flying home from the UK - testing requirements, advice and assistance

pre-flight testing - what are the rules?

Covid-19 test

Why do I need a test?

Covid-19 testing for travellers leaving the UK is now considered common practice. More countries have adopted the requirement for passengers to be Covid-19 tested before boarding flights, and to show a negative result. 

What test is required?

Most airlines and countries that do ask for passengers to be Covid-19 tested, normally require passengers to have a PCR test for travel. This can also been known as a nucleic acid test. 

Please be aware this test is NOT the same as, or compatible with, the free NHS test that is available. 

What are the timings of the test?

The standard requirement is for the passenger to receive a negative test result within 72 hours of their flight departure but some countries may ask for a shorter timescale to be met.

Any students that have a connecting flight should be aware that the 72 hour window comes into effect from the departure time of the final flight.

Due to the turnaround time for all tests, we recommend using a clinic and not a courier service. 

how can Bright World help?

guardianship team

Where are you travelling to?

Firstly, we will check on the country requirements and initially establish what test is required.

Who can provide me with the correct test?

Bright World has found a company which has four clinics, all located around London, that can assist with PCR tests for travel and any additional tests required. Tests can take place at clinics around the UK.

Depending on where the clinic is, we can find the centre that is nearest to a student's school and make sure the timings will work out with their flight departure times. We also need to make sure that the test they provide is suitable for the country the child is travelling to and will need to check that the clinic has an ISO number and UKAS accreditation.

How do I travel to the clinic to get a test?

Tests should be booked by overseas parents, as special consents are asked for which, as educational guardians, we are not qualified to give. Once the test is booked, we can arrange an escorted visit to the clinic.

For younger students, our Bright World Buddies and trusted drivers will stay with the child while they are having the test.

We are pleased we have been able to assist and get students home.

which testing companies should I use?

child having covid test

Bright World can help to recommend an accredited test centre, please contact us for more information.

We have had good experiences with Corona Test Centre . They have four clinics near and in London and can arrange your child's PCR test for travel plus any further tests that may be required.

We have also met with who offer a nationwide COVID-19 testing service with specialisms in China and Hong Kong Travel. They provide tests in clinics in London, Cambridge, Manchester, Chelmsford, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, on-site/home visits by medical professionals and by post to anywhere in the UK. They offer testing for 16 years plus only. This clinic is ISO 15189 accredited, and are therefore suitable for Hong Kong students. They also appear on the list for Mainland China so can be used for students travelling there.

Here is the list of all the UKAS Accredited Organisations offering Covid-19 tests. Please note that this list is not maintained by Bright World.

Travelling to another country?

covid particle and plane

Please check GOV.UK for advice if your child is travelling to a country that isn't listed above. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel advice sets out COVID-19 and other risks that you may face if you travel abroad from the UK.

who do I contact at Bright World for help with pre-flight testing?

Su Warren, Director of Guardianships

Su Warren, Director of Guardianships and Operations, has become our resident expert on testing and has helped several students get home safely already. Please contact if you have any questions.