With COVID-19 rules and restrictions differing between countries, it can be confusing working out which tests you need for travel. We’re often asked what the difference is between a rapid antigen test vs lateral flow test, so lets discuss!

Rapid Antigen Test vs Lateral Flow Test

To put it simply – there is no difference between a rapid antigen and a lateral flow test! Rapid testing uses the well-established lateral flow technology to detect proteins or antigens that are present when a person is infected with COVID-19.

Can I Use Rapid Lateral Flow Testing for Travel?

If you are not fully vaccinated, you must complete a test prior to starting your journey back to the UK and the Lateral Flow antigen test (LFD) is an acceptable testing method. The ‘Return’ LFT antigen test is ideal if you are required to complete a pre-UK return journey test as you can pack the kit in your luggage and use it prior to your journey.

Many countries now accept rapid lateral flow testing for arrivals from the UK. Order your rapid lateral flow test from Nomad and we’ll provide you with a Fit-To-Fly certificate as required for entry where lateral flow test results are accepted. It only takes 20 minutes to complete your test, and processing your results and travel certificate will take no more than 2 hours before your digital certificate is with you ready for your trip.

Check travel regulations at your destination, with your airline or travel agent to find out if rapid lateral flow testing is suitable for your trip.

How Does Rapid Lateral Flow Testing Work?

The rapid lateral flow test kit includes a hand-held device with an absorbent pad at one end and a reading window at the other. The user applies a swab sample to the absorbent pad on the device. The device contains is a strip of test paper that changes colour in the presence of COVID-19 antigens. Your test will be complete within 20 minutes, with easy to interpret results that don’t require laboratory processing.

The best-known application of lateral flow testing is the home pregnancy test kit, which works in much the same way using a urine sample rather than saliva.

How Much Does Rapid Lateral Flow Testing Cost?

Nomad offer several rapid lateral flow test options that cost from £15. We offer both at-home self testing kits (£15 – £18) and in-clinic testing (£39) undertaken by a Nomad clinician. At-home testing kits include free Royal Mail delivery or next day courier delivery for +£3. Check our lateral flow testing options or our full range of COVID-19 tests for travel for more information.


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