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Day 2-only COVID Test Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to the non-red country day 2 test, let us guide your choice.

COVID travel tests are complex – there’s no denying it. But here’s everything you need to know about the Day 2 COVID test, and how to choose the right test when you’re planning travel to non-red destination country.

What is the Day 2 Test?

A Day 2 test for travellers is a mandatory COVID test for all travellers entering England. You will be asked to provide details of your testing plans on your Passenger Locator Form as you travel. If you haven’t organised your test before you fly, you face a fine.

Who needs a Day 2 COVID Test?

The Day 2 only COVID test is for all travellers entering England from ‘non-red’ list countries. It’s a mandatory test – you must take it by law – and it’s something you have to buy yourself (you can’t get it on the NHS).

If you’re not sure which test you should be taking, take a look at the table below, or our COVID Testing for Travellers guide. This article covers the Day 2 and 8 package, Fit-to-Fly and Day 2 testing.

What travel test do you need when arriving in the UK? It depends on what country you have travelled from.

Can’t I just use an NHS lateral flow test?

No. The travel rules state that you need to buy your own PCR test from a Government-approved provider to be compliant after travel.

This is because PCR tests are more reliable than lateral flow tests. You can read about the benefits of PCR testing here and you can find the list of approved providers here.

What’s the best Day 2 Test package to buy?

It depends on your circumstances – cost, convenience and the reliability of your provider are all factors to consider.

Choose a Government-approved provider

First, you’ll need to choose a test provider who is on the Government list so your test result is valid. You can find the list here – MyHealthChecked is on this list, of course.

Take particular care with cheap COVID tests – double check that your provider is on the list and it’s not a scam. If the price seems ‘too good to be true’, it probably is! 

Check where your day 2 test is analysed

It’s also worth looking at whether the test provider has their own lab facilities and can fulfil all testing promised. As demand increases, there may be a delay with despatch and analysis of testing kits if the provider you choose is not in control of their lab facilities.

If your results are delayed, you’ll be putting friends and family at risk – and may even be asked to take a second test at your own expense – so the cheapest test might end up a false economy.

Do I have to quarantine while I wait for results?

If you’re fully vaccinated travelling from a non-red list country into the UK you need to quarantine while you await Day 2 test results. But be aware, non-vaccinated travellers will need to quarantine and purchase a Day 2 & Day 8 test package, and quarantine for 10 days. You can potentially reduce this time using the Test-To-Release Scheme.

Where can I buy a day 2 COVID test?

Right here – MyHealthChecked offers reliable Day 2 testing. We are on the Government’s list as a private provider, and run our own labs – so you can be really confident about getting your test and results in good time . You can also pick up a MyHealthChecked Day 2 test package in Boots if you’d prefer.

We hope you have found this guide useful. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us for help and guidance navigating the latest rules and regulations. Our friendly customer services team are available here.


Reviewed and updated 29/11/2021

Date of publication 25/05/21