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Covid Testing Returning to UK

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Weathercam, Interesting that they do seem to have tightened up quite a lot. When we returned home in December we did all the paperwork, but Border Control didn't bother to check, then we heard nothing at all. We were scheduled to quarantine for 14 days, but that got changed to 5/10 on day 7, so we didn't bother with a test to escape a day or so early. I did also go out - to buy food and drink, as when we got home I discovered that for new customers you would starve to death before a supermarket would deliver any food!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@KathE, if one person gets in with a variant that's it. We can't even control our borders against the thousands of illegals who come across the Channel each year: how will we stop a virus?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@boobleblooble It really worries me when I hear Ministers say we have robust border controls that "will stop it in its tracks".

In the month prior to the first lockdown the UK had 6.2 million air passenger arrivals from abroad (ONS)

In January 2021 we had 631,500 flight passenger arrivals to the UK, 431,400 of whom were non-UK citizens (Home Office Air Passenger Arrivals Jan 21).

I absolutely do not believe that UK Immigration and UK Track & Trace have the capability to effectively vet even the mid-lockdown 631,500 arrivals, let alone the ten-times that number we hope to ramp back up to. I'm not arguing for an indefinite closing of borders but I just wish politicians would be more realistic about what might happen thanks to international travel bringing foreign variants into the UK before we hit the herd immnuity level. The PM is already pumping-out the 'back to normal by the summer' soundbites, just to get a nice boost in Thursday's elections. In reality, we'll probably not hit herd immunity till around August-September.

@CaravanSkier If the IATA TravelPass system comes to fruition, it will work all that out for you, as it has your entire flight schedule, including connections, and the rules for each country. This should avoid some of the issues we saw initially in the pandemic where people were refused entry because they'd transited through a prohibited country, or they had to hotel quarantine only because they'd spent an hour transiting through somewhere en route.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Wed 5-05-21 11:00; edited 2 times in total
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Day 2 for us today. We got our calls from the test & trace team at lunchtime, and this afternoon it was time for our first PCR test. You have to show a 'consultant' at your test provider your unopened swab on a Zoom call, and then you're good to start swabbing your tonsils and nostril. It’s easy enough. Swabs go in the post to the lab, and you get tracking details. Results in 48 hours max.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@telford_mike, we didn't have to do the Zoom call etc, not all providers do that for the 2 & 8 tests, and I'm pretty sure Day 2 tests are not PCR just normal Antigen swab tests, but could be wrong?

That said if your Day 2 & 8 tests are PCR must have been expensive?
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@boobleblooble, zero chance of stopping a variant forever from getting in. You would have to simultaneously eradicate it in every country on the planet & additionally remove the zoonotic reservoir of cats, dogs, bats, minks, pangolins etc where the virus can exist & mutate happily until jumping back into humans.
Listen to Whitty & co who are quite clear it’s not about zero-covid, it’s about living with a now endemic virus, and one which should no longer be able to over stress the NHS as the vulnerable are all vaxd, and there is zero evidence any mutations will escape the vax.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@telford_mike, which provider insisted on the zoom
calls? Mine (Latus/Everything Genetic) didn’t do that.
@Weathercam, day 2 is specifically a PCR to enable genomic sequencing of any variants us travellers may have brought home with us
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@telford_mike, which provider insisted on the zoom
calls? Mine (Latus/Everything Genetic) didn’t do that.
@Weathercam, day 2 is specifically a PCR to enable genomic sequencing of any variants us travellers may have brought home with us
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Weathercam - similar experience to you re the calls - daily and most of them usually around 3-3:30pm. One for me and one for OH within half an hour of each other. Likewise our day 8 test fell on a Saturday......the last collection from our 'priority postbox' on Saturdays is 9:30am and missed that. Call that day insisted we had to post the test on the day we did it - so followed instructions as told....... Said tests didn't get picked up from box until morning of day 10 (Monday) and we got the results Weds after our quarantine was over. The calls were all working to a script so it was quite amusing at times to hear the confusion in their voices when we didn't answer to script - some took it in their stride and were happy to chat back others were notably confused and tried to revert back to script as quick as they could. First covid jab (AZ) this Saturday - on Sunday, we may have well have been back in quarantine as was completely wiped out by it.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Weathercam, @gra, our provider is https://www.testingforall.org/

Definitely PCR tests, tonsil and nostril swabs, unlike the nostril quick tests we’ve been doing all winter in CH. Cost £99 for the day 2 and day 8 tests as a package.

Day 5 test to release coming on Friday - these cost £89 with the same provider.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@gra, I agree and was saying as such when it started. Whitty et al are just catching up with reality.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
boobleblooble wrote:
@gra, I agree and was saying as such when it started. Whitty et al are just catching up with reality.

No. He was completely realistic throughout. He said early on that this was something we were going to have to live with. He said early on that the key was going to be vaccination as a means of disengaging infections from death. You'll also recall that Professor Van Tam very early on said we would be lucky if we had only 20,000 deaths (and was criticised by The Wishful Thinkers as a scaremonger).

