Covid Scotland: Where to buy a PCR test for travel using government list

The Covid travel rules mean that everyone travelling to the UK from overseas must take a private PCR test within 48-hours of arrival. 

With lots of options available at various prices, it can be hard to know where to book your test from. 

Here’s what the government says about booking a PCR test for travel

Are there government approved PCR tests for travel?

The government does not endorse, recommend or approve any private test provider, however you must make sure any test you book is included in the GOV.UK list of providers for the testing service you need.

You can find private PCR test providers through either your own research or via the provider lists on the government website which can be found here.

All the providers listed by the government meet the government’s minimum standards by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). 

You can filter the list by location, type of test and testing method. 

You can choose from swab at home, swab on site, provider supervised at home or provider supervised on site.

Some airlines and travel agents also offer discounts on PCR tests, so check with the company you are travelling with to see if you are eligible. 

What are the travel rules for the UK?

The travel rules are the same whether entering Scotland, England, Northern Ireland or Wales due to the four nations approach adopted by the four countries.

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must now book, pay for and take a pre-departure test and a post arrival test when travelling to the UK. 

Fo red listed countries, everyone regardless of vaccination status, must isolate in a quarantine hotel as well as taking day-2 and day-8 PCR tests. 

Meanwhile, if you are not fully vaccinated and travelling to the UK from overseas, you must: 

  • take a COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to England (this reduced to 2 days from December 7 at 4am)
  • book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 PCR tests – to be taken after arrival in England
  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 full days
  • take your COVID-19 PCR tests – you must book these tests before you travel

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