Prenetics launches a laboratory in London

Last year, Prenetics Ltd officially launched a state-of-the-art testing laboratory in Greenwich, London. The laboratory has the capacity to analyse thousands of results in an average turnaround of approximately 12 hours daily. This means, within 24 hours of receiving swabs at our laboratory, samples are analysed, and results are delivered securely online. The lab analyses both direct rapid PCR and RNA extracted PCR tests as well, making for an incredible additional capacity to meet the demands for the UK’s PCR testing requirements. 

From a quality perspective, the Greenwich facility is also GDPR compliant and adheres to the leading international security standard, ISO 27001, with connections encrypted using SSL. Our labs adhere to the highest standards of information security to ensure that customers’ data is protected when they test with us. 

This Greenwich lab serves as a part of Prenetics’ contribution to the fight against COVID-19 in the UK – by increasing testing capacity in London, we can ensure that we can provide a trusted testing service for Brits and international travellers. Investing in our own laboratory was also a crucial part of our mission as a business, which is to safely get Britain back to Work, Play and Travel. We have now not only expanded our capacity but can ensure that our clients continue to receive reliable and quality testing at their convenience. Our lab uses the latest technology to not only process the results, but to ascertain that those who test with Project Screen by Prenetics get their results in the time they need them. We utilise well-established and effective collection methods that are simple to conduct at mobile testing locations across the country before they are sent to the Greenwich lab or any of our other testing locations with our partner laboratories across the UK. 

We are continuously working hard as an organisation to ensure that we put in the work to upgrade our compliance and advance our technology so we can continue to be a trusted testing provider. Hence, Prenetics EMEA Ltd is now officially UKAS accredited to ISO 15189 (Medical Laboratories) and ISO 22870 (Point of Care Testing) under the unique reference number 22222. This means that the Prenetics laboratory and our laboratory partners are UKAS accredited or UKAS applicants, and use DHSC validated RT-PCR assays with the required accuracy that are quality assured internally and externally by independent assessment.

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the national accreditation body recognised by the UK Government to assess the competence of organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services. 

As a company that also specialises in personalised preventative health solutions via DNA and blood tests, the lab will generally be expanded and used to develop and innovate in that space going into the future. 

Omicron variant

What do we know so far about the Omicron variant?

According to the UK government as of 19 December 2021, the Omicron variant was detected as the most dominant variant of concern in the UK. Leading to an increase in cases that saw more people choosing to cancel plans during a holiday period when they would otherwise have been more movement and socialising. 

What do we know about this new variant so far? 

SARS-CoV-2, B.1.1.529 also known as omicron was first reported to the W.HO. by South African Scientists on November 24, 2021. This new variant was first detected in specimens collected on November 11, 2021, in Botswana and on November 14, 2021, in South Africa.

Omicron was quickly identified as a variant of concern due to findings that showed that it contained several mutations that indicated that it might behave differently from the delta variant that was the dominant variant at the time. 

So far, Omicron appears to be showing higher transmissibility but studies in South Africa, the UK, Denmark and other parts of the world are ongoing. According to WHO, the current information indicates that initially, more people tested positive in areas of South Africa affected by this variant, but scientists there indicate that since December, South Africa may have already reached the peak. 

When it comes to the severity of disease, it seems that even though it may not cause severe disease in most people as previous variants, Omicron the sheer volume of people testing positive is still forcing huge numbers to isolate. Even with less severity, there has been a worrying trend across the UK, EU, US and Australia that is seeing an increase in COVID-19 hospitalization rates.

What are the symptoms?

According to the CDC and W.H.O, like other dominant variants before, people have experienced and reported a wide range of symptoms from Omicron – ranging from asymptomatic cases to mild symptoms while others experience a severe illness that results in hospitalisation. According to the latest data, symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants. All variants of COVID-19, including the Delta variant that is dominant worldwide, can cause severe disease or death, in particular for the most vulnerable people, and thus prevention is always key. 

Here are the most common symptoms of COVID-19 to watch: 

  1. Fever or chills
  2. Cough
  3. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  4. Fatigue
  5. Muscle or body aches
  6. Headache
  7. New loss of taste or smell
  8. Sore throat
  9. Congestion or runny nose
  10. Nausea or vomiting
  11. Diarrhoea

This list is being updated regularly as the scientific community continues to learn more about COVID-19 and the impact of its mutations. 

Effectiveness of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection 

Preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron, thus those who were previously infected with other variants don’t have immunity from Omicron, as compared to other variants of concern, but the information is still limited.

Are vaccines effective against Omicron?

