Get a coronavirus (COVID-19) test if you’re an HGV or van driver

COVID-19 testing for hauliers arriving in England and travelling from the UK.

COVID-19 testing for hauliers after entering England

Hauliers arriving in England from abroad must take a COVID-19 test if they are staying for more than 2 days.

You will need to take a further test every 3 days after that if you are still in England, unless you qualify as fully vaccinated under the rules for travel to England.

Check if you qualify as fully vaccinated.

If you are travelling internationally every day, you must take a test at least once every 3 days.

This applies to drivers and crews of HGVs and drivers of vans and other light goods vehicles. It applies to both UK-based and non-UK hauliers.

If you do not have proof of a negative COVID-19 test, you could be fined up to £2,000.

You do not need to take a test if you will be in England for 2 days or less.

You do not need to take a test if you arrive in England from the Common Travel Area (CTA). The CTA is the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. You must have only been in the CTA in the 10 days before arrival. If you have been outside the CTA in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must take the tests.

When you must get tested

You must take the first test within 2 whole days of your arrival. The day of your arrival is counted as day 0.

You must take the second test between 3 and 5 days after your arrival.

You must take your third test between 6 and 8 days after your arrival.

Example of test days if you arrive Monday

Day of arrival Days you can take first test Days you can take your second test Days you can take your third test
You arrive in England on a Monday
(example only)
Monday, or
Tuesday, or

Wednesday is the last day you can take your test.
You must take your next test between days 3 and 5 of arrival.

Thursday, (day 3) or
Friday (day 4) or
Saturday (day 5)
You must take your next test between days 6 and 8 of arrival.

Sunday (day 6) or
Monday (day 7) or
Tuesday (day 8)

If you cannot get a test

If you cannot get a test at a time when one is due, for example because of temporary closure of testing facilities or lack of provision in the area, you should take a test as soon as possible once you can access a testing site.

You are only required to take these tests while you are in England.

If you are in another part of the Common Travel Area (UK, Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man) when a test is due, you do not need to take that test until you return to England. You should take the test as soon as you can when you return to England.


You may be contacted to check that have taken your test or you have self-isolated if you have a positive test.

You can be fined up to £2,000 if you do not get tested.

Where to get a test

Free testing for hauliers is available at haulier advice sites around the country.

You do not need to book a test in advance but you should check the list of sites to make sure they open and if they are likely to be busy.

If you take a test at a haulier advice site, you will be provided with a letter which states:

  • the time and date of the test
  • the day of testing - for example, day 2, day 5 or day 8
  • some personal details, which can be used as evidence of undertaking the test

If you have a UK residence you can also order tests online or pick up tests from a pharmacy.

If you’re carrying dangerous goods

You must take a coronavirus test before you enter Kent if you’re carrying:

This is because these types of loads are not allowed at the sites in Kent. You’ll be refused access if you’re carrying them.

Check with your transport manager or consignor if you’re not sure if your goods fall into any of these categories.

When you get to the test site

Protect yourself and others by keeping a safe distance and wearing a face covering.

Do not leave your vehicle except to use the rest facilities or when asked to by a member of staff.

A member of staff will give you a test kit.

Taking the test

The test involves taking a swab at the back of your throat and the inside of your nose using a long cotton bud.

You do the test yourself. Staff will watch you, and the test kit has instructions for you to follow.

After you’ve taken the test

Return to your vehicle and wait for 30 minutes for the results when you’ve taken the test.

If your test result is negative 

You will receive proof of your negative result if you test negative.

Staff will then direct you to your departure point and you’ll be able to continue your journey.

Keep the result safe. If you lose it, you’ll need to take another test.

If your test result is positive 

You cannot continue your journey if the test result is positive.

What you do next depends on where you can safely self-isolate.

A small number of test sites will immediately carry out a second test to confirm the result if you’ve tested positive for coronavirus.

If your test result is positive and you can safely self-isolate in the UK

You can self-isolate in the UK if you have a home in the UK, or if you can stay with family or friends in the UK.

  1. Return your vehicle to your depot or place of work. Do not share the vehicle with anyone.

  2. Go home and self-isolate. Your household needs to self-isolate too.

  3. Book a free NHS coronavirus test within 48 hours to confirm the test result.

If the NHS test result is positive, you and your household will need to complete the full self-isolation period.   

If your NHS test result is negative, you and your household can end your self-isolation period.  

If your test result is positive and you cannot safely self-isolate in the UK

If you do not have anywhere to stay in the UK, it means you cannot safely self-isolate.

You’ll be given hotel accommodation so you can safely self-isolate and support staff will arrange a second coronavirus test for you to confirm the result.

You’ll be directed to a hotel to self-isolate.

  1. Park your vehicle in the hotel car park.

  2. Arrange with your company for any perishable or dangerous goods to be picked up by another driver. Staff at the hotel will tell you how to do this safely.

Support staff will arrange for you to have a second coronavirus test to confirm your result. Most people get their result within a few days.

