How to book that ‘Day Two’ Covid-19 test if you’re travelling from Denmark to the UK

Sanitisation at Heathrow Airport. People travelling to the UK from Denmark are required to pre-book a so-called Day 2 Covid-19 test.
Sanitisation at Heathrow Airport. People travelling to the UK from Denmark are required to pre-book a so-called Day 2 Covid-19 test. Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix
All travellers from Denmark to the UK, including children aged 5 and over, have to take a a PCR test on or before ‘Day Two’ after their arrival, and it needs to be booked in advance.

When do I need to book my “Day Two” PCR test? 

You need to include proof that you have booked a “Day Two” PCR test on the passenger locator form everyone over age 18 must complete and submit within the 48 hours before they travel. Anyone who fails to take this Day Two test faces a fine of up to £2,000.

And, yes, even if your stay is a short one, before you travel you will need to book and pay for tests for Day Two and – if required because you’re not fully vaccinated at the time of travel – Day Eight.

It should be noted that from Monday, October 4th, the UK government will relax travel rules for arrivals from the EU — but there are still restrictions and testing requirements in place.

The UK government is doing away with its amber list and having only green or red – all European countries are on the green list.

For countries like Denmark who were on the green list under the old system, the rules remain the same for fully vaccinated arrivals but have become more strict for those who are not vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated arrivals will no longer need to take a test in Denmark and show it before boarding their flight (or train or ferry). Crucially, however, you will still need to book and pay for the Day 2 test, and this must be done before leaving Denmark.

People who are not vaccinated (or who do not meet the UK government definition of vaccinated) will have to quarantine for 10 days on arrival, this can be done at a private home and you do not need to go to a hotel. In addition, they will have to book and pay for both a Day 2 test and a Day 8 test before leaving.

READ ALSO: What changes in October if you’re travelling from Denmark to the UK?

How to book a test? 

PCR tests in the UK may be carried out at home, or by going to a clinic. Prices vary based on how many tests you require and how quickly you need the results – and many clinics offer a range of packages.

According to the government website, you’ll have a wait of 24 to 36 hours to get your test result. Other sources and anecdotal evidence from frustrated travellers suggest waits of 72 hours and beyond.

The cost of individual PCR tests varies between £50 and £250 – though many providers offer a range of packages at different prices based on the number of tests required, where you are coming from and how quickly the results are needed, according to the Covid Testing Network website.

You’ll find the companies offer packages depending on the status of the country you are travelling from, in other words green or amber. Even though the tests are the same. Some companies confusingly list products only for “UK vaccinated”.

Some we found appear to have minimum spends so even if you find a cheap test you can’t buy it.

What’s a real pain is that you also have to book individually for each passenger that requires a test.

Compare this to Denmark, where free rapid tests are offered on arrival at airports, with a fresh negative result given to travellers before they get to border control, and where tests are then available to travellers for free at drop-in centres across Denmark. 

For anyone used to the efficient testing system in Denmark, the UK set up will appear completely bonkers.

When do you need to take the “day two” PCR test? 

For test and quarantine purposes, the day of arrival is counted as Day Zero. The following day is Day One, the day after that Day Two, and so on, so “Day Two” is in fact what most sensible people would consider “DAY THREE”. 

Confusing official list

The Westminster government lists test providers in England and Northern Ireland here.

But it is long and bewildering, and many firms listed are new and relatively unknown reflecting the rapidly shifting Covid-19 market. Unhelpfully, there’s little indication of where clinics are located, even after a search is regionalised: Yorkshire and the Humber, for example, covers quite a large area.

The government is quick to insist it does not endorse one test provider over another – but it does say that it ‘closely monitors’ performance. All private providers of Covid tests are required to meet certain standards. If they fall short they can be removed from official lists.

Better to look elsewhere

Travel firms and airlines, eager for your business, are increasingly offering discounted tests to customers who use their services, and may include links to certain suppliers on their website. They are worth a look as this may help you find a cheaper test.

It may also be worth checking the Covid Testing Network’s price comparison site, which shows provider prices for at-home and in-clinic tests within a radius of your location in England. Helpfully, it also includes a customer satisfaction score, as well as price, allowing users to make a reasonably informed decision.

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