to the UK. This includes Americans wishing to travel between these countries too.  If planning to travel before the end of October, take yourself to be tested by your GP. It’s quick and easy to do at home thanks to the LFD tests which are approved by the FDA. This requirement is similar to what has already been implemented in other countries including Brazil, Mexico, India, and Saudi Arabia. There are also plans in place for this requirement to be expanded to other countries around the world.

What Are Lateral Flow Devices?

These tests measure for fever as well as specific flu viruses such as swine flu, avian flu, and the Zika virus. You can use an LFD test at home before you travel or even when you arrive in the UK. One of the benefits of traveling with this requirement is that it only takes about 10 minutes to conduct. All you need to do is follow the instructions which are included in your lateral flow antigen test kit. Some tests also include a built-in thermometer. These are known as Duo Diagnostics tests. The other benefit is that it only requires one drop of blood which you can do by pricking your finger or using an alcohol wipe on your arm. There is also a digital LFD test which is easier to read and only needs a small sample of saliva.

How Will The LFD Tests Be Used During Travel?

Once you land at the airport you will need to go through a one-step process for your LFD tests. This is likely to be an automated kiosk that will require your passport and temperature reading. Once you complete this step, all of your information will be sent to the relevant authorities. This means that your results should appear within 10 minutes of checking in at the airport. Those who don’t meet this requirement will not be able to travel and you may need to make alternative plans for your journey too.

How Are Lateral Flow Antigen Tests Going To Be Used For Travel

Which Countries Are Affected?

This requirement applies to all countries which the UK government has deemed as high risk. This includes America, Japan, and Germany. The requirement also applies to the Philippines where the coronavirus is still prevalent in some areas. For those who are traveling from Guyana, Haiti and Samoa then the LFD test is not required. If you’re moving permanently to the USA then you’ll need a medical certificate.

What Is The Biggest Impact Of Changing Requirements?

The biggest impact of this change is that it will help to stop the spread of infectious diseases into the UK. This means that it’s better for both travelers and residents who are entitled to free NHS treatment in England if they are exposed to certain diseases. It will also have a positive impact on international relations too because they can continue to travel freely back and forth between the UK and America.

What Are The Upcoming Changes?

The requirements for entry into the USA are changing in October which means that LFD tests are going to be required for all travelers who need to use the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). This is the online system that requires your passport, home address in the UK, and all of your health details. If you’re planning to travel during Thanksgiving or Christmas then you should start planning now by making an appointment at least two weeks in advance for this requirement. If you are traveling from the UK to America at any other time, then you will need to have a valid LFD test.

What’s The Process?

The LFD test is very simple and only requires a small sample of your saliva. You can do this by using their at-home kit which will be sent out to you. All you need to do is follow the instructions, package it back up in an envelope, book an appointment with their GP online, give them the address provided on the website, and then it will be couriered back to them for analysis.

The LFD test must include the following:

  • The result of your LFD test should state NEGATIVE or INDETERMINATE. If you have a fever or symptoms of flu then your LFD will be inconclusive.
  • You must book an appointment with their consultant online to perform the telehealth video consultation.
  • All results are sent directly via email so please check your spam folder. If you still can’t find it then contact them for assistance.
  • Your GP will provide you with a letter stating that you are free from malarial parasites and will be allowed to travel.
  • -You may also be required to show the public health officer at the port of entry into the USA.

Your doctor may have questions for you so be prepared to answer them during your telehealth video consultation. All of this information can be found on their website along with a booking form, frequently asked questions, and all the details about the LFD test itself.

How Are Lateral Flow Antigen Tests Going To Be Used For Travel

The LFD test takes less than 15 minutes to complete at home, they are simple to use, and most importantly, they are approved by the FDA. If you meet all of the requirements after your GP appointment, then you will be able to travel back and forth between the UK and the USA and be able to visit your family over Christmas and New Year. You now know what’s required before you go so make sure to plan now by booking an appointment for November or December at least two weeks in advance.

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