If your second test result is negative, staff will direct you to a test site for another coronavirus test. Once your negative test has been confirmed, you’ll receive proof and will be free to continue your journey.

If your second test result is positive, you’ll have to self-isolate at the hotel for 10 days. After 10 days, you’ll receive proof to show you have completed your isolation period and will be free to continue your journey.

You will not have to pay for the hotel accommodation and food.

You should not leave the hotel without permission while you’re self-isolating.

COVID-19 UK border rules for drivers of goods vehicles

Due to COVID-19, there are rules about what you have to do before you travel to England and after you arrive.

Read here for the full requirements for drivers of goods vehicles travelling internationally.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own rules and exemptions. Read more about:

  • exempt jobs in Northern Ireland
  • exempt jobs in Scotland 
  • exempt jobs in Wales

COVID-19 safer practice rules for international hauliers

Read about the rules that you need to follow on safer practice for:

  • isolating in your cab
  • sleeping and breaks
  • entering and exiting the vehicle
  • loading and unloading
Published 17 February 2021
Last updated 11 October 2021 + show all updates
  1. Red list updates.

  2. Update to international travel rules.

  3. The COVID-19 test requirement for hauliers entering Germany has been lifted.

  4. From 4am Sunday 8 August, the amber list rules if you are fully UK, EU or Swiss vaccinated will also apply to France.

  5. The amber list rules for hauliers who are fully vaccinated under the UK, EU or Swiss vaccination programmes have changed.

  6. Changes to amber list rules on quarantine and testing.

  7. Hauliers travelling to Germany only need proof of a negative COVID-10 test if they will be there longer than 72 hours.

  8. Hauliers must take a COVID-19 test before travel to Germany from the UK.

  9. Hauliers no longer need to show proof they have tested negative for coronavirus (COVID-19) to enter Germany or Denmark.

  10. Drivers no longer need proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the Netherlands.

  11. New COVID-19 testing rules for hauliers in England come into force.

  12. COVID-19 testing will be introduced for hauliers entering England from April 6.

  13. Requirement for a coronavirus test to enter France removed.

  14. You do not need to take a test if you are returning to the Netherlands after spending less than 48 hours in the UK. Includes information on COVID-19 test timeframes for round-trips between the UK and the Netherlands.

  15. Added information on COVID-19 test timeframes for round-trips between the UK and France, and the time-stamped document you'll receive to help verify how much time you've spent in the UK.

  16. Added translations in Bulgarian, Dutch, French, German, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Welsh

  17. From 11.00pm 21 February, hauliers do not need to test negative for coronavirus if they are returning to France after spending less than 48 hours in the UK.

  18. First published.

  1. Step 1 Apply for operator licences and permits

    1. Check if you need a vehicle operator licence
    2. Apply for a vehicle operator licence

    You'll need other licences and permits, depending on the countries you're driving to or through.

    1. Check which licences and permits you need
  2. Step 2 Register and get approval for your vehicle

    You may need to register your trailer to drive through or to the EU if it weighs over 750kg.

    1. Register your trailer to take it abroad

    You’ll need to get specialist vehicle approvals to transport any of the following:

  3. Step 3 Make sure your driver is eligible to drive abroad

  4. Step 4 Check the rules for the goods you're carrying

    1. Find out what you need to do if you're exporting your own goods

    There are rules for transporting certain goods. Your driver may need to follow set routes or stop at specific check points. Check the rules for:

    1. Find out what you need to apply for if you’re moving goods temporarily out of the UK

    If you're transporting goods outside the EU they must have been cleared by customs (given ‘permission to progress’). The exporter can tell you if this has happened.

  5. Step 5 Make sure your driver has the right export documents

    Your driver will need copies of:

    • any export licences
    • the road consignment note (‘CMR note’)
    • the Movement Reference Number (MRN) from the export declaration - if you're moving goods out of the EU
    • the MRN and the Local Reference Number (LRN) - if you're moving goods under the Common Transit convention (CTC)
    • the ATA Carnet document - if you're moving goods out of the EU temporarily
    • the TiR Carnet document - if you’re moving goods in a sealed load compartment with a seal number

    The exporter should be able to give all of these to you.

    You'll also need to have a customs seal approval certificate for the vehicle if you’re moving goods in a sealed load compartment. You'll get this when your vehicle passes the TiR test.

    You may need to use the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) to move goods through some ports.

    1. Check how to move goods through ports that use the GVMS
  6. Step 6 Find out what vehicle documents your driver needs to carry

  7. Step 7 Check you are ready for the Port of Dover, Eurotunnel or Holyhead

    You may need to attend an inland border facility if you're leaving from the Port of Dover, Eurotunnel or Holyhead.

    1. Check whether you need to attend an inland border facility
  8. Step 8 Check local road rules

    1. Check the road rules for European countries on the AA website
    2. Check travel advice for countries outside Europe

    When you have your documents, insurance and any extra equipment you need, you can transport goods abroad.