Economist Frederik Plesner Lyngse of the University of Copenhagen and the Danish Statens Serum Institute and his colleagues found that in households with a Delta outbreak, the unvaccinated were twice as likely to be infected by a household member as those who were fully vaccinated. In households struck by Omicron, unvaccinated and fully vaccinated people had roughly equal chances of catching the virus. This is why many countries like the UK are encouraging their citizens to get booster shots to increase their immunity against the new variant. Thus the Danish study showed that a booster shot cut the risk of infection by Omicron in half. Being vaccinated also reduces an infected person’s chance of infecting others. Noting that in both delta and omicron, an unvaccinated case was 41% more likely to infect another household member than a fully vaccinated one (1).

What about testing tools?

The widely used PCR test swabs continue to detect infection, including infection with Omicron, as we have seen with other variants as well. But confirming that a suspected case is Omicron requires a full genetic analysis, which takes between four and five days. By looking closely at the genetic material provided through testing, scientists can confirm whether someone is positive with Omicron or the already widely-circulating Delta.

Studies are ongoing to determine whether there is any impact on other types of tests, including rapid antigen detection tests (also referred to as a lateral flow test).  

How do you protect yourself?

Current safety measures like wearing a mask, washing your hands regularly, social distancing, vaccinating and knowing your covid status through testing still apply to the Omicron variant. So, with hospitals becoming more congested and pressure on NHS workers increasing, we all have a responsibility to play our part. 

Travel Update: Day 2 Lateral Flow tests re-introduced & Pre-Return Lateral Flow tests no longer required

Latest update: 7th January 2022

Scotland has announced that they are following England’s new travel testing regulations.

From 4am Friday 7th January, fully vaccinated arrivals to England and Scotland will no longer need to take a pre-return Lateral Flow test before boarding their plane to England or Scotland. Fully vaccinated arrivals no longer need to quarantine or self-isolate upon arriving in England or Scotland.

From 4am Sunday 9th January, fully vaccinated arrivals to England and Scotland can choose to take a Day 2 Lateral Flow test instead of a Day 2 PCR test after arriving in England and Scotland.

Already purchased a Day 2 PCR test and/or a Pre-Return Lateral Flow test from Project Screen by Prenetics?

Remote Lateral Flow Test customers
You should have received an email from “Team @ Project Screen” with the subject “Important: Pre-Return Lateral Flow Test Updates”. This email contains information about the different options you have for using your test in the future or requesting a refund.

Day 2 PCR Test customers
You should have received an email from “Team @ Project Screen” with the subject “Important: Day 2 Testing Update”. This email contains information about the different options you have for using your test or requesting a refund.

If you haven’t received one of these emails, please contact our Customer Support team at care@projectscreen.co.uk who will be happy to assist you.

*****


5th January 2022: the UK Government announced that the test requirements for travellers arriving into the England will change.

Firstly, from 4am Friday 7th January, fully vaccinated arrivals to England will no longer need to take a pre-return Lateral Flow test before boarding their plane to England. Fully vaccinated arrivals will also no longer need to quarantine or self-isolate upon arriving in England.

Secondly, from 4am Sunday 9th January, fully vaccinated arrivals to England can choose to take a Day 2 Lateral Flow test instead of a Day 2 PCR test after arriving in England.

Sign up to be the first to know when our Day 2 Lateral Flow test is available on Friday.

Read the UK Government announcement here.

Project Screen by Prenetics has a flexibility promise to handle changes to travel test policy. The flexibility promise means if your destination changes its entry requirements to a lower-costing test, we’ll refund the difference and if the cost increases, we’ll only charge you the difference.

When there are changes in travel policy, travel test providers can experience short-term increases in call volume. Your patience is appreciated whilst we work through priority requests first, like those customers landing immediately into England.

Already purchased a Day 2 PCR test and/or a Pre-Return Lateral Flow test from Project Screen by Prenetics?

If you are arriving in England before 4am Friday, 7th January:

  • You will still need to carry out both a Pre-Return lateral flow test and Day 2 PCR test

If you are arriving in England after 4am Friday 7th January and before 4am Sunday 9th January:

  • You will still need to carry out a Day 2 PCR test
  • You will not need to carry out a Pre-Return lateral flow test. If you’ve already got an unused test from us, expect to receive an email from us on Thursday 6th January with options to re-use, refund or obtain a voucher for your test. If you don’t hear from us this week, please get in touch.

If you are arriving in the UK after 4am Sunday, 9th January:

  • You will not need to carry out a Pre-Return lateral flow test. As above, if you’ve already made a purchase, expect to hear from us tomorrow.
  • You can choose to carry out a Day 2 PCR or a Day 2 Lateral Flow test. If you have purchased a PCR test and would like to use the test, carry out your test as normal. If you have purchased a PCR test and would like to downgrade to a Lateral Flow test, expect to receive an email from us tomorrow, Thursday 6th January, on next steps.

