Some countries require a negative Covid-19 test certificate to gain entry. We have compiled some examples of private businesses that are currently offering PCR tests for travel purposes. Entry requirements can change at any time, so we strongly advise you check the FCDO website for the very latest guidance. In addition, the FCDO can also advise on the type of test required as well as the likely testing time frame for the country you intend to visit.
What is a PCR Test
PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction and is a type of test that checks if the Covid-19 virus is present in your body.
For more information on the types of available tests please visit: gov.uk/government/publications/how-tests-and-testing-kits-for-coronavirus-covid-19-work/for-patients-the-public-and-professional-users-a-guide-to-covid-19-tests-and-testing-kits
Test to release for international travel
The Government has introduced the ‘test to release for international travel’ scheme for people who need to self-isolate on arrival in England. You can choose to pay for a private Covid-19 test to reduce the amount of time you need to self-isolate for. The earliest you can take the test is five full days after you have left a destination not on the travel corridor list. If you were to not opt into the scheme you would need to self-isolate for the full ten days. For more information please visit: gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-test-to-release-for-international-travel
Testing for people travelling to England
- All international arrivals to England, including UK nationals, are now required to present a negative Covid-19 test taken up to 72 hours prior to departure.
- All passengers arriving from countries not on the travel corridor list will still need to self-isolate for ten days regardless of the result. The ‘Test to Release for International Travel’ scheme can still be used to reduce the self-isolation period to five days.
- Limited exemptions have been noted including children under 11 years old and for those travelling from countries without the infrastructure available to deliver the tests.
- All travellers are still required to complete the passenger locator form.
- For more information please visit: gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-for-people-travelling-to-england
- As of Monday 15th February 2021, there are new coronavirus testing and quarantine rules.
- Everyone allowed to enter England from outside the Common Travel Area must:-Quarantine for 10 days
-Take a coronavirus (Covid-19) test on day 2 and day 8 of quarantining
-Follow the national lockdown rules
-For more information please visit: gov.uk/guidance/how-to-quarantine-when-you-arrive-in-englandYou should follow separate guidance if you have been in a country where travel to the UK is banned (red list countries). For more information please visit: gov.uk/guidance/transport-measures-to-protect-the-uk-from-variant-strains-of-covid-19
Testing at UK airports
We advise you check the FCDO resources to understand the type of test required and when they are required for the country you intend to travel to. The Government has also compiled a list of private test providers as part of the ‘Test to Release for International Travel’ scheme. Follow the link for more information: gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing
ABTA guidance for staying safe on holiday: abta.com/tips-and-advice/staying-safe-on-holiday
The latest advice from the Government on safe air travel is available at: gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-air-travel-guidance-for-passengers