The only people who are 'catching up with reality' are the CRG nutters who were saying this time last year that the epidemic was "effectively over" and that we had "reached herd immunity already". Sadly, their influence on decision-making and the press cost tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths.

boobleblooble wrote:
We can't even control our borders against the thousands of illegals who come across the Channel

Only because the Government makes promises it then doesn't fund. We have three working Border Force patrol boats for our 7,700 miles of coast. For their Mediterranean coast, the Italians have six hundred Mail Online. Same with flight arrivals: it promises a system that will 'stop covid in its tracks' but still mixes 600,000+ foreign arrivals a month together in long queues.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Let's keep the political stuff for the Apres threads already dealing with those aspects. I am very interested in the topic - I bet others are too.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@achilles I agree, but I'm not going to let people get away with untrue comments if they raise them first. Sorry, but that's how it is. But I do appreciate how quickly such conversations go off a a tangent, so I'll try hard to be restrained.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Wed 5-05-21 20:21; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
So further update...

Again like yesterday more phone calls, though today, Day 5 they (the scripts) were not as long.

After the OH had her call she went down to check on the post as we were still expecting our Day 5 Test to Release kits, and came back to report that the Postie had just left a card saying he couldn't deliver them!!!!

So she shot out to see if she could find him and came back ten mins later with the kits! The postie said he could not deliver them to a flat but don't think he tried that hard, though our intercom is a bit erratic, so be aware of that if you live in flats etc with communal post etc

We paid £44.90 for the Day Five test via Eurofins, they were the company that Mat Hancock mentioned (though the Independent had to name them in an article) who were helping to reduce the price of Testing.

So prior to the actual test you have to download an App and then scan the bar-code on the test kit to register the kit.

I then took it straight to the main Post Office (Priority post-box) around Noon and asked the posties if they emptied it before the last collection at 18:30 and they said "yes" so hopefully they made it into the system earlier.

OH has now had an email saying her Day 2 test was negative but I've yet to receive an email.

And here's one for the people that like to get into the tech and theories, I mentioned how I was having long chats with the operators and I forgot to say on here how I asked them if they monitor one's mobiles via triangulation points etc so they can tell that you are in the immediate vicinity of your address for obvious reasons, they said No.

However, maybe if they suspect that you're not being entirely truthful and they pass your details on to the people who do the actual physical checking up, perhaps they utilise that tech?

More here
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/05/13/mobile-location-data-and-covid-19-qa

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/how-your-smartphone-makes-it-easier-to-track-your-movements-1.3722961
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Looking forward to the elections being over - being told how to get a postal vote adds at least a minute to each call.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@telford_mike, how proxy Laughing Laughing
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Weathercam, ISWYDT Laughing
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
Negative test result just received for the day 2 test. Day 5 test to release next on Friday. Test to release is really a bit academic, as nothing is open.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
So yesterday was day 6 and I'd still not had my Day 2 result, whereas the OH had hers late on Day 5 - but to be fair there was a Sunday and a Bank holiday involved, but you might have seen various articles and features in the Media about how erratic the testing companies can be, it is all a bit of a feck-up judging by reviews, and loads of people have not had any results, or their test kits even delivered!

And Tui announced yesterday that they will be doing tests for £25 !!

Late last night my Day 2 test results came in and thankfully quickly followed by my Day 5 Test to Release!!!

And yesterday was the first day we did not get any phone calls?

So not too sure how this testing debacle will develop in time for the Summer but if it still exists all I can recommend is that you look at the reviews first, but even then they can be fraught with issues as some give 5 * and others 1*.

Also work out in advance how Bank Holidays / weekends etc might affect the post.

Dogs have just written a blog about it all Laughing

https://stylealtitude.com/the-dogs-blog-quarantine-uk.html
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
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@Weathercam, I do find it odd that even though the government deems these tests so important that they make them mandatory, that they exclude the use of the national testing service. I do a weekly PCR test - posted on a Wednesday, result emailed to me by Thursday supper time, these days without fail.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

In reality, we'll probably not hit herd immunity till around August-September.


@LaForet, Given (per ONS) >50 y.o. ENG adult seropositivity not above 80% odd now? would suggest to me that population immunity is closer than August/ September?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Day 5 here - got up early and did our Zoom sessions and got the swabs in the post nice and early. Usual phone call from Test & Trace around midday - all the calls have been at the same time of day. So, 24 hours to wait for the result and then we can get off down to the pub. Oh wait…
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Day 6 - no call from Track & Trace today. Got our 'test to release' results this afternoon. So that’s it, we're free again. If only there was something to do.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@telford_mike, congratulations, you will now be able to freeze in a pub garden like the rest of us!!
Thanks for the commentary, glad your results arrived in a timely fashion. I have not lost all hope that I will see Switzerland this summer...
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Skimum1, thanks. Can recommend http://www.tesingforall.org . All swabs arrived on time and the results were quick. Looking forward to getting back to CH soon.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@telford_mike, you have missed a T from the link presume this the one?

https://www.testingforall.org/

Looking at them thinking about IF France / Switzerland becomes green in time for summer, at the moment rules insist on Day 2 PCR test. However they don’t have a Day 2 only test yet - guess they will add now green countries have been announced?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I managed to slither back across the border: the Swiss asked for my test result but luckily not my passport which could've lead to awkward questions about the lack of entry stamp and the 90/180 rule. Some other bloke was having his kit searched but a whole load were just walking through as well.