Check if you qualify as fully vaccinated

To qualify under the fully vaccinated rules for travel to the UK, you must have proof of full vaccination with a full course of an approved vaccine.

You must have had your final dose of the vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in the UK. The day you had your final dose does not count as one of the 14 days.

The proof of vaccination must have been issued by either:

  • the UK vaccination programme
  • the United Nations vaccine programme for staff and volunteers
  • an overseas vaccination programme with an approved proof of vaccination for travel to the UK

Check which vaccines are approved and the list of countries and territories with approved proof of vaccination.

From the Project Screen team

Travel Update: Mandatory Day 2 PCR tests for all UK arrivals

Yesterday, 27th November 2021, the UK Government announced that from 4am on Tuesday, 30th November all travellers arriving in the UK will be required to take a PCR test on or before day 2, instead of a Day 2 Lateral Flow Antigen test. 

Use the following information to discover what we know about the new regulations so far, and what to do if you have purchased a Day 2 Lateral Flow Antigen test from Project Screen by Prenetics. 

***

What are the requirements if you are already abroad or are planning to travel?

All arrivals (vaccinated and unvaccinated) from non-red list countries who were previously able to take a Lateral Flow test will now be required to take a PCR test on or before Day 2 after their arrival, and self-isolate until they receive confirmation of a negative result. 

The updates do not come into effect until this Tuesday, however, the UK Government is encouraging travellers to change their behaviour as soon as possible to help reduce the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. Today, the UK Government will be removing their recommended Lateral Flow Antigen private provider list from the Gov.UK website. Project Screen has removed the Day 2 Lateral Flow Antigen test in line with the Government’s requirements.

All fully vaccinated arrivals will now only have the option to purchase a Day 2 PCR test for £64

Unvaccinated arrivals are still required to take PCR tests on Day 2 & 8

***

Already purchased a Day 2 Lateral Flow test from Project Screen by Prenetics? 

If you are arriving in the UK before 4am Tuesday, 30th November: 

Your Day 2 Lateral Flow test is still valid and we will continue to fulfil your order as normal. However, the UK Government has made the strong recommendation that PCR tests should be adopted with immediate effect. 

You will have received an email from Team @ Project Screen with the subject line “Important information about your Day 2 Lateral Flow Test”. This email includes an exclusive discount for upgrading your test to a PCR test at a reduced price, taking into account the money you’ve already spent on your Lateral Flow test. 

If you are arriving in the UK after 4am Tuesday, 30th November:

Your Day 2 Lateral Flow test is no longer suitable and you are required to upgrade to a PCR test in order to satisfy the latest government regulations. 

You will have received an email from Team @ Project Screen with the subject line “Important information about your Day 2 Lateral Flow Test”. This email includes an exclusive discount for upgrading your test to a PCR test at a reduced price, taking into account the money you’ve already spent on your Lateral Flow test. 

Alternatively, if you would prefer to cancel your original purchase with no upgrade, you will have received a link to confirm your refund request. Your purchase will be refunded in full within 21 days. 

Project Screen will continue to update this blog as soon as we receive further information and direction from the UK Government on the Day 2 PCR testing requirements.

Stay safe. 

observed lateral flow test for travel to the USA

Observed Lateral Flow Antigen Testing for Travel to the USA

Jump To Links

What do US Travellers need to know?
What types of SARS-CoV-2 tests are acceptable for entry to the US?
What information must be included on the test result?
Are you fully vaccinated for air travel to the US?
Acceptable proof of COVID-19 vaccination

Earlier this week, on Monday 8th November, the United States ended their travel ban which had been in place for a year and a half due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is a huge relief for the travel and tourism industry and for families that have been separated by the rules since early 2020. 

Does Project Screen by Prenetics have a Covid-19 travel test suitable for US travel?
Yes! Last week, Project Screen launched the Observed Lateral Flow Antigen test – an at-home lateral flow test kit which includes a Telehealth consultation. Our Lateral Flow Antigen test kits are UK Government listed and FDA authorised under an EUA.

What do US Travellers need to know?

  • All air passengers (aged 2 or older) planning to travel to the US, will need to take a pre-departure COVID-19 viral test (either PCR or Lateral Flow Antigen) before flying, also known as a Fit to Fly test. Passengers must show their negative result to the airline before boarding the flight. The requirements are different based on vaccination status:
    • Fully vaccinated: A pre-departure Covid-19 test must be taken no more than 3 days before the flight’s departure date if you show proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
    • Not fully vaccinated: A pre-departure Covid-19 test must be taken no more than 1 day before the flight’s departure date if you do not show proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
  • If you have recently recovered from Covid-19 you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from Covid-19 (i.e. your positive Covid-19 test result no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure date and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).

