COVID testing in Manchester UK for flight back to US?
May 25, 2022 5:01 AM   Subscribe

My partner and I are flying back to the US from Manchester in mid-July and want assistance with the most convenient way to get COVID testing prior to flight.

In my limited research I have seen that there is testing at the Manchester airport and that it is expensive (£35 each). However, the cost is of less importance that the convenience, BUT it looks like the testing is done at Terminal 1 and our flight is from Terminal 2.

1. Is the testing at the airport our best option and if so will it be a hassle to get to Terminal 1 to do so if our flight is from Terminal 2?
2. What are my other options? Can I go to a local pharmacy and get a valid test? If so do they transmit the results to the airline (Iceland Air)?

Ideally, I would like answers from people who have flown from Manchester to the US, or at least from the UK to the US.

Thank you in advance.
posted by Hey, Zeus! to Travel & Transportation around Manchester, England (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I hate the testing center at MCR, it's a total faff. Plus, really hard to find in that godforsaken airport. The trek between the terminals isn't far, but is a pain when you're stressed about a flight.

Last month we did a test over Zoom through Medwyn Occupational Health. It was cheap and easy.
posted by iamkimiam at 6:00 AM on May 25, 2022

I am seconding using a virtual video monitored rapid test. There are several outfits that will do it. I did one from my hotel room the night before departure. This was in Barcelona, but it could have been anywhere. We took the test, were sent a link to download the attestation, and then uploaded it to Delta. My gf also had hers printed out by the hotel, but I went on faith that once I sent it to Delta, we were good to go. I was never asked for it.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:13 AM on May 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yeah, the easiest way is to buy video proctored self-tests and take them with you and do it from your hotel room anytime the calendar day before your flight. I did one from my Paris hotel room at 3AM Sunday East Coast time and had no wait time for a proctor, which is the thing I was the most worried about.

They're not cheap, but if you have a flex spending account, they're eligible.
posted by rhymedirective at 7:12 AM on May 25, 2022

Best answer: I'm a UK (near-Manchester) resident and frequent Manchester airport user.

Terminals 1 and 2 are connected via a sky-bridge walkway ('Skylink') that takes around 12mins to walk depending on your baggage and mobility. The walkway has travelators in it but for some reason they're not always operational. There are elevators at each end and also in the middle (where it passes through a junction at the railway / tram station). The skybridge is never busy or bustling.

It may help you to know that there is currently a Randox testing centre at T2, accessible to people who are 'outside' the airport, including non-passengers. It is on the ground floor just near to the Multi-faith prayer room, very close to elevators to the skybridge. In my experience the testing centre here is swift, I've used it and I've never encountered queues – indeed, it always looks very quiet whenever I've been past it.
posted by Joeruckus at 8:06 AM on May 25, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: To add, I brought with me two boxes of rapid tests I had gotten for FREE from the US Government. The only cost was for the video monitoring which was somewhere between $25 and $30 USD per test.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:16 AM on May 25, 2022

Best answer: I recently flew from the UK (Edinburgh) to the USA. Here's what we did:
1. Booked in advance at a local pharmacy that has a "travel clinic" attached that was specifically advertising COVID testing for travel. Ours was Medicspot, I also have seen Randox mentioned as a common option.
2. The day before our flight, went and got the tests done, proctored by the technician at the pharmacy. These were rapid antigen tests, they emailed us the results within about 15 minutes as a pdf certificate.
3. Uploaded the pdf certificates to our airline's portal (United airlines). We also printed copies and brought them to the airport, they were checked by the pre-check-in security (the person who asks if you packed your bags yourself and gives you a little sticker on the back of your passport), I don't think anyone asked to see them after that.

I've also heard the video monitored tests are a good option but it was just more convenient for us to do them in person.
posted by cpatterson at 8:21 AM on May 25, 2022

Best answer: you can get tested the day before at a boots or superdrug
posted by brujita at 12:20 PM on May 25, 2022

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