At the French border the guard had a look, asked a couple of random questions but none about the entry stamp. He gave me an exit stamp then on I went! Lucky me.

Now waiting for the next exciting phone call from some call centre in Hyderabad.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@NickyJ, thanks for the correction! If you just want a one-off test, you just buy the regular PCR test for £89, as we did for the day 5 test to release. You can use it for whatever purpose you want - i.e. general diagnostics, fit to fly, test to release, etc. You get a certificate supporting whichever purpose you stated when you activate the test prior to mailing it off.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
telford_mike wrote:
@NickyJ, thanks for the correction! If you just want a one-off test, you just buy the regular PCR test for £89, as we did for the day 5 test to release. You can use it for whatever purpose you want - i.e. general diagnostics, fit to fly, test to release, etc. You get a certificate supporting whichever purpose you stated when you activate the test prior to mailing it off.


What worried me was saying that wasn’t suitable for day 2 testing.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This is the outfit we used and the cost is £44.90, (test to release/depart) sent off sample on the Wed and the result came through at 22:30 next-day.

https://www.eurofins.co.uk/pcr-testing-kits/

Though I'll order them a good three or four days before we need them in case I have to collect from Post Office etc

Will use them for when we return to France in a couple of weeks time.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
NickyJ wrote:
telford_mike wrote:
@NickyJ, thanks for the correction! If you just want a one-off test, you just buy the regular PCR test for £89, as we did for the day 5 test to release. You can use it for whatever purpose you want - i.e. general diagnostics, fit to fly, test to release, etc. You get a certificate supporting whichever purpose you stated when you activate the test prior to mailing it off.


What worried me was saying that wasn’t suitable for day 2 testing.


Yes, it’s all a bit strange, as all the test kits are exactly the same.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@LaForet, did he? How is 'living with it' placing the entire population under house arrest? There is little to nothing we can do about pandemics and there always has been. Quarantining the sick and hoping like hell is pretty much it. We think we are so advanced yet here we are, covering our faces with paper masks yet laughing at the Black Death doctors with their crow beaks.
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@boobleblooble, please keep your quasi-political stuff to any one of the Covid threads in Apres, where you are welcome to air your views. This is a useful thread about testing on return to the U.K, which quite a few folk seem to be doing at the moment, with this being the end of the winter season. I see that you have recently done so too. Please don’t pollute the thread with your anti-lockdown nonsense. Rather, contribute your experience of returning.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@telford_mike, does the same apply to @LaForet's pro-lockdown gibberish? Or to you tying yourself in knots obeying a system that simply isn't being policed and relies on abusing your trust in the gov't which has spent the last year or so utterly abusing it? Here's a question: is there anything the gov't could order you to do which you would disobey?

Just to keep you happy: I've had neither phone call nor test kits and it's day three. Tempted to demand my money back from the test kit people. I filled out the tedious form correctly for the UK border and have had work to do so been indoors anyway. At least a proper tyrant like Vetinari would do the job properly.
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For our recent trip to Germany we had to be tested (paid for) before flying (no more than 48 hours before) and have our proof of why we needed to travel. We were advised to do a test the first day in Germany, we did, it was free. I don`t think it was compulsory though. In Germany you currently have to have tests before doing many things such as attending a hairdressers (pre-booked appointments only).

To return we had to have a test (free) no more than 72 hours before arrival back in UK. UK border control required sight of the test result, our 'immigration' forms, the two requisite booked tests numbers and the invoice proving payment.

Our passports were stamped upon entry and exit to Germany. And on both journeys we were asked several times why we were travelling, but only had to produce the actual proof at border control points.

After leaving the plane at Heathrow it was evident there were separate channels for those coming in from 'red' countries. As far as I could see those passengers were basically corralled by security into a large waiting area.

Testingforall tried and failed to deliver the tests before we got home yesterday, they are supposed to be arriving today.

I did not book day 5 test to release but may now have to as were were burgled whist away. The police can`t come in because we are quarantining and we can`t clear everything up till they have been in rolling eyes
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@CaravanSkier, so sorry to see that. I know from personal experience how bad it is to be burgled - adding that to the situation your in and there is a COVID factor I hadn't thought of. OT, but excusable, I think.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@boobleblooble Cleary, we have diametrically opposite views that aren't going to be reconciled. Why keep returning to resurrect the argument? Especially when, as pointed out, it's not directly related to a thread reporting actual experience of repatriation. I'm happy to refrain from answering your observations, even when it's just abuse ('pro-lockdown gibberish'). Isn't it best to leave it at that?
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