What types of SARS-CoV-2 tests are acceptable for entry to the US?

The CDC requirements state that you must be tested with a viral test that could be either a lateral flow antigen, PCR or RT-LAMP test. The test used must be authorised for use by the relevant national authority for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in the country where the test is administered. 

Are self-tests or home tests accepted for entry to the US?

You can use a self-test if it meets the following criteria:

  • The test must be a SARS-CoV-2 viral test with Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) from the FDA.
  • The testing procedure must include a telehealth service.
  • The telehealth provider must confirm your identity, observe the sample collection and testing procedures, confirm the test result, and issue a report that meets the requirements of the CDC’s Order (see below).
  • Airlines and other aircraft operators must be able to review and confirm your identity and the test result details. You must also be able to present the documentation of test results to US officials at the port of entry and local/state health departments.

What information must be included on the test result?

A test result must be in the form of written documentation (paper or digital). The documentation must include: 

  1. Type of test (indicating PCR or lateral flow antigen test)
  2. Entity issuing the result (e.g. laboratory, healthcare entity, telehealth service)
    • Sample collection date:
    • A negative test result must show the sample was taken no more than 3 days before the flight for air passengers who have proof of being fully vaccinated, or no more than 1 day before the flight if the air passenger is not fully vaccinated.
    • A positive test result for documentation of recovery from Covid-19 muse show the sample was taken within the 90 days before the flight.
    • Information that identifies the person (full name plus at least one other identifier, such as date of birth or passport number)
    • Test result

Are you fully vaccinated for air travel to the US?

You are considered fully vaccinated: 

  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted single-dose vaccine
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted two-dose vaccine
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an accepted Covid-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial 
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of Navavax (or Covovax) Covid-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a phase 3 clinical trial 
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received any two doses of any ‘mix-and-match’ combination of accepted Covid-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart. 

If you do not meet these requirements, you are not considered fully vaccinated.

Acceptable proof of COVID-19 vaccination

Documentation TypeExamples
Verifiable records (digital or paper)Vaccination certificate with QR code1, digital pass via Smartphone application with QR code1 (e.g., United Kingdom National Health Service COVID Pass, European Union Digital COVID Certificate)
Non-verifiable paper recordsPrintout of COVID-19 vaccination record or a COVID-19 vaccination certificate issued at national or subnational level or by an authorized vaccine provider (e.g., the CDC vaccination card)
Non-verifiable digital recordsDigital photos of vaccination card or record, downloaded vaccine record or vaccination certificate from official source (e.g., public health agency, government agency, or other authorized vaccine provider), or a mobile phone application without QR code 1

1. The QR code in a verifiable vaccination record links to information confirming the credential was generated from an immunization record in an official database and is protected from tampering.

All forms of proof of COVID-19 vaccination must have:

  • Personal identifiers (full name plus at least one other identifier such as date of birth or passport number) that match the personal identifiers on the passenger’s passport or other travel documents
  • Name of official source issuing the record (e.g., public health agency, government agency, or other authorized vaccine provider)
  • Vaccine manufacturer and date(s) of vaccination
Day Lateral Flow Test

Travel Update: Day 2 Lateral Flow Antigen Test launching on 24th Oct

Today, 15th October 2021, the UK Government has announced that from Sunday, 24th October fully vaccinated travellers arriving in England can take a lateral flow antigen test on or before arrival day 2, instead of a PCR test.

These changes will come into effect from 24th October, however, the tests will be available to buy from a UK Government listed private provider on 22nd October. The day 2 lateral flow antigen tests will be available to families planning to go away for the October half-term holiday. 

Project Screen by Prenetics is one of 20 private providers selling Day 2 Antigen test kits.

What do UK arrivals need to do? 

From 22nd October, fully vaccinated travellers can purchase a Day 2 Lateral Flow Antigen test kit for UK arrivals from 24th October. With Project Screen, order before 2pm to receive kits the next day via DPD Next Day Delivery. We recommend purchasing this day 2 arrival test at least 24 hours before arriving in the UK. The UK Government requires all UK arrivals to add the test(s) booking reference number to their Passenger Locator Form. Booking reference numbers are sent in our order confirmation emails. 

On or before arrival day 2, follow the online instructions to self-swab, process your results and upload a results photo. You’ll receive your results within 20 minutes and photo verification within 12 hours. 

