Scam Covid Test #1: Entering the UK

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Scam Covid Test #1 is part of the Punxsutawney TPOL Trip Report. Even if Covid tests are going away for travel, this was written before then and is published to document a time when the public was swindled.


In order to go to the UK, I needed a magical code that said I was registered for a Covid test to be taken my second day upon arrival. The price was $100 which is a rip-off for many reasons. First, the test only cost $35 in Colombia (see Room Service: I’m Here with Your Covid Test). Second, why do vaccinated people need to be tested? The testing inconvenience should be there to compel the anti-vaxxers to get with the program or stay home (see Like the Vaccine, Why Not Get TSA PreCheck?). Those vaccinated who test positive should be able to fly. The idea that they are going to spread covid more than it has already spread and the idea of having a zero covid policy is unreasonable. Covid is not going away, so stopping people who happen to test positive from traveling is pointless. Third, the time required to register for the test, wait for a confirmation email, and fill out the locator form is a buzzkill. We spent the better half of an afternoon in Copenhagen trying to get the right test ordered and the confirmation code. Of course, when we arrived in Scotland, the testing company said that the test would not be delivered before our trip to Belfast two days later.

This brings me to my third Covid test experience since this pandemic began, the first being in PR (see Thanks Donald! My COVID Test in Puerto Rico). The testing site is conveniently located at the airport. It is also inexplicably cheaper than the test in Scotland. Unlike the nose massage my first two times which were not unpleasant, this experience was no bueno. The woman in the hazmat suit stuck the swab down my throat until I gagged. Then she stuck it up both of my nostrils, not exactly a fetish that tickles my fancy.
The result was guaranteed to arrive before midnight. Given the football game in Madison (see Guns & Butter: Madison, Wisconsin Travel Guide), the food orgy in Copenhagen (see Punk Royale: Michelin Restaurant on Acid), and the partying in Edinburgh (see Guns & Butter: Edinburgh Travel Guide), I wasn’t supremely confident that I would not have a breakthrough infection. Like a final exam at the University of Michigan, I was held captive my first day in Belfast, obsessively checking my email for my result which arrived 20 minutes before midnight.  Unlike Calculus and Econ 401, I am happy to say that I passed the first time. Otherwise, I would have been stuck in dreary Belfast (see Guns & Butter: Belfast Travel Guide) for over a week, having to spend even more money on bullshit testing.
What a scam.
Scam packaging.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Ludicrous. The rules were loosened very quickly when the pandemic ended, unlike in the USA which still requires extremely inconvenient and expensive tests.

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