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.
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
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:
- polymerising substances
- infectious substances
- radioactive substances
- goods that are of high consequence for terrorism
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
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.
Return your vehicle to your depot or place of work. Do not share the vehicle with anyone.
Go home and self-isolate. Your household needs to self-isolate too.
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.
Park your vehicle in the hotel car park.
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.
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