Where can I get cheaper PCR tests to travel?


28th May 2021

Where can I get cheaper PCR tests for the UK’s travel traffic light system?

All passengers are required to take pre-departure private PCR tests when arriving back into UK from all categories of the new traffic light system.

It’s fair to say there is much confusion over what is required when it comes to booking testing and where to go to do this, as well as which standard of covid-19 test will suffice to grant you permission to gain re-entry into the UK.

Firstly, let’s address the small matter of what needs to be done before you leave the UK in terms of your destination country. You must check the specific conditions of the country you are travelling to and what is needed to cross border control on arrival. The Government website provides all entry rules per country in response to Coronavirus (Covid-19). Here you will find any updated changes and which rules need to be adhered to/proof of testing or vaccination shown. While some countries may not require proof of a negative covid test result, some parts of certain countries may require this when checking into tourist accommodation.

So, you need to book covid tests for pre-departure of the country you are staying in? What do you do next?

The Government is not accepting the NHS tests as proof and therefore all covid-19 tests need to be booked privately.

Antigen tests, PCR tests…which ones are acceptable?? According to Gov.uk the test must meet certain standards to qualify.

Its states that the performance standard of the test must be ≥ 97% specificity, ≥ 80% sensitivity of viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml.

This means there is not one specific type of test that is accepted and the options can include the following:


·       a nuclear acid test, including a polymerase chain reaction or PCR test as we now refer to them

·       derivative technologies, including loop-meditated isothermal amplification or LAMP tests

·       an antigen test, such as a test from a lateral flow device


In light of the new travel covid testing requirements, many companies now offer options to cover all criteria of countries placed in red, amber and green categories. Airlines and travel companies have also teamed up with such organisations to present those passengers with discounts and access to cheaper private covid testing.

British Airways

The airline has obtained a number of exclusive discounts and options for all testing requirements across all three travel categories. These include booking a PCR test for arrival into the UK or antigen tests via Qured that can be packed in your suitcase and done via video call with a doctor at your convenience before departing the country you are staying. Results come back generally in under an hour and at around £39 is a cheaper option than the PCR tests and providing they meet the testing standards, are accepted on arrival into the UK. They also have deals with Let’sGetChecked, Randox and many others. Click HERE for the full list of suppliers and discounts.


Easyjet have teamed up with providers such as Collinson and Randox to provide at home testing where possible and options for testing at many of the major airports they operate from. They have a full Covid-19 travel hub on their website with lots of useful information and all the discount codes for those passengers travelling or holidaying with the airline.


The airline provides useful information on their website of locations for testing centres in the UK, in many of the popular tourist countries and those they fly to on the green list. They have also, like many of the other major airlines, partnered with Randox to provide exclusive discount packages for each of the green, amber and red travel criteria.


Flights and holidays with Jet2 are currently not recommencing until June 24th at a minimum. The airline is currently in discussion with covid testing suppliers to be able to provide their passengers with discounted offers once travel with the airline does restart.


TUI have partnered with Chronomics to provide their discounted covid testing, for all passengers travelling for a package holiday with the company. Chronomics are offering TUI passengers covid tests from just £20 per person.

For those with flight-only option, accommodation only, and again package holidays, the organisation has vetted and teamed up with Klarity, Screen4 and Randox to offer cheaper covid testing for their customers.

We hope you find all this information and links provided useful in understanding the covid testing process for travel going forward and remember if you are lucky enough to be taking to the skies and require travel money for your holiday, be sure to head over to Currency Online Group for the best rates on the currency market. Get more travel cash for your money and have that extra drink on us!

©Currency Online Group

28th May 2021