Guidance

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.

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

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)

The date and time of your arrival will be collected and recorded in the passenger locator form, which you are required to complete.

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.

Enforcement

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

You can also use:

Community testing facilities are not accessible to HGVS. There are no HGV parking provisions, so this option is available only to hauliers who can access sites by foot or car. You may need to make an appointment for a test at a community testing facility.

Where UK-based international hauliers use workplace or home testing, they will be expected to register the fact of the test on the NHS app. This registration can then be used as evidence.

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 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 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 testing for hauliers travelling from the UK

You must test negative for coronavirus before you travel from the UK to:

  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Netherlands (you do not need to take a test if you are returning to the Netherlands after spending less than 48 hours in the UK)

This is required if these countries are your final destination or if you will just be passing through.

You no longer need a negative test result to enter France.

You must take the test before you leave the UK. You’ll need to show proof of a negative test at the UK and EU border, as well as to the carrier. Your test result can be provided as:

  • a printed document
  • an email or text message you can show on your phone – make sure your device is charged

You must do this if you’re:

  • a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driver or HGV crew
  • a van or other light goods vehicle (LGV) driver

It applies to both UK and non-UK drivers.

You can get a free coronavirus test if you’re a professional coach driver who is driving abroad for work.

Check FCDO travel advice for any country you’re planning to enter.

When to get a test

If you need a test, you must get it before you leave the UK.  

Each country sets its own rules for when you must take your test.

Get tested before you reach the port from where you’re leaving the UK.

Country When you must take the test
Denmark In the 24 hours before you arrive in Denmark.
Germany In the 48 hours before you depart the UK.
Netherlands In the 24 hours before you depart the UK.

You do not need to take a test if you are returning to the Netherlands after spending less than 48 hours in the UK.

You will need a time-stamped document or ticket to prove that you have been in the UK for less than 48 hours. Read more about round trips of under 48 hours from the Netherlands.

Where to get a test

You can either get:

You cannot use an NHS test result to leave the UK because it does not give you the proof you need to travel.

Most haulier advice sites are:

  • located at motorway services and truck stops
  • open between 6am and 9:30pm, 7 days a week

Visit a site as early as possible in your journey. Check the latest traffic updates from Highways England to help you plan.

Check the opening times for the site you want to use before you travel.

You do not need to book in advance. 

You no longer need a negative test result to enter France. If you’re travelling via the Channel ports or Eurotunnel and you do require a test, you should take a test before you enter Kent.

You’ll also need a valid Kent Access Permit.

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.

Avoid leaving your vehicle except to use the rest facilities or when asked to by a member of staff.

If you already have a valid negative test, let a member of staff know. If you do not need to take a test, you’ll be directed to your departure point and will be able to continue your journey.

If you do need to take a test, a member of staff will give you a test kit.

Take 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.

You’ll need to show your test result to:

  • enforcement officers in the UK
  • border officials in the countries that require them

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 you can safely self-isolate in the UK

You can safely 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 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.

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

  2. Park your vehicle in the hotel car park.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. If you are stopped by the police they may require to see this proof.

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.

Expected journey times from the Netherlands to the UK

You do not need to take a test if you are returning to the Netherlands after spending less than 48 hours in the UK.

The 48-hour window for round-trips will start from when you arrive in the UK from the Netherlands. However, you will not receive a time stamp when you arrive in the UK.

Cross-Channel and North Sea operators will give you evidence of the time you depart the Netherlands for the UK.

You are not required to arrive and depart using the same route. For example, you can arrive in the UK via Eurotunnel and depart from Dover to Calais, or Harwick to Hoek van Holland.

If you’re unlikely to arrive at the UK departure port within the required timeframe, you should go directly to a haulier advice location site to take a COVID-19 test.

It is your responsibility to complete your return journey in the UK within 48 hours. If your scheduled departure from the Netherlands is delayed, this will have an impact on the 48-hour window.

This window is based on time of departure from the Netherlands and upon arriving at the port for your return journey to the Netherlands. The information in the following table will help you to calculate how much time you can spend in the UK if, for example, your ferry departure is delayed.

North Sea routes and expected journey times from the Netherlands

Route Travel Time (the Netherlands to UK) Allow 48 hours, plus the travel time from your scheduled departure from the Netherlands

Hoek van Holland to Harwich

8 hours

56 hours

Hoek van Holland to Killingholme

12 hours

60 hours

Rotterdam (Europoort) to Harwich

8 hours

56 hours

Rotterdam (Europoort) to Killingholme

12 hours

60 hours

Rotterdam (Europoort) to Hull

12 hours

60 hours

Rotterdam (Europoort) to Teesport

17 hours

65 hours

Rotterdam (Vlaardingen) to Felixstowe

8 hours

56 hours

Rotterdam (Vlaardingen) to Immingham

11 hours 30 minutes

59 hours 30 minutes

IJmuiden to Newcastle

16 hours 45 minutes

64 hours and 45 minutes

Eurotunnel

2 hours

50 hours

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 6 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. New COVID-19 testing rules for hauliers in England come into force.

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. First published.