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I have come across a real problem, and despite hours of googling I cannot find the answer.

I know it's a long shot but I hope somebody on here can help.

I am planning on visiting Riga, Latvia in December to see their Christmas Market. Latvia is one of only a handful of Countries that don't require a Covid travel test when you visit.

The trouble is you do need a negative Covid test result to get back into the UK, which must be taken while you are on holiday, 72 hours before you come home.

My problem is I will only be in Latvia for 2 nights, meaning I won't have even left the UK 72 hours before I return.

So what do I do? Do I stick strictly to the 72 hour rule meaning the test would be pointless as I have not started my holiday?

I think I have discovered a real flaw in the whole travel testing system.

blacklabrador
a week ago
What do you think of this?
davidstockport
davidstockporta week ago

If you are returning to the UK within 3 days, you can use the result of a COVID-19 test that you take in the UK before you travel. You must use a private test provider for the test and not an NHS test.

The service on which you will arrive back in the UK must set off for the UK within 3 days of when you took the test.

From: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-for-people-travelling-to-england

I hope that answers your question.

Hopefully you can take a test at the airport of departure - within 72 hours of when you depart from your destination to return. Complicated init😀

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davidstockport
davidstockporta week ago

I'm not too sure about this but there is a chance that by December those who are double jabbed might be able to return without testing. Just something I heard on the radio, but I wasn't taking much notice. as I've no plans to travel. If I can find anything to confirm I'll let you know.

But don't take the above as fact.

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davidstockport
davidstockporta week ago

I suspect you might have misinterpreted the "72 hour" thingummy, from things I have read the test appears to be WITHIN 72 hours - which technically means you could, should you wish, fly there without any test, and then take the test at any time you chose before the flight home - if the test was positive you would not be allowed to fly back.

The tests indicate whether you are negative or positive at time of testing and are acceptable for 72 hours.

EDIT: I should have added the above would be conditional on you being double jabbed.

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blacklabrador
blacklabrador
Original Poster
a week ago

davidstockport Many thanks for your response, research and answers, I appreciate it.

I have heard that they may scrap the tests for double jabbed people from October 2nd if visiting or arriving from green list countries.

I think the prudent thing for me to do would be to hold off booking anything until at least then.

Failing that, the test at the airport I am leaving from sounds like the best answer to a complicated issue.

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davidstockport
davidstockporta week ago

blacklabrador I also think it would be best to wait until nearer the time to decide as things are constantly changing. If it was me, choosing using the test at airport option before departure I think I'd try to book the outward flight in late afternoon and the return flight in the morning, three days later, to give some "wriggle room" if there were any delays.

Although you don't have to be back within 72 hours of the test you need to depart from your destination within 72 hours of it.

If by any chance there was some undue delay in Latvia, you could take another test there and if it was negative return.

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blacklabrador
blacklabrador
Original Poster
a week ago

davidstockport Yes, I think if tests are still needed I will take it at Stanstead on the way out, as my planned departure and return times run at about 56 hours gap (providing there are no delays)

Here's hoping they simplify things before then.

Thanks again for your help.

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gerrykelly25
gerrykelly25a week ago

We went to see the Christmas markets in Riga three years ago blacklabrador and it was cold!! Make sure you bring plenty of warm clothes.

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blacklabrador
blacklabrador
Original Poster
a week ago

I think that will add to the fun, even a little snow would be ok, just don't want cold rain.

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gerrykelly25
gerrykelly25a week ago

blacklabrador I hope you have a great time

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blacklabrador
blacklabrador
Original Poster
a week ago

gerrykelly25 Is Riga a fairly decent Christmas Market?

I've seen a few videos and pictures online and it looks nice, but of course things change from year to year.

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gerrykelly25
gerrykelly25a week ago

blacklabrador I loved the Old Town and market but my partner wasn’t keen. It isn’t that large but has lots of character. There is a bus tour you can do too.

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blacklabrador
blacklabrador
Original Poster
a week ago

gerrykelly25 Plenty of photo opportunities in an Old Town, I think I'll like it.

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sam30
sam30a week ago

Hi maybe you can call the nhs covid related number on 119? That way you can ask the professionals and be sure and won’t be in a bother. Hope this helps and hope you have a great time. ☺️

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blacklabrador
blacklabrador
Original Poster
a week ago

I did try one Covid helpline number, and the poor chap had little more idea than me.

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SilverSurfer
SilverSurfera week ago

Between now and December with Worzel Gummidge in charge anything could happen and the rules could be so different by then. I would just keep monitoring until closer to the time.

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blacklabrador
blacklabrador
Original Poster
a week ago

Knowing my luck it would switch from Green to Red list the day before I went 😱

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SilverSurfer
SilverSurfera week ago

blacklabrador I’m waiting until next year because it can change so quick

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blacklabrador
blacklabrador
Original Poster
a week ago

SilverSurfer It's certainly not straight forward at the moment.

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NatalyKroxa
NatalyKroxaa week ago

You can take antigen test 48h before and it cost 15€ ,you get you answer after 15 min just need to mention that you need results in English but it depends what dates it will be as laboratory may not work.

Other option is a LAMP test what cost 25€.

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blacklabrador
blacklabrador
Original Poster
a week ago

Many thanks.

I'll have to find out which test is needed nearer the time.

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NatalyKroxa
NatalyKroxaa week ago

blacklabrador Not a problem, I am planing to go for a Christmas,so if you will have any questions you can txt me and ask.

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blacklabrador
blacklabrador
Original Poster
21 hours ago

At last, the news today I really wanted to hear, no pre departure tests for the double jabbed.

I've already booked my Christmas Market trip to Riga 😀 🎄

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davidstockport
davidstockport15 hours ago

I guessed you would have seen or heard it on the news, it was, as I suspected, likely to happen. You'll just have to hope they don't change it back, and be thankful you're double jabbed. 😀

Happy to know it's worked out so well for you. Enjoy the trip.

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blacklabrador
blacklabrador
Original Poster
9 hours ago

Many thanks, I didn't realise quite how much I'd missed travelling until I started researching and booking last night.

Still have to do a lateral flow test 2 days after returning home, but that's a walk in the park compared to what went before.

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