Do children need to test?

The rules for children depend on age and country of residence.
Children residing in the UK or in a country with an approved vaccination programme:
– If they are aged 4 and under they do not have to take any COVID-19 travel tests
– 5 to 17-year-olds must take a Day 2 Antigen test on or before day 2 – arrival day is day 0.

Children aged 5 to 17 who are resident in any country that is not on the approved vaccination programme list must:
– take a PCR or Lateral Flow Antigen test (if aged 11 or above) before travelling to England
– take a PCR test on or before day 2 in England – arrival day is day 0
– take a PCR test on or after day 8 in England – arrival day is day 0
– quarantine at home or in the place they’re staying for 10 days, or for the duration of their stay if it’s less than 10 days

Children aged 4 or under from these other countries do not have to take travel tests. They must follow quarantine rules.

What if I have already bought a PCR test?

The UK Government has said that those who have already bought a PCR do not need to buy another test. The arrival test must be taken as soon as possible on or before the second day of a passenger’s arrival in the UK.

Please refer to our Refund Policy if you wish to cancel a Day 2 PCR test.

Who qualifies as an eligible fully vaccinated UK arrival?

Travellers arriving from non-red list countries can use Project Screen arrival tests. Which arrival test depends on whether travellers have been fully vaccinated in one of the UK Government’s eligible vaccination countries or not. You must be able to prove that you have been fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) with a document (digital or paper-based) from a national or state-level public health body.

You qualify as fully vaccinated if you are vaccinated either:
– under an approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, USA or UK vaccine programme overseas
– with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan or the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

What do I do if I don’t qualify as fully vaccinated?

If you are fully vaccinated but do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules above, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules. Travel from the rest of the world if you are not fully vaccinated:

From 4am Monday 4 October, you must follow these rules if you:
– do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules
– are partially vaccinated
– are not vaccinated

Before you travel to England you must:
– take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to England
– book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 tests – to be taken after arrival in England
– complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England

After you arrive in England you must:
– quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
– take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8

You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

What are the new travel rules and when are the requirements changing?

🚨TRAVEL UPDATE🚨

In a statement last Friday, 17th September 2021, Transport Security, Grant Schapps, announced that there are some upcoming changes to the rules and requirements that travellers must follow when travelling to and from England. 

The current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries and territories and a rest of world list. Testing requirements will be reduced for eligible fully vaccinated travellers, who will no longer be required to take a pre-departure test when travelling to England from Monday 4th October. From the end of October, eligible vaccinated passengers and those with an approved vaccine from a select group of non-red countries will be able to replace the PCR day 2 test with a Lateral Flow Antigen day 2 test

Day 2 Antigen Lateral Flow Test Banner

There is a lot of information but what does it say (or not say!), when will it come into play, and what are we, Project Screen, going to be updating? 

What we knowWhat is unclearKey datesFuture Project Screen updates / explanation
8 destinations will be removed from the red list (see list below)22nd September
2021
Remove country block on these 8 destinations for ordering arrival tests
The traffic light system is changing:

There will be no green/amber lists

There will continue to be a red list
The arrival requirements for previously ‘green countries’ look like they will become stricter following this update. Arrivals will have to test on days 2 & 8 and self-isolate for 10 days4th October 2021Removal of reference to green/amber Covid-19 arrival tests
Following the success of the US & EU vaccination pilot, England will welcome fully vaccinated travellers from 17 new countries and territories (see list below). These travellers will be treated like returning fully vaccinated UK travellers – known as “eligible vaccinated travellers”What does this mean for children travelling with eligible vaccinated travellers?4th October 2021The information on our website will be updated to match this information. 
Arrivals before 4th October should follow the existing traffic light system & products on our website. For arrivals from 4th October, tests will be updated to reflect the new vaccinated/unvaccinated terminology
Testing for unvaccinated travellers from non-red list countries will be required to take PCR arrival tests on days 2, 8 (& have the option of day 5 – Test to Release), and self-isolate for 10 days. Travellers are known as “unvaccinated” if they do not meet the vaccination eligibility (as mentioned above)The date for the next update on future countries to be accepted as “eligible vaccinated” travellers4th October 2021We will continue to sell the Day 2 and 8 test bundle, with the add-on option of the Day 5 Test to Release test kit
Eligible vaccinated travellers will no longer be required to take a pre-departure test before travelling to England (e.g. the Antigen Lateral Flow test)What does this mean for children travelling with eligible vaccinated travellers?4th October 2021We will continue to sell the Antigen Lateral Flow test kit for unvaccinated travellers to carry abroad with them to test before returning to England
Day 2 PCR testing will remain until the end of October for all travellers – both eligible vaccinated and unvaccinated travellersOngoingIf you are planning to travel after 4th October, and we haven’t launched the vaccinated/unvaccinated Day 2 test, you can continue to purchase either a Green Day 2 or Amber Day 2 test
If you are planning to travel after 4th October, and we haven’t launched the vaccinated/unvaccinated Day 2 test, you can continue to purchase either a Green Day 2 or Amber Day 2 testThe exact date of the switch over to Lateral Flow Antigen testing for eligible vaccinated travellers is unknownUnknown – end of OctoberIn October, we will launch a Lateral Flow Antigen Day 2 arrival test for eligible vaccinated travellers

