Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing before you travel to England – GOV.UK

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You need proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel to England from abroad.
You must take a COVID-19 test before you travel to England from abroad.
Some people, including children aged 11 and under, are exempt from taking the test.
You must take the test in the 2 days before your service to England departs.
For example, if you travel directly to England on Friday, you could take a test any time on the Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. The test result must be available for boarding.
If your journey to England is a multi-leg journey, you can take the test in the 2 days before the start of the first leg.
The test must meet performance standards of ≥97% specificity, ≥80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml.
This could include tests such as:
You must check with your test provider that the test meets the standards. You may not be able to travel if it does not.
The test could be:
If you have recently recovered from COVID but are no longer infectious, you should use a lateral flow device (LFD) test. LFD tests have a lower sensitivity than PCR or LAMP tests, so they are less likely to return a positive result from a historic infection. The LFD test must meet the minimum performance standards as set out above.
You will need to find a private test provider to take a test.
You can choose to take a test:
Where possible, the government travel advice pages provide information about finding a testing provider.
If your journey to England is long, and will involve stopping in another country on the way, you should try to take a test in the country you’re travelling through. This is so you take the test in the 2 days before you board the final service to England.
For example, if you’re driving from Germany and you stop for a few days in Belgium, you should take a test in Belgium.
If your journey to England is a multi-leg journey, you can take the test in the 2 days before the start of the first leg. However, where possible, you should get a test within 2 days of your final departure point to England.
If you plan to take a test in a country on your way to England, you must make sure that this is possible before you set out. Some countries have entry restrictions in place, which mean you may not be able to get tested there.
If you do not have proof of a test because you planned to get tested on your journey, but you were not able to do so because you were not able to enter the country in which you planned to get tested, you will be allowed to board. But you may be fined £500 on arrival in England because you do not have a valid test result.
If you are returning to the UK within 2 days, you can use the result of a COVID-19 test that you take in the UK before you travel. You must use a private test provider for the test and not an NHS test.
The service on which you will arrive back in the UK must set off for the UK within 2 days of when you took the test, or within 2 days of the start of the first leg of your journey for multi-leg journeys.
If your test result is positive, you must not travel. You must follow local rules and guidance for positive coronavirus cases.
If the result is inconclusive, you must take another test.
British nationals who need consular assistance should contact the nearest consulate, embassy or high commission.
If you are an EU resident or citizen, you can use the EU Digital Covid Certificate (EU-DCC) to provide proof of your test result. This can be in either digital or paper format.
If you are not an EU resident or citizen, you cannot use the EU-DCC to provide proof of your test result.
You must provide the original test result notification. Your test result must be in either English, French or Spanish. Translations will not be accepted.
Your test result can be provided as:
It must include the following information:
If you do not present proof you tested negative, you may not be able to board your transport to England.
If you arrive in England without proof you tested negative, you could be fined £500.
NHS tests cannot be used for the purpose of pre-departure testing before travel to England.
You cannot take an NHS test abroad with you to use on yourself before you return.
Children aged 11 and under do not have to take a COVID-19 test before travel to England.
Children aged 12 to 17 must take a COVID-19 test in the 2 days before travel to England.
Read more about children and COVID-19 travel tests in the Travel to England guidance.
Children aged 11 and under do not have to take a COVID-19 test before travel to England.
Children aged 12 to 17 who have been in a red list country or territory in the 10 days before they arrive in England must take a COVID-19 test in the 2 days before travel to England.
You do not need to take a test if you are travelling to the UK:
Some people are exempt from some or all of the requirements because of the job they do
You do not need to take a test if you began your journey to England from:
This applies even if you do not qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England.
You must complete a passenger locator form before you travel to England.
This guidance tells you about COVID-19 testing before you travel to England.
You can read other guidance about what you need to check before you travel, the tests you need to take and if you need to quarantine in England when you:
People who arrive in England from Ethiopia after 4am Thursday 16 December will need proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
People aged 12 years and over must take a COVID-19 test before they travel to England from abroad.
From 4am, Tuesday 7 December all people aged 12 years and over must take a PCR or LFD COVID-19 test before they travel to England from abroad.
Ethiopia added to list of countries or territories where you do not need to take a COVID-19 test before travel to England.
EU citizens and residents can use the EU Digital Covid Certificate to provide proof of a COVID-19 test before travel to England.
People who qualify as fully vaccinated under travel to England rules no longer need to take a COVID-19 test before travel to England.
Changes to amber list rules on quarantine and testing.
From 4am 5 July 2021, you will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel to England from Myanmar.
Myanmar added to list of countries where you do not need to take a coronavirus test before travel to England.
Information about new testing, self-isolation and quarantine rules from 15 February.
Travel corridors suspended.
First published.
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We use some essential cookies to make this website work.We’d like to set additional cookies to understand how you use GOV.UK, remember your settings and improve government services.We also use cookies set by other sites to help us deliver content from their services.You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find information and services…

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