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Layover Question- Traveling after 4 Oct

Orono, Maine
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Layover Question- Traveling after 4 Oct
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Hi! I’m traveling on British Airways from US to Heathrow and then on to Johannesburg in mid October. Bags will check through and it looks like I will be in the same terminal for both flights.

I have a 12 hr layover ( 0730-1930) and wanted to pop out to visit some friends for lunch.

I’m vaccinated and just recovered from COVID- but it looks like I would still need to book/pay for a 2-Day test and fill out a passenger locator form to get through customs? It just takes away a pre-departure test?

However, I still would not be able to leave the airport because I’m traveling internationally?

Thanks for the clarification.

5 replies to this topic
North Yorkshire...
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for Wiltshire, London
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1. Re: Layover Question- Traveling after 4 Oct
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You are correct. After the 4th of October there will be no predeparture testing. If you are in transit you do not need to book a Day 2 test. However to leave the airport you would need to have booked a Day 2 test, even if you don’t get to take it.

To stick within the rules you could go landside at Heathrow and meet your friends without booking a test as long as you do not leave the airport. As long as you are remaining in the airport you are technically still in transit as far as the Covid rules are concerned. The only opportunity for anything above fast-food may be one of the on-site hotels though.

Edited: 24 September 2021, 12:36
London, United...
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2. Re: Layover Question- Traveling after 4 Oct
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>>t looks like I would still need to book/pay for a 2-Day test and fill out a passenger locator form to get through customs?<<

Correct, although what you mean is what's called passport control here.

>>I still would not be able to leave the airport because I’m traveling internationally? <<

You can leave the airport. From Oct 4th if you are arriving from the USA and been vaccinated twice, then you don't have to self isolate.

Oregon
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3. Re: Layover Question- Traveling after 4 Oct
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#2: " From Oct 4th if you are arriving from the USA and been vaccinated twice, then you don't have to self isolate."

Yes, but if you're arriving from the US and fully vaccinated you already don't have to self isolate even before Oct. 4th (not relevant for OP but for others who might be confused by the above).

North Yorkshire...
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for Wiltshire, London
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4. Re: Layover Question- Traveling after 4 Oct
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#2 - the OP can only avoid a Day 2 test by being in Transit and the transit rules estate you must remain in the "port of entry" so in this case they cannot leave the boundaries of Heathrow unless they have paid for a Day 2 test before setting off......

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-air-travel-guidance-for-passengers#transiting-through-england

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: Layover Question- Traveling after 4 Oct
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We did this recently, rather returning from JNB through LHR to the states. After reviewing the Flyertalk forum carefully, we filled out the PLF as a transit passenger (exempt from testing) and filled in the test number as 0000000. At immigrations, the officer carefully examined our ongoing ticket the next day and agreed that we would not need day 2 testing (it's pretty obvious). All of our pretravel testing was in order, and we passed through immigrations without any issues. Spent the night in a hotel near Terminal 5, had dinner in a local pub, and returned to the US the next day (that part was a bit tricky, as there are no specific queues for transit passengers and we were shuttled around quite a bit).

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