Which countries are being removed from the red list on 22nd September?

Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya

From which countries will fully vaccinated travellers be “eligible vaccinated travellers” and will be treated like returning fully vaccinated UK travellers?

From 4 am Monday 4 October, if you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days:

  • under an approved vaccination program in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas
  • with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan – mixing between two-dose vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna) in this list is also recognised
  • under a formally approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in the US, Canada and Australia and have proof of participation (digital or paper-based) from a public health body

You must:

  • book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive in England

You do not need to:

  • take a pre-departure test
  • take a day 8 COVID-19 test
  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days after you arrive in England

You must be able to prove that you have been fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) with a document (digital or paper-based) from a national or state-level public health body that includes, as a minimum:

  • forename and surname(s)
  • date of birth
  • vaccine brand and manufacturer
  • date of vaccination for every dose
  • country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer

If your document from a public health body does not include all of these, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules. If not, you may be denied boarding.

If you are fully vaccinated in the US, will also need to prove that you are a resident of the US.

If you are fully vaccinated, but do not qualify under these fully vaccinated rules, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules.

What does fully vaccinated mean?

In the UK, ‘fully vaccinated’ means you’ve had either:

  • 2 doses of an approved 2 dose vaccine (such as Pfizer or AstraZeneca)
  • one dose of an approved single dose vaccine (such as Janssen)

You must have had your final dose at least 14 whole days before you arrive in England. The day you had your final dose does not count as one of the 14 days.

2 dose vaccines

If you were vaccinated with a 2 dose vaccine (such as Moderna or Pfizer) you must have had both doses to be considered fully vaccinated. This applies in all cases, even if you have recently recovered from COVID-19 and have natural immunity. Those who have had COVID-19 and have only had one dose of a 2 dose vaccine must follow the rules for unvaccinated arrivals.

Each dose must be with the same (MHRA, EMA, Swissmedic or FDA) approved vaccine. For example, if your first dose was Moderna your second dose must also be Moderna.

For the UK programmes you can have one dose under the UK vaccination programme and the other under the UK vaccine overseas programme.

Single-dose vaccines

If you had an approved one-dose vaccine, such as Janssen, you are fully vaccinated.

Proving you’ve been fully vaccinated

You’ll need to show your travel operator and border control proof you’ve been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine.

You’ll also need to confirm that you’ve been fully vaccinated and can show suitable proof on your passenger locator form.

If you cannot (or prefer not to) show proof that you’ve been fully vaccinated you must follow the rules for those who are unvaccinated.

International Arrivals Change From Green List to Amber List: Portugal

Quick information

Use the following information to discover what options you have for making changes to your order, purchasing an additional PCR test to take on day 8, or how to cancel your order and request a refund.

I’m in Portugal and I require Amber Tests (Day 2 and Day 8) within the next hour, but I have already purchased a Green Day 2 test.

  1. Buy Amber (Day 2 and Day 8) home-kit package here
  2. Email refunds@projectscreen.co.uk with (i) your name and (ii) flight date and (iii) booking confirmation
  3. We will get back to you to arrange a refund for your original Green Day 2 test. Usually our refunds are processed within 48 hours, but occasionally refunds can take 3 to 5 days.

We are sorry if there’s any inconvenience from purchasing duplicate tests over a short period of time. Unfortunately, we cannot always offer refunds within an hour, so making another purchase may be the quickest solution.

I’ll be returning from Portugal next week. I need to add on a new Day 8 test to my existing Day 2 purchase over the next few days.

  1. Keep your existing Green Day 2 test purchase and don’t make changes to that booking
  2. Email travelchanges@projectscreen.co.uk with (i) your flight date. We will get back to you with a link to purchase a standalone Day 8 test. This link can be used to reduce the price to equal an Amber Arrivals package. Your existing Day 2 test and new Day 8 test will complete your Amber Arrivals (Day 2 and 8) test package.

I need to change or refund my test purchase for a return flight taking place after next week, from 14th June.

