Before you leave for the UK

Everyone travelling to the UK must:

  • book at least one coronavirus (COVID-19) test for after you arrive
  • provide your contact details by completing the online passenger locator form
  • provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken in the 3 days before you leave for the UK
  • follow the testing and quarantine rules in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

You’ll be committing a criminal offence if you do not have proof of a negative test or you have not completed the passenger locator form. You may be fined. You may not be allowed to board. If you are not British or Irish, you may not be allowed to enter the UK.

COVID-19 testing and quarantine in England

What you need to do depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive. If you have been in a country or territory on the:

  • green list - you must book a COVID-19 test to take after you arrive
  • amber list - you must book 2 COVID-19 tests to take after you arrive and quarantine in the place you’re staying
  • red list - you must book a hotel quarantine package, which includes 2 COVID-19 tests

Find out which list the country you’ve been in is on and what you need to do.

You must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated.

You might be exempt from some or all COVID-19 travel and entry requirements because of your job. Check if your job means you’re exempt.

Children aged 4 and under do not need to take any COVID-19 travel tests after they arrive in England.

If you’re travelling from a country on the amber list, you may be able to end your quarantine early by booking a third coronavirus test through Test to Release.

COVID-19 testing and quarantine in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Check the rules and exemptions for quarantine and COVID-19 tests:

Complete the passenger locator form

You need to provide your journey and contact details in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. You must do this by completing the online passenger locator form.

You’ll need to show your completed passenger locator form when you check in to travel or board your plane, train or ferry.

You’ll also need to show proof that you’ve completed the form when you arrive at the UK border.

Provide a negative COVID-19 test to travel to the UK

You must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel to the UK - even if you’re a UK citizen.

If your test result is positive you must not travel. You must follow the local COVID-19 rules and guidance.

The test must be taken in the 3 days before you depart. The results must be in English, French or Spanish.

You’ll need to show the test results when you check in to travel or board your plane, train or ferry. You may also be asked to show them when you arrive.

You could be fined £500 when you arrive at the border if you cannot provide proof that you have had a negative COVID-19 test.

Find out more about providing a COVID-19 test result, including exemptions and acceptable types of test.

When you do not need to provide a negative COVID-19 test

You do not need a test if you’re travelling:

  • within the UK, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey
  • from Ireland
  • from Ascension, Falkland Islands, St Helena and Myanmar

Children under 11 do not need a test.

There are other reasons you might not need a test, for example:

  • you have a job on the ‘exempt jobs’ list
  • you’re travelling to the UK for medical reasons
  • you’re travelling from a country where you cannot access testing facilities

Read the guidance about:

You must still follow the rules for quarantining when you arrive in the UK.

You’re from an EEA country or Switzerland

You can enter the UK with either a passport or national identity card issued by an EEA country or Switzerland that should be valid for the whole of your stay.

From 1 October 2021, you will not be able to use an EEA or Swiss national identity card to enter the UK unless you:

  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • have an EU Settlement Scheme family permit
  • have a Frontier Worker permit
  • are an S2 Healthcare Visitor
  • are a Swiss Service Provider

Check if you need a visa to come to the UK after 1 January 2021.

You’re not from an EEA country

You must have a valid passport to enter the UK. It should be valid for the whole of your stay.

You may also need a visa, depending on which country you’re from.

Check if you need a visa to enter the UK.

You may also need a visa if you’re ‘transiting’ or travelling through the UK, for example you’re changing flights at a UK airport.

Applying for a visa

You must apply for your visa before you arrive in the UK.

Travelling with children

You may be asked at the border to prove the relationship between yourself and any children travelling with you, if you do not seem to be the parent, for example if you have a different surname.

You can prove this with:

  • a birth or adoption certificate showing your relationship with the child
  • divorce or marriage certificates if you’re the parent but have a different surname from the child
  • a letter from the child’s parent giving permission for the child to travel with you and providing contact details, if you’re not the parent

Before you board

Your ‘carrier’ (for example airline or transport provider) will check your passport and other travel documents. They’ll send this information electronically to Border Force.

You can ask to see the information about you that’s been sent by carriers.

  1. Step 1 Plan your trip

  2. Step 2 Get your passport, visas and permits ready

    How much time you need on your passport depends on the country you're visiting. Check the entry requirements for the country you want to travel to.

    1. Check your passport has enough time left on it for the country you're visiting
    2. Renew or replace your passport
    3. Get a passport for your child

    You may also need a visa to enter some countries.

    1. Check if you need a visa or permit
  3. Step 3 Get travel insurance and check if you need vaccinations or inoculations

  4. Step 4 Travel safely and check for travel disruption

  5. Step 5 Going through border control

    You may need to show paperwork such as your passport or visa. You may also need a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test result or demonstrate your COVID-19 vaccination status at the point of entry.

    1. Check the entry requirements for the country you are travelling to or transiting through
  6. Step 6 When you are abroad

  7. Step 7 Return to the UK

  8. and When you arrive in the UK