Guidance

Travel to England from another country during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check the COVID-19 rules for travel to England, including whether you need to take any tests.

Applies to England

Travel from mainland China

There are different rules if you travel to England from mainland China.

If you’re aged 12 or older, you will need to take a COVID-19 test no more than 2 days before you travel.

You will need to show notification of a negative COVID-19 test result when you depart mainland China for England. This will be checked by your airline, and you may be required to show this to Border Force on arrival to England.

This applies to all direct and indirect flights from mainland China. An indirect flight involves one or more stops in other countries or territories before arriving in England. This includes if you are travelling through Hong Kong or Macao.

It applies if England is your final destination, or if you will be transiting through England.

Transit through mainland China

These rules do not apply if your journey to England started in another country and you only transit ‘airside’ through mainland China. If you transit ‘landside’ (you pass through border control), then these COVID-19 travel rules do apply.

Test results

You must provide the original test result notification. Your test result must be in either English, French or Spanish.

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

It must include the following information:

  • your name, which should match the name on your travel documents
  • your date of birth or age
  • the result of the test
  • the date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider
  • the name of the test provider and their contact details
  • confirmation of the type of test taken, this can be a lateral flow or PCR

You cannot use an NHS-provided test as a pre-departure test.

You must retain your notification of a negative COVID-19 test result until you have passed through the UK border.

You may be fined if you do not follow these travel rules.

You may not need to take a pre-departure test if you have a work-related exemption or if you have a reasonable excuse.

From 8 January 2023, some passengers will be invited to take a voluntary test on arrival to monitor for potential new variants. This applies to passengers aged 18 or over who are travelling from mainland China and arriving at Heathrow Airport only.

Travel from all other countries and territories

When you travel to England, you:

  • do not need to complete a UK passenger locator form before you travel
  • do not need to take any COVID-19 tests before you travel or after you arrive
  • do not need to quarantine when you arrive

This applies whether you are vaccinated or not.

It includes people who are transiting through England.

From 5 January 2023, different rules apply to people travelling from mainland China. See the section of this guidance about travel from mainland China.

Other countries may have rules about what you need to do to leave the country to travel to England. You should check travel advice for the country you are travelling from.

How to stay safe while in the UK and on public transport

Check separate public health guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of Coronavirus while you are in the UK.

Travel provider and transport hub rules

Your travel provider, or the transport hub you travel through, may have COVID-19 rules in place. For example they may require or advise you to wear a face covering.

You should follow any COVID-19 rules and guidance from:

  • your travel provider – airline, ferry, coach or train company
  • the transport venue – airport, port, coach or railway station

Red list countries and territories

There are currently no red list restrictions in place for travel to England.

Travel abroad from England

Other countries have rules about what you must do to travel there from England.

Read separate guidance about what you need to do to travel abroad from England.

Published 22 June 2021
Last updated 5 January 2023 + show all updates
  1. New rules for travel from China come into force today.

  2. More information about COVID-19 testing requirements for travel from mainland China to England.

  3. From 5 January, people flying from mainland China to England will be asked to take a COVID-19 pre-departure test.

  4. When you arrive in England from abroad you do not need to take any COVID-19 tests or fill in a UK passenger locator form.

  5. If you will arrive in England after 4am, Friday 18 March, you do not need to take any COVID-19 tests or fill in a UK passenger locator form.

  6. If you began your journey in Russia, you do not need to complete a passenger locator form, or take a COVID-19 test before travel to England or on arrival.

  7. If you began your journey in Ukraine, you do not need to complete a passenger locator form, or take a COVID-19 test before travel to England or on arrival.

  8. From 9am Monday 28 February, you can fill in the UK passenger locator form up to 3 days before you arrive in England.

  9. From 24 February, there is no legal requirement to self-isolate if you get a positive day 2 test result.

  10. You do not need to take any COVID-19 travel tests or self-isolate on arrival in England if you qualify as fully vaccinated.

  11. The testing and quarantine rules for international travel to England will change 11 February 2022.

  12. You can now choose a lateral flow test or a PCR test as your post arrival test.

  13. From 4am 7 January you do not have to quarantine on arrival in England if you qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England.

  14. Changes to rules for fully vaccinated people travelling to England from 4am 7 January 2022.

  15. People who qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England can now end self-isolation after 7 days with 2 negative lateral flow tests.

  16. Further information about quarantine rules for children aged 4 and under.

  17. People aged 12 years and over must COVID-19 test before they travel to England from abroad.

  18. From 4am, Tuesday 7 December all people aged 12 years and over must also take a PCR or LFD COVID-19 test before they travel to England from abroad.

  19. People who qualify as fully vaccinated must quarantine and take a PCR test before the end of day 2 after they arrive in England. Lateral flow tests will not be accepted.

  20. From 4am 30 November 2021, fully vaccinated people must self-isolate and take a PCR test before the end of day 2 after they arrive in England. They may leave self-isolation if their PCR result is negative. Lateral flow tests will not be accepted.

  21. South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe will move onto the red list at 12.00 midday Friday 26 November. A temporary flight ban will be in place and all travellers who have been in these countries must quarantine and take tests.

  22. Travel to England rules for children no longer depend on their place of residence.

  23. Clarification about unclear or inconclusive test results.

  24. From 4am 22 November 2021, all children aged 17 and under will not have to quarantine on arrival in England.

  25. People who qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England can book a lateral flow test for use from 24 October instead of a PCR test.

  26. From 22 October, if you qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England, you will be able to book an antigen lateral flow device (LFD) test instead of a PCR for your ‘on arrival’ test.

  27. Rule changes for international travel to England for people who qualify as fully vaccinated.

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

  29. First published.