  1. For refunds, please email refunds@projectscreen.co.uk. Please include details of your request including evidence of your affected flight booking.
  2. To make a change to your purchase, please email travelchanges@projectscreen.co.uk with details of your request.

What Do I Need to Know About Changes to The UK Government Green List?

On 9th April, the UK Government’s Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, revealed that foreign countries will be classified into green, amber and red destinations. This is part of the UK’s roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions and resume international travel in the coming months. 

Yesterday, on 3rd June 2021, the UK Government announced that Portugal will move from the Green list to the Amber list. The change will take effect at 4.00 am on Tuesday 8th June. One part of travel plans to be impacted are the Covid-19 test requirements for arrivals into the UK. For Amber countries, arrivals are required to purchase a Day 2 and Day 8 ‘Travel Test Package’ in advance of their flight into the UK. This purchase provides the test booking reference number. The test booking reference number needs to be added to your passenger locator form before you fly into the UK.

After placing your Day 2 and Day 8 order, you will find the reference number for your tests on the Order Confirmation screen of our app. You will also receive an Order Confirmation email that includes your tests reference number. If you are at all unsure or can’t see your reference number, you can speak to our team by emailing care@projectscreen.co.uk. Please remember to check your spam/junk folder in your email inbox for the order confirmation.

Before boarding your flight into the UK, the airline might check your email purchase confirmation for your arrivals tests. We strongly advise you purchase all required tests before you fly. This means if you have a Green Day 2 test booked, but your country of embarkation has turned from Green to Amber, you should have Amber Day 2 and Day 8 tests booked before you fly. To do this, you should book either a new Amber Day 2 and 8 test package. Or you should book a standalone Day 8 package to be used with your existing Day 2 test. As of 4th June 2021, Project Screen doesn’t offer a standalone Day 8 test but it will be ready over the weekend. If you need a Day 2 and Day 8 test immediately, we recommend buying a new Day 2 and 8 package here. Then contact us for a refund on your existing Day 2 test at refunds@projectscreen.co.uk.

Virgin Atlantic Flight

How to Travel with Prenetics and Virgin Atlantic

Ahoy fellow traveller! If you’re anything like us, you’re probably bursting to go on a hard-earned vacation.

However, you might also be a little confused with the amount of COVID tests that you have to take, who to buy them from and exactly which tests you need.

Good news: Project Screen by Prenetics have partnered with Virgin Atlantic to take the complexity away from long-haul travel. If you’re thinking about flying from the UK to the USA, Barbados, Hong Kong and many other countries, we’ve got your back.


Head to our Virgin Atlantic Microsite To Explore Your Test Options

Green list? Amber list? Red list?! PCR or Lateral Flow? These are questions that might be on your mind.

No worries, head over to our Virgin Atlantic site and enter a few basic details:

  1. Where are you travelling from?
  2. Where are you travelling to?
  3. Round trip or one way?

Based on your answers, we’ll do the math(s) and tell you which tests you need. And, if the rules/colours/government’s mind (!) changes, we’ll update the calculator so you don’t have to worry about it.

Virgin and Prenetics Microsite Screenshot

Worked Example for International Travel

At the time of writing*, here’s what you need for a round trip to Grenada from the UK.

Grenada is an amber country, which means at a minimum, you must buy the:

PCR + Amber Arrivals Bundle.

This contains:

  • A PCR test you must take before you leave the UK. This will provide your Fit-to-Fly certificate
  • A Lateral Flow Antigen test for use in Grenada, three days before returning to the UK
  • Two mandatory PCR tests for use on day 2 and day 8 of your quarantine.

This would be your cheapest option. You must use a lateral flow test sold through a private provider (like us), rather than one secured from the NHS. This is because you need to display the lateral flow test result on your phone, which is not something possible with the NHS test.

However, other options are also available to you. For ultimate peace of mind and a potential rapid end to your quarantine period, you could take the:

PCR + Amber Arrivals + Test to Release Bundle.

This is one comprehensive bundle! You get the best of the best:

  • A PCR Fit-to-Fly test as your pre-departure test.
  • A Lateral Flow Antigen test for use in Grenada, three days before returning to the UK.
  • Two mandatory PCR tests for use on day 2 and day 8 of your quarantine.
  • A further optional PCR test that you can use on day 5 of your return to shorten your quarantine period.

Travelling Closer to Home?

If you’re travelling to Europe, a short-haul location, or somewhere not covered by Virgin, we can still help. Check our website for Fit-to-Fly, Green Day 2 Tests and Amber Day 2 and 8 Test Packages.

*As the rules change, the information may become outdated on this blog, however the Virgin Atlantic calculator will be updated.

