I understand that the 10 day quarentine for international travellers returning to the UK can be reduced to 5 with a covid test under the "Test to Release" scheme. Looking at the list of covid test suppliers I chose one which offers me the following options:

  • Antibody
  • RT LAMP (Japan)
  • RT LAMP (Rest of the world)
  • RT PCR
  • Antigen

The descriptions of the tests are here but nowhere on the government or companies websites is mentioned which i need.

Which is the type of COVID test required by the UK government to succesfully "Test to Release"?

  • I would say it’s the PCR test, based on the information here citydoc.org.uk/test-to-release-covid-19-testing It’s definitely not ‘Antibody’, which tests to see if you’ve had Covid in the past. RT Lamp appears to be pre-departure only eg collinsongroup.com/en/the-travel-recovery The PCR tests are not cheap, and you may find it hard to book unless you can give plenty of notice moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/12/…
    – Traveller
    Dec 17, 2020 at 18:13
  • 2
    Seems it may not be a specific test, but rather a preferred provider
    – Mark Mayo
    Dec 17, 2020 at 21:16
  • @user632716 Which provider did you choose? Clicking on a random sample of approved providers, it seems that some (most?) links take you directly to the ‘test to release’ booking option. Others say they have no tests available currently, while some are location specific.
    – Traveller
    Dec 17, 2020 at 21:35
  • @Traveller wouldn't be surprised if that also changes every day, if they have no booking slots or tests available one day, then get a new supply :/
    – Mark Mayo
    Dec 17, 2020 at 21:38
  • @Mark Mayo Hmmm theguardian.com/travel/2020/dec/15/…
    – Traveller
    Dec 17, 2020 at 21:57

1 Answer 1


I opted for the antigen test.

This is proposed by some government approved providers; and I was allowed to pass the borders with this test booked.

I chose this test as providers can give results the same day. It also seems the least invasive.

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