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Rules for covid tests for re-entry in Uk

9 replies

Melassa · 15/09/2021 21:29

A couple of relatives are due to fly back to the U.K. from Italy and are now at the stage of booking the antigen test (rapid swab) for return to the U.K.

The U.K. gov website says 72 hrs before is fine, but the Italian providers they consulted said their rapid antigen tests are valid for a maximum of 48 hours. Is it just a case if discrepancy between countries’ validities (for eg the vax certificate here is valid 9 months, the U.K. one is 12 months) or do they risk being turned away at the airport?

For logistical reasons it would be easier to get the test done 3 days before and not 2.

Any advice?

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Geamhradh · 16/09/2021 06:35

Buongiorno Grin I've noticed various discrepancies between the Italian and general EU regulations and the UK ones.
I'm not sure what the correct answer is, but when DD did an LFT in Rome it actually stated on it the day and hour of its scadenza, so presuming these test results are checked by Italian officials at the airport,who'll know that here it's 48 hours validity, I'd just be a bit worried about not being able to board. Iyswim?

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EileenGC · 16/09/2021 06:46

UK are fine with it being taken 3 days before the flight, but now Italy also require negative tests or vaccination in order to take a long distance train or to get on a plane.

I would listen to the test provider and do the test less than 48 hours before the flight, purely because they will check the tests and even if these relatives are vaccinated, it’s much more complicated to start explaining to staff that they’re using their vaccine passes to enter the airport, and the tests are only for the purpose of entering the UK? IYSWIM?

They will see a test that’s older than 48 hours and deem it invalid - which for most other countries, it is. Not to mention some test results come with a QR code that doesn’t work beyond its 48h validity sometimes.

To sum it up yes, the UK accepts tests done 3 days in advance. For Italian procedures purposes, I would do it 48 hours in advance only.

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Melassa · 16/09/2021 07:42

Thanks, my thoughts exactly. What a pain. They’re worried about being turned back from the airport as a friend was flying to Canada and got turned back yet they were completely in line with the Canadian rules for re-entry but Italian side something was scaduto so they were turned back.

On another note, has anyone noticed that the NHS vax certificate doesn’t seem to work with the Green Pass qr code readers? Not too much of a problem now but in the winter where eating outside is not so pleasant it will be. I told them it might be worth getting the third dose in Italy (they are dual nationals) so they can have an EU pass, seeing as here it’s needed for everything and in the U.K. it’s not.

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EileenGC · 16/09/2021 12:14

You can convert your NHS pass into an Italian (EU) one - I have some friends who did it over the summer as they too were spending longer periods of time in Italy/Europe and needed a readable QR code.

I have no idea how they did it but I would start by asking at the pharmacy or local doctors, or wherever it is that Italians get those codes to begin with.

It’s pharmacies where I live (Germany).

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Melassa · 16/09/2021 16:17

Hmmm, interesting! We get ours via SMS from the ministry. I will try asking at the pharmacy as they can access them if you don’t receive a code.

The other difficulty is that the female of the pair was vaxxed under her married name in the U.K., with an anglicised version of her first name, but here she is known under her maiden name (no one takes their husbands surname in Italy) and her obviously Italian first name (think Mary vs Maria). So she couldn’t use Italian id with it.

God these things are sooo complicated. What a headache!!!

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Geamhradh · 16/09/2021 17:28

And weren't we surprised that it all went so smoothly from the Ministry! I know I was! Grin

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Melassa · 16/09/2021 18:35

I’m constantly astounded at the levels of efficiency nowadays! When I first arrived it was bundles of flimsy forms each with their Marche da bollo and endless queues in a variety of offices. Now the U.K. seems archaic! Italy has hit the 21st century. Who’d a thunk it?

There are still niggles even with the online stuff, but it’s worlds apart from the 90s.

I really need to get my SPID sorted, now I can even do that via an app. I’ve thankfully not seen the inside of a post office in years now. I used to come out fairly murderous.

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Geamhradh · 16/09/2021 18:59

@Melassa

I’m constantly astounded at the levels of efficiency nowadays! When I first arrived it was bundles of flimsy forms each with their Marche da bollo and endless queues in a variety of offices. Now the U.K. seems archaic! Italy has hit the 21st century. Who’d a thunk it?

There are still niggles even with the online stuff, but it’s worlds apart from the 90s.

I really need to get my SPID sorted, now I can even do that via an app. I’ve thankfully not seen the inside of a post office in years now. I used to come out fairly murderous.

Oh yes, totally agree.
I rolled my sleeves up, ready for 3 days if trauma with my SPID and whoosh! It worked!
Then the day after first Vax when everyone was talking about notification on their online fascicolo and I was "yeah yeah". And it was there! (And made me realise DD has missed boosters of God knows what Confused)
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Melassa · 16/09/2021 20:06

Oh really? I’ve not looked Blush. I only went in when DD needed to do a tampone because of an infection at school. I didn’t think to look if anything else was there. Well, you live and learn!

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