Covid-19 Testing

Please also see our Covid-19 Traffic Light System and our Covid-19 Guarantee

Covid-19 Testing – it’s as easy as one two three (well almost)

Although we at Vintage Travel are not affiliated to any of the Covid-19 testing companies, a couple of members of our team have travelled overseas in recent weeks and have had first-hand experience of the testing regime. For them it worked well and below we share the details of the companies used. Read their story here.

There are of course many companies offering Covid-19 tests: some are in local town centres, some at the airport and some offer a postal service. Prices do vary and over recent weeks prices have started to come down. It is also worth checking with your flight company as many are offering deals.

There is a little planning involved but it is not at all onerous and the steps are easy to follow. Individual rules around which tests are required for each destination do change so we would suggest that you do not order your tests months in advance.

What type of tests?

Each country has their own requirements and we will advise you of these when we send your final holiday documentation a few weeks before you go on holiday. The tests will either be an Antigen Lateral Flow Test or a PCR Test. Both must be a certified test (where a certificate is issued), and therefore you cannot use the free Lateral Flow Test provided by the UK government.

When might I need to be tested?

You may need proof of a negative test to enter a particular country and before you return to the UK. This proof will usually need to be shown before you board the aircraft, which may be at the airport or you may be required to ‘upload it’ to your airline booking.

Here’s what to do

Order/Book your tests well in advance BUT please check again before your departure what testing is required, as this might have changed. Check the FCDO Advice for your destination

  1. Book your required ‘Outbound’ (pre-departure) and ‘Once you are home’ (Day 2 & Day 8 Testing) test kit online (e.g. Randox ). Or book your outbound test at your departure airport or local test centre.   

  2. Book your ‘Inbound Test’ (e.g. Breatheassured).They will send you the test kit which you will need to pack and take with you so that you can take the test whilst on holiday. Alternatively you can take the test at a local test centre.

If your 'Outbound’ (pre-departure) test needs to be done within 48 hours of departure, we suggest you book your test at one of the many local testing centres that are popping up, or at an airport testing site  

Going to your Destination (Outbound) where a test is required.

  1. Carry out and return the test as instructed.

  2. When you get your certificate, upload it to your airline booking and make sure you take a copy of the certificate with you.

Returning to the UK (Inbound Test)

Current regulations mean that you need to produce a negative Certified Antigen Lateral Flow Test in the 72 hrs before your flight/ferry departs for the UK.

  1. If booked via a UK company (e.g. BreatheAssured) they will do an online call with you whilst you are on holiday, they will pre-book this to be carried out within 72 hrs of your return flight/ferry time.

  2. If required upload your certificate to your airline booking.

Once you are Home

The UK’s traffic light colour of the destination visited will determine the number of tests required. At the moment these tests need to be a Certified PCR Test.

  1. Carry out your pre-purchased Day 2 & Day 8 Tests (and option Day 5 test) as instructed.

Time limits

There are various time limits on the tests, i.e. 48 / 72 hours before your flight departure/arrival time.

Other Tips

Check out your airline – they may be offering deals.

Remember that testing requirements may change before your departure date. Check the FCDO Advice for your destination.

Make sure that you have adequate travel insurance.

Do check to see if you have a test centre in your home town.

Government approved providers for Covid-19 Testing

If you live in England download the NHS App (not the NHS Covid App) – do this as soon as possible as you can often use this as proof of vaccine.  

Proof of Vaccine

If you live in England, access your NHS Covid Pass via the NHS App or NHS website, or request a NHS Covid Pass Letter (this may take up to 5 days to arrive). For information regarding proof of vaccination in the devolved nations: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland  

Please satisfy yourself as to the suitability and acceptance of any test or testing company for your own situation and needs. These are not endorsements and we cannot accept any responsibility over and above these suggestions of the supplier.

Destination Age Group Destination Entry Requirements 
Mainland Spain Aged 12 + Fully Vaccinated (14 days**) OR PCR Test (72hrs)*
Aged 0-11 Exempt
Balearic Islands Aged 12 + Fully Vaccinated (14  days**) OR PCR Test (72hrs)*
Aged 0-11 Exempt
Portugal Aged 18 + Fully Vaccinated (14 days**) AND PCR Test (72hrs)*or Antigen Test (48hrs)*
Aged 12 -17 PCR Test (72hrs)* OR Antigen Test (48hrs)*
Aged 0-11 Exempt - No requirements
Italy Currently 5 days Quarantine on arrival  
Greece Aged 12 + Fully Vaccinated (14 days**) OR  PCR Test (72hrs)* or Antigen Test (48hrs)*
Aged 0 - 11 Exempt - No requirements
France Aged 18 + Fully Vaccinated (7 days**)
Aged 12 -17 Antigen Test (24hrs)* or PCR Test (24hrs)*
Aged 0-11 Exempt - No requirements
Croatia Aged 12 + PCR Test (72hrs)* OR Antigen Test (48hrs)*
Aged 0-11 Exempt - No requirements
Cyprus Aged 12 + Fully vaccinated (14 days **):  PCR test taken on arrival in Cyprus
  If not fully vaccinated: PCR test (72 hours)* AND PCR test taken on arrival in Cyprus
Aged 0 - 11 Exempt - No requirements
Turkey All PCR Test (72hrs)*

* Limit on the number of hours before arrival that a negative test result was produced.

** The minimum number of days since you have been fully vaccinated.

Returning to the UK
Aged 11 + No quarantine | Pre-Flight Antigen  | Day 2 PCR Test 
Aged 5 + No Quarantine | Day 2 PCR Test
Aged 0 - 4 Exempt
Returning to the UK from France before 04:00 hours on 8 August
Aged 11 and over Min 5 day Quarantine | Pre-Flight Antigen | Day 2 PCR Test | Day 8 PCR Test
Aged 5-10 Min 5 day Quarantine | Day 2 PCR Test | Day 8 PCR Test
Aged 0 - 4 Min 5 day Quarantine |  Exempt from all tests
Returning to the UK from all other Amber destinations and from France after 04:00 hours on 8 August
Fully Vaccinated No Quarantine | Pre-Flight Antigen | Day 2 PCR Test 
Aged 11 - 17 No Quarantine | Pre-Flight Antigen | Day 2 PCR Test 
Aged 5-10 No Quarantine | Day 2 PCR Test
Aged 0 - 4 Exempt
All Others Min 5 Days Quarantine | Pre-Flight Antigen | Day 2 PCR Test  | Day 8 PCR Test
Returning to the UK
All Quarantine Hotel 

Please also see our Covid-19 Traffic Light System