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The Covid-19 travel rules when entering the UK

The rules for travel are complex in 2022, what tests you need when arriving in the UK will depend on your vaccination status. Entry requirements include:

Pre-departure testing

Day 2 PCR testing

Day 2 and 8 PCR testing

Test to Release Day 5 PCR testing

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This guide should help you understand what is required for your travels.

Fully Vaccinated
Clinic Test

Day 2 PCR Test

Take on or before the 2nd day of arrival in the UK

1

Results by 23:59 the same day to end quarantine quickly

2

Passenger Locator form number issued instantly

3

Appointments and results 7 days a week

Price
Fully Vaccinated
Home Test

Day 2 PCR Test

Take on or before the 2nd day of arrival in the UK

1

Results within 24 hours of our lab receiving your sample

2

Passenger Locator form number issued instantly

3

Free delivery and priority 24h returns via Royal Mail

Not Fully Vaccinated
Home Test

Return to the UK Antigen Lateral Flow Test

Take within 48 hours of your return flight to the UK

1

Same day results always delivered within one hour

2

Fit to Fly Certificate included

3

To be taken abroad with you and performed pre-return to the UK

Not Fully Vaccinated
Clinic Test

Day 2 & 8 PCR Test

Take on or before the 2nd day of arrival and on or after the 8th day of arrival in the UK

1

Results delivered by 17:59 the next day

2

Passenger Locator form number issued instantly

3

Appointments and results 7 days a week

Not Fully Vaccinated
Home Test

Day 2 & 8 PCR Test

Take on or before the 2nd day of arrival and on or after the 8th day of arrival in the UK

1

Results within 24 hours of our lab receiving your sample

2

Passenger Locator form number issued instantly

3

Free delivery and priority 24h returns via Royal Mail

Price
Not Fully Vaccinated
Clinic Test

Day 5 Test to Release PCR Test

Take on the 5th day of arrival to shorten your quarantine

1

Results by 23:59 the same day

2

Government listed provider

3

Appointments and results 7 days a week

Price
Not Fully Vaccinated
Home Test

Day 5 Test to Release PCR Test

Take on the 5th day of arrival to shorten your quarantine

1

Results available within 24 hours of our lab receiving your sample

2

Government listed provider

3

Free delivery and priority 24h returns via Royal Mail

Not Fully Vaccinated
Clinic Test

Day 8 PCR Test

Take on the 8th day of arrival in the UK

1

Results within 24 hours of our lab receiving your sample

2

Government listed provider

3

To be taken with a Day 2 test (sold separately)

Price
Not Fully Vaccinated
Home Test

Day 8 PCR Test

Take on the 8th day of arrival in the UK

1

Results within 24 hours of our lab receiving your sample

2

To be taken with a Day 2 test (sold separately)

3

Free delivery and priority 24h returns via Royal Mail

See what the Covid-19 travel rules are for your journey

The Current Covid-19 Testing Rules for Travelling into the UK

Updated 01/01/2022


Qualified as Fully Vaccinated

  • Take a pre-departure test within 48 hours of travelling to England
  • Book a Day 2 PCR test before arriving in the UK (taken after your arrival into England)
  • Complete a passenger locator form – to be completed in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
  • Isolate until you get a negative test result from your Day 2 PCR test


Not Fully Vaccinated

  • Take a pre-departure test within 48 hours of travelling to England
  • Book a Day 2 and 8 PCR test before arriving in the UK (taken after your arrival into England)
  • Complete a passenger locator form – to be completed in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
  • After you arrive in England you must quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 full days, and take your COVID-19 PCR tests. You must take the first test on or before day 2 and the second test on or after day 8. The day you arrive is day 0.

If you are in England for less than 10 days, you need to be quarantined for the time you are here. You need to book day 2 and day 8 PCR tests. You only need to take the tests if you are still in England on those days.


Check if you qualify as fully vaccinated

To qualify under the fully vaccinated rules for travel to England, you must have proof of full vaccination with a full course of an approved vaccine. You must have had your final dose of the vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England. The day you had your final dose does not count as one of the 14 days.

Children and other groups that can follow fully vaccinated rules:

  • under 18 
  • taking part in an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial in the UK or the USA (US residents only for USA trials), or a phase 2 or 3 vaccine trial that is regulated by the EMA or SRA
  • unable to have a COVID-19 vaccination for a medical reason which has been approved by a clinician under the medical exemptions process, and you are resident in England

If you cannot prove that you qualify under the fully vaccinated rules, you must follow the rules for people who are not fully vaccinated.

