Before you leave for the UK

Check what documents you’ll need to enter the UK.

Provide your contact details

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 proof that you’ve completed the form when you arrive at the UK border.

Provide a negative coronavirus test to travel to the UK

You must have proof of a negative coronavirus 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 coronavirus 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 coronavirus test.

When you do not need to provide a negative coronavirus 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 or St Helena

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 self-isolating 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. You’ll have to pay a £10 fee.