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UK VTL: New 5-hour ‘Day 2 test’ at Heathrow and Manchester from £59

Travelling to the UK soon? Newly-approved rapid 'Day 2' PCR tests at the airport will see you free from self-isolation in as little as 5 hours.

Last month we wrote about how the UK had reverted its ‘Day 2 test’ requirement for international passenger arrivals from an ART to a more expensive (but more accurate) PCR test, in the wake of the Omicron variant, while also adding a new self-isolation requirement for those awaiting their results.

That means travellers from Singapore using the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) on their UK trip can still enjoy a quarantine-free return to Singapore, but will now find themselves cooped up at home or in a hotel room for at least the first day of their trip.


That’s because most test providers are only issuing ‘Day 2’ PCR test results after around 24 hours, even though you can actually take the test any time from arrival (Day 0) to the end of your second full day in the country.

More expensive rapid 3-hour testing looked to be the solution, but as Rob at Head for Points noted earlier this month, the specific processing requirements laid out by the government for Day 2 PCR tests meant there simply wasn’t enough lab capacity to provide a rapid test service en masse.

Good news is that test providers have been modifying their processes over the last week or two to try and address this issue, and thankfully we’re now seeing rapid test options becoming available.

5-hour turnaround (Halo)

Halo at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 (in the Sofitel, which is connected to the terminal) is offering Day 2 PCR tests at £59 (around S$106), with tests approved by the UK Government for Day 2 arrivals.

Halo is open at this location from 7am to 7pm daily.

  • Tests taken between 7am and 6pm are scheduled for results delivery within 5 hours.
  • Tests taken between 6pm and 7pm are scheduled for results delivery by 6am the following day.