Covid Testing For Travel


Overseas travel is expected to resume on (or possibly shortly after) 17th May. Most places we'll be able to visit require a Covid test to be completed either before you set off, when you arrive or both.

You also currently need a Covid test to return to the UK, and there is a list of (at time of writing) 33 countries on the UK's "red list" from which visitors are not permitted and from which if you return there is a mandatory quarantine period. For more details of the testing requirements to re-enter the UK, see our guide.


Current UK restrictions require everyone to stay at home (or stay local in Wales). It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays.


Covid-19 Testing Requirements For Our Top Visited Countries

Click below for more details on any of our favourite destinations.



Spain & Canary Islands


Border status: Open but subject to travel restrictions until 30th March

Test Needed: Negative PCR, TMA or LAMP no more than 72 hours before arrival

Arrival: Spot health checks + online health form 48 hours before arrival

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day home quarantine)


What are the Covid testing requirements for Spain?

Spain is currently closed to UK visitors. When it reopens, for most third-country visitors, before your flight you must get a PCR or LAMP test for Covid-19, this must be (at maximum) 72 hours before your arrival in Spain. The inclusion of the LAMP test as an option was announced and confirmed by Spain's Ministry of Health on 10th December.

What is the quarantine policy for Spain?

If you are returning from mainland Spain or the Balearics you must self-isolate for 10 days. The Canary Islands will be removed from the travel corridor from 12th December so visitors returning thereafter will also need to self-isolate.

What are the health check requirements for Spain?

You must complete and sign an online health form within 48 hours prior to your arrival - this includes contact information. You must provide proof of a negative PCR covid test and there may be temperature checks and a visual health assessment on your arrival.


Greece


Border status: Open but subject to travel restrictions

Test Needed: Negative PCR test 72 hours before arrival + Rapid covid test on arrival and at the end of quarantine period

Arrival: PLF (24 hours before arrival) + quarantine for 7 days if negative rapid test on arrival or 14 days if positive

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day home quarantine)

What are the Covid testing requirements for Greece?

Before your flight you must get a PCR test for Covid-19, this must be (at maximum) 72 hours before your arrival in Greece. You will also be required to take an additional rapid PCR test on arrival in Greece and quarantine for 7 days until the results come back.
"At the end of your 7 day self-isolation period, travellers are required to arrange and undergo a fresh PCR test in order to be able to exit self-isolation."

What is the quarantine policy for Greece?

If you test negative on arrival you must quarantine for 7 days, if you test positive it's 14 days. You must quarantine for 10 days on your return to UK.

What are the health check requirements for Greece?

You must complete a passenger locator form before your arrival. You may be subject to PCR test on arrival (see above).

Turkey

Border status: Closed to UK residents

Test Needed: Negative PCR test 72 hours before departure

Arrival: Medical evaluation + 10 day quarantine (PCR test on day 7 to reduce time) + Health form within 72 hours of travel

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day home quarantine)

What are the Covid testing requirements for Turkey?

The Turkish border is closed to UK visitors. Visitors are required to provide a negative PCR covid test on arrival in Turkey.

What is the quarantine policy for Turkey?

If you arrive in Turkey from the UK you must quarantine for 14 days. You must take a PCR test on day 10, if this is negative you may exit quarantine. You must self-isolate for 10 days on your return to the UK.

What are the health check requirements for Turkey?

You must complete a passenger locator form before your arrival in Turkey. All arrivals are subject to temperature checks and a health assessment - any passengers who fail this will undergo additional PCR tests.

What if I present symptoms of Covid when I get to Turkey?

Any passengers who present symptoms on arrival will be subject to a PCR test - if this comes back positive "you will be provided with medical treatment at a facility determined by the Ministry of Health or, if preferred, at a private medical facility in Turkey."

Cyprus

Border status: Closed to UK residents

Test Needed: Negative PCR test 72 hours before arrival or test on arrival 

Arrival: 14 day quarantine in Government assigned accommodation (PCR test on day 10 to reduce time) + Cyprus flight pass within 24 hours of travel

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day home quarantine)



USA

Border status: Closed to UK residents

Test Needed: Negative pre-departure NAAT or antigen test

Arrival: 7 day quarantines (test on day 3-5)

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day home quarantine)

Can I travel to the USA?

British nationals are not able to enter the USA at the current time - if you are a US citizen, resident of the USA or specified close family member you are exempt. Anyone arriving in the USA must provide a negative pre-departure NAAT or anitgen test, or a certificate from a doctor stating recovery from Covid-19. You must quarantine for 7 days, and take a further NAAT or antigen test within 3-5 days.

