REF A -- CDC FAQs for UK to US Travel: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-UK-air-travelers.html
REF B -- CDC Order: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/pdf/UK-Airline-Testing-Order_CLEAN-R3-signed-12252020-encrypted.pdf
REF C -- CDC Media Statement: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/s1224-CDC-to-require-negative-test.html
REF D -- Private Providers for Coronavirus Testing: General
Q1: What new travel requirements are there to travel to the
A1: Effective 28 December 2020, ALL travelers (this
includes US and non-US citizens no matter military affiliation), to the US from
the UK are required to have a negative COVID test prior to flight
departure. The test must be conducted no
more than 3 calendar days prior to flight departure. Travelers will need to have proof of negative
test results available to provide to airport officials via electronic or hard
copy. The test result documentation must
include information that identifies the person, a specimen collection date
showing test was done within the 3 calendar days before the flight departure,
the type of test performed, and a negative result (REF A).
Q2: Are US citizens required to get a test before
A2: Per CDC order, ALL travelers entering the US
from the UK are required to take a test within 3 calendar days of flight
departure and show evidence of a negative result. This includes US and non-US citizens.
Q3: When is the test required?
A3: Test sample must be collected and processed no earlier
than 3 calendar days of flight departure from the UK.
Q4: What kind of test do I need to get?
A4: The CDC order (REF B & REF C) outlines that a polymerase
chain reaction (PCR), Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP), or antigen
testing are acceptable methods for tests to be administered.
Q5: Where can I get a COVID test before travelling?
A5: For ordinary leave travel, tests can be acquired through
select airports (not required to be from the one departing from) or approved
private testing locations (REF D). For
official travel (PCS, TDY, emergency leave, student travel on official
student-dependent travel orders, or other government-funded travel), the same
sources for ordinary leave travel can be utilized at a reimbursable cost or
your supporting military medical clinic may support sample collection for processing
at RAF Lakenheath.
Q6: Can I go to the military medical clinic to get a
A6: Yes, if travelling on official orders for PCS, TDY,
emergency leave, student dependent travel, or other government-funded travel. However, samples will be subjected to
transportation time to RAF Lakenheath and prioritization queues for symptomatic
samples at RAF Lakenheath which may result in being notified of test results
more than 48 hours later. It is
advisable to call first to identify availability but may be preferable to
schedule off-base testing to ensure test results within 48 hours and not impact
Q7: Can I get a test through NHS?
A7: No, not for the purposes of traveling. NHS tests can only be used for symptomatic personnel
or as advised by public health or primary care providers.
Q8: How long does it take for test results?
A8: For PCR or testing through your military medical clinic,
it is estimated to take 48 hours (or more).
For antigen testing, estimations are 45 minutes. However based on experiences from personnel, results
may take longer to be returned. It is
expected as processes improve, timelines will become more reliable and more
testing options to be available in the future.
Q9: How much lead time will I need if I get a test administered
at the airport?
A9: Although wait times will likely improve as the process
is refined, personnel will need to make a reservation for a testing appointment
prior to arriving to the airport. The
time at London Heathrow International Airport to get a test administered and
results has been reported to exceed 8 hours.
With that, it is recommended travelers to have tests completed earlier
at any available testing site (any airport or private provider) to allow for a
timely test result.
Q10: How much does the test cost?
A10: Tests have been estimated to cost between $50 to $150
depending on the testing location and type of test. Military medical clinic testing is available
to eligible members.
Q11: Will the government cover the costs for a test?
A11: For official travel where the government is paying for
the travel and travel orders are provided (TDY, PCS, Student Dependent, etc), any
testing can be covered through reimbursement per Joint Travel Regulations. Personnel are advised to maintain copies of all
invoices to request reimbursement. For
any other travel purposes, including ordinary leave, costs will be covered by
Q12: What should I do if my test comes back positive?
A12: Upon confirmation of a positive COVID test, positive
travelers will immediately isolate themselves away from others, halt travel
movements, inform supporting unit leadership, and be prepared to self-isolate
for up to 10 days. The member will be
responsible for changing flights with SATO (if on official travel) or with the
airline if on personal travel.
Some Options to
Consider for Testing in the UK
Please contact below providers before traveling to sites to
acquire tests to assure supportability:
From GOV.UK, a private provider listing for
general coronavirus testing: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing#providers-general-testing
East Midlands: https://www.eastmidlandsairport.com/coronavirus/testing/
London Heathrow: https://www.heathrow.com/at-the-airport/fly-safe/covid-19-test
London Luton: https://www.london-luton.co.uk/testing
London Stansted: https://www.stanstedairport.com/coronavirus/testing/
Supporting Military Treatment Clinic
RAF Alconbury: 01480
RAF Croughton: 01280 708737
for testing are recommended. Test results are required at time of check-in so
earlier arrival times will be needed or testing prior to the day of departure
may be required.