Before you travel to England you must:
1. Take a COVID-19 test before departure
2. Book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 travel tests
3. Complete a passenger locator form
On arrival in England you must:
1. Quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
2. Take a Day 2 COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive.
3. Take a Day 8 COVID-19 test on or before day 8 or after day 8.
See the latest Covid travel information here
Pre-departure Covid PCR Test
A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, looks for genetic (RNA) fragments of the virus itself. This type of testing looks for an active infection and is performed by ‘swabbing’ or collecting cells from the nose and throat. A positive PCR test means that you currently have the virus and are potentially infectious to others.
Samples should be sent to the lab the same day as you collect them. The test can only detect if you were infected with SARS-CoV-2 at the time you’ve collected your sample. The test does not check if you have been infected with the virus previously. If you are travelling please consider the time window required by your airline and destination and the day of the week your flight is departing. Time windows are normally given by your airline or the country you are flying to. For example, a 96 hour time window means that your swab needs to be taken within 96 hours of your flight.
The PCR self-swab test includes a validated laboratory certificate which can be used for work or travel purposes. This will be available to download and print once your results are complete.
Day 2 Test
You will need to take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 of your return to England. The day of arrival in England is classed as day zero. The day 2 test is to help identify any potentially harmful variants of COVID-19 at the earliest opportunity. Tests will be taken in your own accommodation.
If you have a positive result from your day 2 test, you must quarantine for 10 days beginning the day after the test is taken and for the next 10 days after the test was taken (this means until day 13). Your household will also need to quarantine until day 13.
Day 8 Test
You need to take a COVID-19 test on or after day 8, unless you had a positive result from your day 2 test. If you have a positive test result from your day 8 test you will need to quarantine until day 19. Your household will also need to quarantine until day 19.
If you’ve quarantined for 10 full days and received a negative result to both your day 2 and day 8 tests, and you are well, you may leave the place where you’re quarantining. You can see if you can end your quarantine early through the Test to Release scheme, below. Children under 5 do not need to take the day 2 or day 8 test
If you’ve quarantined for 10 full days and received a negative result to both your day 2 and day 8 tests, and you are well, you may leave the place where you’re quarantining. You can also end your quarantine early through the Test to Release scheme (day 5).
Once you leave quarantine, you must still follow the national restrictions that apply.