Traveling outside of the UK

The UK’s traffic light system for travel: what we know so far

Correct on: 19th April 2021. We will update this as and when the Government unveils new information about international travel. See the UK Government’s website for further information.

On 9th April, the UK Government’s Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, revealed that foreign countries will be classified into green, amber and red destinations, as part of the UK’s roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions and resume international travel in the coming months. 

The Government hasn’t confirmed when this new traffic light system will go live, however, this is expected to be announced in early May, with May 17th being the earliest date we can expect international travel to restart. 

Breaking down the traffic light system

Countries will be categorised into three colours – green, amber, and red – based on some key variables, for example, the country’s rate of infection and vaccine programme. The UK Government has defined the following key factors for the assessment of foreign countries:

  • The percentage of their population that have been vaccinated
  • The rate of infection
  • The prevalence of variants of concern
  • The country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing

Defining the colour coding

Green: Arrivals will need to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test before flying to England. After arriving in England, travellers are not required to quarantine, however, they must take a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival into England. If they receive a positive result from this day 2 test, they are required to quarantine for 10 days. 

Amber: Arrivals will need to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test before flying to England (as above). Travellers will need to quarantine for a period of 10 days and take a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 with the option to Test to Release on day 5 to reduce their self-isolation period. This is similar to what the current requirements are for anyone arriving into England from countries not on the UK travel ban red list. 

Red: Arrivals will be required to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test before flying to England (as above). On arrival, travellers will be required to stay for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel, as per the current restrictions for those arriving from a country on the travel ban red list.

An overview of the traffic light system

Green CountryAmber CountryRed Country
Pre-departure test
Passenger locator form
Quarantine on arrivalNot Required10 Days10 Days
PCR test on arrivalDay 2Day 2Day 2
Test to ReleaseNot RequiredDay 5X
Additional PCR testNot RequiredDay 8Day 8

The UK Government will be continually reviewing countries, and a ‘green watchlist’ will be created, which will highlight the countries most at risk of moving from ‘green’ to ‘amber’, in order to give travellers more confidence when going on holiday or travelling for work. However, the Government did not state how much warning they will give for whether a country changes from green to amber – “the government will not hesitate to act immediately should the data show that a country’s risk ratings have changed”. In theory, this could mean when you leave England for your holiday to a green list country, for say a week, it could change to amber over the course of your holiday, meaning you would be required to quarantine on arrival back in England, and test on day 2 and 8. While this is a worry, we don’t know the full process, let’s just hope the Government can provide as much prior warning as possible.

From what we know so far, it seems all travellers returning from any country, regardless of which colour coded category they fall into, will be required to take at least two Covid-19 tests in the form of a pre-departure Fit to Fly test and a day 2 test after arriving back to England. It is unclear whether the departure test must be a PCR test or whether rapid antigen (lateral flow) Covid-19 tests will be allowed – these would reduce the price of testing for travellers, allowing more individuals to consider travelling this summer, and reduce the dependence on PCR testing, which is important for returning travellers to help identify any foreign coronavirus variants entering the UK.

Which countries will be in which category? 

The UK Government has not released this information yet, stating that it is “too early to predict which countries will be on which list over the summer” and that they are continuing to consider a range of factors to inform the restrictions placed on them. The Government will reveal in early May which countries fall into which category, as well as confirming whether international travel can resume from 17th May 2021.

It is likely that the initial green list will be small and feature no more than 10 destinations. Countries who have deployed vaccination drives quickly and successfully, for example, Gibraltar, Israel, and the US, are expected to be among the first destinations on the green list. 

Dates to keep an eye out for

Early May: The UK Government will outline whether the traffic light system will launch later in the month, on May 17th, and will reveal which countries are on each of the green, amber and red lists

17th May: The earliest date the traffic light system could come into effect and international travel in and out of the country could be permitted

28th June: Restrictions will be formally reviewed to take account of the domestic and international health picture, and to see whether current measures could be rolled back 

31st July: A further formal review on the restrictions

1st October: A further formal review on the restrictions

So there we have it, this is all we know so far about whether we can travel abroad for our summer holidays this year. While I’m sure more and more information will be available in the coming weeks, I don’t suspect we’ll be able to travel as stress-free and care-free as we did in pre-pandemic summers – those were the days!

At Project Screen, we will do our best to ensure that your testing needs are taken care of, and will help make your pre- and post-travel Covid testing experiences as convenient, flexible and fast as possible. Choose between at-home test kits or visit one of our Test Pods in England for our Fit to Fly and Test to Release services and discover our Travel Testing Package for your day 2 and 8 test kits.