If you’re travelling to the UK from a different country, it’s important to find a test centre in that country that is compatible with government testing regulations. A full list of guidelines can be foundon gov.uk.
Can you use an NHS test to travel?
If you take the test in the UK ahead of a return journey in three days, you must use a private provider rather than the NHS testing service.
If you have Covid-19 symptoms, NHS testing can be accessed as normal – but (assuming the test is negative) you will need to take a private test alongside it to enable you to travel, a government spokesperson confirmed.
The NHS app will start to be used as a vaccine certificate for travelling from May 17, with a paper option available for those without a smartphone.
Which countries require a PCR test to enter?
Countries are set to be divided into green, amber, and red lists when the travel traffic light system comes into effect May 17.
Travellers will still need to take a test up to 72 hours before departure, and this will apply irrespective of which list the country falls into.
What you have to do upon your return to the UK is very different depending on where the country lies in the traffic light system.
What are the travel testing rules for green list countries?
Those travelling to destinations on the green list from England will not need to isolate on their return, but they will need to take a Covid-19 test before and after their trip.
Countries on the green list include Portugal, Australia and Israel – you can find a whole list of green list countries here.
However, only Portugal – including the Azores and Madeira – and Gibraltar will be open to tourists without the need to quarantine, as many countries will still have their own restrictions in place for arrivals.
What are the travel testing rules for amber list countries?
You’ll also have to take a pre-departure test, and PCR tests on both day two and day eight of your arrival in the UK – you are responsible for ordering and paying for these tests ahead of time, and they are called Travel Test packages.
Countries on the amber list includes popular destinations such as the Bahamas, Greece, Italy, Thailand, Barbados, France, the United States, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands.
What are the travel testing rules for red list countries?