1. Which type of Covid-19 test you need

Our travel advice pages have all the latest entry requirements for all the destinations we fly to, including which types of Covid-19 tests will be accepted.  For example, NHS test results should not be used for travel, and some countries we fly to don't accept the results from self administered tests.

Travel advice

Know your antigens from your antibodies?

Get a better understanding of the requirements by reading our Covid-19 jargon buster.

2. When and where to get tested

 

Depending on your destination, you'll likely need to have a negative test result before you can fly. Some countries may also require a test to be taken after you land, which helps to shorten the time spent in quarantine.

Find out when testing is required for the country you're visiting

Ready to book your Covid-19 tests?

We've secured discounted prices so you can buy the tests you need to travel from the UK to the US (and back again) for only £44 or Barbados for less than £73.

Travelling from the UK to our popular destinations

Route Self-testing In-person testing
UK to the US

£27

Video observed home Antigen test with Project Screen

£32 using code VA20Off

In-person Antigen test with Collinson

 

£34 using code VIRGIN21

In-person Antigen test with ExpressTest

UK to Barbados Not permitted

£55.20 using code VA20Off

In-person PCR test with Collinson

 

£56.64 using code VIRGIN21 

In-person PCR test with ExpressTest

 

Required tests and prices based on one fully vaccinated adult passenger using Virgin Atlantic discounts.

Pre-departure testing is required before flying to most of our destinations as it will help to keep you safe on the flight and limit Covid-19 being carried into the country you're visiting.

At home

Self-testing kits can be ordered online for delivery to your home and provide a safe and convenient testing method. Post your sample using the included pre-paid return envelope. Once the lab has your sample, you'll be notified of the result within 24 hours.

Top tip

For countries that accept self-tests observed by a clinician, there is an option to have your self-test observed via video call or at a testing location.

At the airport

A growing number of airports are offering a streamlined travel experience with rapid in-person testing on site, providing accurate results while you wait for your flight.

Top tip

Due to the limited testing capacity at airports, we highly recommend booking an appointment in advance and arriving early at the airport to allow the extra time you need for your test to be processed.

We’ve secured tests at discounted prices that can be taken either at home or in person.

Home testing providers

In the UK, Project Screen take the stress out of finding which tests you need for travel.

Project Screen offer all PCR and Lateral Flow Antigen Home Tests, including Observed PCR Tests via a Telehealth consultation at home or at one of their Test Pods in 25+ UK locations. 

Test Pods are open 8-12pm and 1-4pm, Mon-Fri (some locations are also open at the weekend). Project Screen home PCR samples can also be dropped at Test Pods and will arrive at the lab on the same day, at no extra cost.

Book your appointment or order your home test online by 2pm for DPD Next Day Delivery.

Prices from £17 with up to 20% off for Virgin Atlantic customers.

Order your home test from Project Screen

In the US, Azova offer a convenient home testing bundle including all the tests you need for a return trip.

Prices from $139

Order your home testing kit from Azova

Airport testing providers

ExpressTest offer Rapid Antigen tests with results in 30 mins.

Located at London Heathrow airport

Prices from £34 with promo code VIRGIN21

Book your appointment with ExpressTest

Collinson offer Rapid Antigen and Antibody tests with results within 60 mins. Rapid PCR tests are also now available with results within 3 hours.

Located at London Heathrow* and Manchester airports

Prices from £40 with promo code VA20Off

Register for your appointment with Collinson

*Collinson testing at London Heathrow is available 7am - 7pm and located 5 minutes away with transfer by free minibus.

     

Travelling to the UK

UK entry tests required Self-testing In-person testing
Day 0-2 UK arrival test

£17

At home Day 0-2 Lateral Flow from Project Screen

£34 using code VIRGIN21

In-person Day 0-2 Lateral Flow with ExpressTest

 

£32 using code VA20Off 

In-person Day 0-2 Lateral Flow with Collinson

Required tests and prices based on one fully vaccinated adult passenger using Virgin Atlantic discounts.

All passengers travelling to the UK will need to take a Covid-19 test on arrival (or shortly after) which will help prevent the spread of Covid-19. A Day 0-2 arrival test must be pre-booked before you can fly.

At home

Your arrival test can be completed from the comfort of home or after you've arrived at your accomodation, no later than two days after arriving in the UK.

Top tip

You don't need to wait two full days before taking your Day 0-2 arrival test. Order your home self-test in advance and it can be completed the moment you arrive in the UK (on day zero).

Home testing providers

 

Project Screen offer all the tests you need for travel, including Day 0-2 arrival tests for travel to England.

Samples can be posted using the included pre-paid envelope or dropped at Test Pods in 25+ UK locations which will arrive at the lab on the same day. Test pods are open 8-12pm and 1-4pm, Mon-Fri (some locations are also open at the weekend). 

Order home tests online by 2pm for DPD Next Day Delivery. Lateral flow results within 20 minutes, PCR results within 24 hours of receipt at the lab.

Prices from £17 with up to 20% off for Virgin Atlantic customers.

Order your home test from Project Screen

    

3. Get ready to fly

 

Complete your test and receive your fit-to-fly certificate before your international flight.

You must carry proof of your negative test result with you throughout your journey, as it will be needed at check in and when you arrive in your destination.

If you're travelling between the UK and Barbados or the USA, you can choose to upload your test certificate to speed up check in at the airport.

Covid-19 testing jargon buster

 

With so many different requirements and test providers to choose from, it can difficult to know where to start. So we've sorted out the antigens from the antibodies to help you book the right test with one of our trusted partners.

There are three main testing methods that look for different elements of the virus. Generally, the longer it takes to process the test results, the more accurate it is.

The most accurate method is to look for molecular or genetic signs of the coronavirus.

This type of test is often called PCR (polymerase chain reaction) or LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification)

LAMP tests are typically conducted onsite and results can be returned within a couple of hours.

PCR tests can take up to 48 hours as they must be processed in a lab, but offer very reliable results and are the most common test required for international travel.

As the name suggests, rapid tests don't require a lab for processing and offer the fastest results. This method looks for proteins from the virus rather than molecular or genetic indicators.

Rapid tests are often called Antigen or Lateral Flow tests and provide results in under 30 minutes.

This method is less accurate and should only be used as a guide - A positive result should be followed by a PCR test for confirmation.

 

This method checks if you have immunity against Covid-19 but can't tell you if you currently have the virus.

This method is often called an Antibody test because it looks for antibodies in your blood from a vaccine or having previously fought off the Covid-19 infection.

While test results can be turned around very quickly, antibody testing is not typically used to screen people before travelling to another country.

*In the UK, 'fully vaccinated' means you have completed the full course of an approved vaccine (either two doses of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single dose vaccine), at least two weeks before travelling and can show evidence of this.