Portugal

Border status: Closed to UK residents

Test Needed: Negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure

Arrival: Health screening + 14 day quarantine

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day home quarantine)

What are the Covid testing requirements for Portugal?

Portugal is currently closed to UK holidaymakers. Visitors are required to provide a negative PCR covid test on arrival. You may have to take a further PCR test if you fail the health screening process.

What is the quarantine policy for Portugal?

There is no need to quarantine on arrival in Portugal. Travellers returning from mainland Portugal to the UK must self-isolate for 10 days. Madeira and the Azores are on the travel corridor therefore there is no need to self-isolate on your return - although in practice, at time of writing, there are no direct flights between the UK and the Azores so you'd have to quarantine on your return because you'd caught a connecting flight somewhere without a travel corridor.

What are the health check requirements for Portugal?

You may undergo temperature checks and health screening on arrival.
If you are arriving in Madeira or Porto Santo you must complete a health questionnaire before arrival. If you are arriving in the Azores you must complete a passenger questionnaire before arrival.

Italy

Border status: Closed to UK residents< until 6th April

Test Needed: Negative rapid antigen test 72 hours before arrival or rapid antigen test on arrival

Arrival: Decleration form with 48 hours of arrival + 14 day quarantine

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day home quarantine)

What are the Covid testing requirements for Italy?

Before your flight you must get a rapid antigenic or molecular swab test for Covid-19, this must be (at maximum) 72 hours before your arrival in Italy. You will then need to take another test within 48 hours of your arrival and report to the local health authority.

What is the quarantine policy for Italy?

Anyone arriving in Italy from the UK must self-isolate for 14 days, take a second Covid test within 48 hours of arrival and report to their local health authority. If you are not able to isolate for 14 days in Italy you are likely to be refused entry.

France

Border status: Open but subject to travel restrictions

Test Needed: Negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure

Arrival: 7 day quarantine then further test + completed sworn statement

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day home quarantine)

What are the Covid testing requirements for France?

From 18th January you must provide a negative PCR covid test taken (at max) 72 hours prior to arrival in France (barring a handful of exceptions, notably for hauliers.)

What is the quarantine policy for France?

From January 18th, you must present a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before travel, isolate for 7 days on arrival, and only leave isolation once you have completed a second, negative test. You must self-isolate for 10 days on return to the UK.

United Arab Emirates (Dubai)

Border status: Closed to UK residents

Test Needed: Negative PCR swab test within 72 hours of departure (+ if travelling to Abu Dhabi further test on arrival)

Arrival: Dubai arrivals = no quarantine + health decleration | Abu Dhabi arrivals required to wear wristband + 10 day quarantines + tests on day 2 & 12 after arrival.

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day hotel quarantine)


What are the Covid testing requirements for Dubai?

Before your flight you must get a PCR test for Covid-19, this must be (at maximum) 72 hours before your arrival in Dubai. If you do not provide a negative test you will be tested at the airport and risk quarantine if you test positive (airport testing is not an available option for the rest of UAE).

What is the quarantine policy for Dubai?

There is no need to quarantine on your arrival in Dubai. If you test positive at the airport then you will be required to self-isolate in a government led facility, a hospital, your hotel or privately arranged accommodation.

What are the health check requirements for Dubai?

You must complete and print a Health Declaration Form and a Quarantine Form ready to be handed to airport staff on arrival. You must also register on the COVID-19 DXB app.

What are the entry requirements for the United Arab Emirates other than Dubai?

Some British Nationals are being allowed to return to the UAE based on entry criteria. You have had a PCR test within 48 hours prior to arrival and arrivals to Abu Dhabi must self-isolate for 14 days.

Poland

Border status: Closed to UK residents

Test Needed: Negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival or fully vaccinated certificate

Arrival: 10 day quarantine unless proof of a negative test or fully vaccinated

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day home quarantine)


Germany

Border status: Open but subject to travel restrictions

Test Needed: Negative PCR, Antigen or LAMP test 48 hours before arrival

Arrival: Pre-departure registration + 10 day quarantine (can be reduced to 5 days with test in certain areas)

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day home quarantine)


Mexico

Border status: Open

Test Needed: None

Arrival: Health questionnaire

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day home quarantine)


Ireland

Border status: Open

Test Needed: Negative PCR test 72 hours before arrival

Arrival: Passenger locator form + 14 day quarantine - can be reduced on day 5 with a negative PCR test

UK re-entry: None

What is the quarantine policy for Ireland?

You are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival at the address listen on the passenger locator form.
"You may leave to take a RT-PCR test no less than 5 days after your arrival – if you receive written confirmation that the result of this test is negative your period of quarantine can end."

What are the health check requirements for Ireland?

You must complete a passenger locator form before your arrival in Ireland.