Please see the government website for further information.

Tests to take before travelling to the UK (pre-departure testing)

From 7 December, all travellers, regardless of vaccination status, aged 12 years and over must take a PCR or Antigen Lateral Flow Test before they travel to England from abroad.

We recommend that you take a pre-departure test with you instead of searching for a provider while abroad.

  • No lengthy queues
  • Test when you want
  • No supply issues - you will already have the test with you


How soon should I take the test before I travel?

You must take the test in the 2 days (48 hours) before your service to England departs. If your journey to England is a multi-leg journey, you must take the test in the 2 days before the start of the first leg.


What happens if I don’t take a pre-departure test?

If you are not fully vaccinated and you fail to show evidence of a negative Covid-19 test result, you may not be able to travel to the UK. If you arrive in the UK without proof of a negative test result, you may be fined. Please see the government website for more information.


Can I use an NHS Covid-19 test to travel abroad?

NHS Covid-19 tests are currently not accepted for international travel. If you're travelling abroad from the UK, you must book a Covid-19 test with a private service provider like Corona Test Centre.

Covid-19 travel tests after your arrival

Depending on your vaccination status, you will be required to take a Day 2 PCR test or a Day 2 and 8 PCR test. If you are unvaccinated and taking Day 2 and 8 PCR tests, you are able to end your 10 day isolation period early with a Test to Release Day 5 PCR test.

All PCR tests must be booked in advance of your arrival in England.

Get tested at home or in one of our award winning nationwide Covid-19 testing centres.

Day 2 PCR Testing

What are Day 2 only tests?

The Day 2 Covid test is designed to keep you and your contacts safe after travelling to England. If you get a positive result from your Day 2 test, you must self-isolate for 10 days starting from the day that the test was conducted. People you live with or have travelled with should also self-isolate for 10 days from the day after your positive Covid test.


Who can take a Day 2 test?

Day 2 tests for international travel are required for all travellers arriving in England regardless of vaccination status.


When do I take a Day 2 test?

You can take your Day 2 PCR test on or before Day 2 of your arrival in England. For example, if you arrive in England on Monday, you can take your test on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.


Which type of test do I need to take on Day 2?

From 4 am 30 November, all travellers arriving in England must take a Day 2 PCR Test on or before day 2 of arrival. This replaces the previous Lateral Flow (antigen) test. You must self-isolate in your home or the place you are staying until you receive your test result. If your PCR test results are delayed, you must self-isolate until your test result is known.


When will I get my results?

If you are tested in one of our centres, you can get your results the same day by 23:59. For home testing, results are within 24 hours of our lab receiving your sample.

Day 2 and 8 PCR Testing (Travel Test Package)

What is a Covid-19 travel test package?

Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travellers arriving in England are required to take mandatory PCR tests on both days 2 and 8 of their 10-day self-isolation period.

Our travel test package includes two RT-PCR Covid-19 tests - one to be taken on or before day 2 of arrival and another to be taken on or after day 8 of arrival. 


What happens if I don’t take the test?

The day 2 and day 8 tests are mandatory for unvaccinated travellers. If you do not take the tests, you may face a penalty of up to £2,000. Please see the government website for the latest information.


When will I get my results?

If you are tested in one of our centres, you can get your results the same day by 23:59. For home testing, results are within 24 hours of our lab receiving your sample.

Test to Release Day 5 PCR Testing

What is the Test to Release scheme?

Partially vaccinated and non-vaccinated travellers arriving in the UK must self-isolate for 10 days and take the mandatory day 2 and day 8 PCR tests. The Test to Release Scheme allows UK arrivals to shorten their quarantine time from day 5. If you test negative for Coronavirus, you can end your self-isolation period from day 5, however, you are still required to take and register the day 8 test.


How can I take part in the scheme?

You can book in your test with a government-listed private test provider like Corona Test Centre, or you can choose to opt in to the scheme on the government’s passenger locator form.


Is the Test to Release scheme mandatory?

No, Test to Release is voluntary. If you choose not to take part in the Test to Release scheme you must self isolate for 10 days.


When will I get my results?

If you are tested in one of our centres, you can get your results the same day by 23:59. For home testing, results are within 24 hours of our lab receiving your sample.