Qatar

Border status: Closed to UK residents

Test Needed: None

Arrival: Health check and test on arrival + 7 day quarantine in government approved hotel

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day hotel quarantine)


Egypt

Border status: Open but subject to travel restrictions

Test Needed: Negative PCR test 72 prior to arrival + pay for test on arrival if you don't provide one

Arrival: 14 day quarantine if positive on arrival + completed monitoring card + proof of valid insurance

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day home quarantine)


Netherlands

Border status: Closed to UK residents

Test Needed: Negative PCR test 24 hours before arrival (or 72 hours if accompanied by 24 hr rapid anitgen test)

Arrival: Health screening + test declaration + 10 day quarantine

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day home quarantine)


Croatia

Border status: Closed to UK residents until 31st March

Test Needed: Negative PCR test taken 48 hours before arrival

Arrival: Online entry form + 14 day quarantine (reduced to 7 days with negative test)

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day home quarantine)


Malta

Border status: Open but subject to travel restrictions

Test Needed: Negative PCR test taken 72 hours before arrival as well as a test on arrival

Arrival: Temperature checks + 14 day quarantine + PCR test between day 5-7

UK re-entry: Passenger Locator Form + Covid test (3 days before departure) + Covid test (day 2 & 8 of 10 day home quarantine)


Covid testing for travel FAQs

How long does it take to get Covid-19 test results?


How long for Covid test results varies depending on the provider but most private tests will have results back within 48 hours and some even have same-day services available. It's also important to know that NHS testing is NOT suitable for travel purposes.

What is a Fit to Fly certificate?

A Fit to Fly certificate will show that you are well and with no symptoms of Covid-19. Meaning you are a low risk of spreading coronavirus to those on your flight and the country you are visiting. A Fit to Fly certificate must include:
  • Name to match passport
  • Date of birth or age
  • Test result
  • Date test taken
  • Name of Test provider & contact details
  • Device used for test including what type of test

How do I get a Fit to Fly certificate?

To get a Fit to Fly certificate for Covid-19 you need to book a test with a private PCR testing company, and test negative for Covid-19. They will then issue you with a letter from a registered GP to state that you are fit and well and are showing no symptoms of Covid-19.

What is the Covid-19 test procedure?

The procedure for covid testing will vary depending on which private supplier you use. In general it involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat, which you can either do yourself or get someone to help you.

With private tests you order your test online, usually selecting whether you will drop the test off at a nearby site or return via pre-paid courier. Once the test is delivered you will carry out the test yourself following instructions of your chosen supplier. You then arrange the courier collection and send the test back to the lab. You will then be provided with your test results via email and usually a certificate to fly.

How to get tested for Covid-19 in the UK?

If you need to get tested for covid before you travel then you must book a private test and not a NHS test. There are a number of private test providers - but all operate in similar ways. You will order a test online, do the test yourself at home and then send the swab back for your results. Some private testers offer a same day service, but you will pay extra for this and will have to attend in person.

When should I get a Covid test?

Need to know when you should get a Covid test for travel? You need to ensure you plan in advance to make sure you get your covid test within the timeframe requested for the country you are visiting. Most countries state that a negative PCR test must be provided that is no older than 72 hours prior to when you arrive. Some countries allow up to 96 hours. Remeber when booking a private test for travel that you need to factor in postal times, from when you order and for when you return the swab.

Does the Covid-19 test hurt?

No - some people may find it unpleasant or uncomfortable and it may make you gag, but in general you shouldn't feel any pain when doing the test and it is over very quickly.

How long does a Covid test take?

A Covid test itself only takes a matter of seconds. The turnaround time for private covid tests for travel depends on the service you've selected but most aim to have results within 48 hours of receipt if not sooner.

What is the Test to Release scheme?

As of December 15th travellers returning to England from a country not on the red list can opt in to the Test and Release scheme at their own expense. The earliest you can be tested is 5 days after arrival, and once you have a negative result you may leave self-isolation. To take part in the scheme you need to:
  • book a test with a private test provider
  • opt into the scheme on the passenger locator form

What's the red list?

At time of writing (8th March), there are 33 countries on the UK's "red list" which means visitors are not permitted to enter the UK from those countries, and UK citizens returning from those countries must quarantine (at their own expense) in a government facility before heading home. You can see which countries are affected at the government's website, which is kept up to date and changes from time to time.


Covid testing links from our partners


PCR test
Results returned between 24 and 96 hours dependant on test type

Test at airport

Available at Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands, Luton and London City

Test at home

Pre-arrange delivery

Test at Boots

Available at selected stores

Collect and Drop

Available at selected stores

Lamp test
Results are available within 90 minutes.

Test at airport

Available at Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands, Luton and London City