To safeguard public health and to contain the spread of Covid-19, the UK Government has implemented some COVID testing and quarantine rules for international arrivals to the UK. Want to know what they are?

People in the UK have started to travel internationally. If you also need to go abroad, then you need to know the strict testing & quarantine rules that the government of the UK has introduced for international arrivals to the UK.

Pre-departure testing

covid-19 testing

Before returning to the UK, you must present proof that you are Covid-19 negative, and for this, you can take the antigen self-test, provided it meets the performance standards prescribed by the UK Govt. The test result can be obtained within 20 minutes. The rapid testing should be done within 3 days of your flight to the UK. You just need to buy a kit from an approved COVID-19 test clinic in the UK before leaving your country and take it abroad with you. This test is definitely going to be a more convenient option for you rather than a PCR test. Taking a PCR test outside of your own country may be a stressful affair. It may also be costly and results may not arrive in time for your departure. Moreover, finding an approved coronavirus test clinic in another country can be difficult as well.


self isolation

After you return to the UK, you will have to be quarantined for 10 days – it may be at your home or in a government-approved quarantine hotel depending upon which country you are coming from (Red/Amber/Green list) and whether you’re vaccinated or not. If you are coming from a country that is on the red-list of the UK government, then quarantining yourself for 10 days in a hotel is mandatory. If you are returning from an amber-listed country and you are not fully vaccinated, then you will have to isolate yourself at your home for 10 days. But if you are fully vaccinated there is no need for self-isolation. For international arrivals from green-list countries, self-isolation is not needed at all.

Testing on day 2 and day 8

If you return from a green list or an amber list country and happen to be fully vaccinated, then you will need to take only the day 2 PCR test. Get it done from an approved PCR test clinic in the UK.

If you are non-vaccinated or not fully vaccinated and have come back from a red-listed country or an amber-listed country, then both day 2 and day 8 PCR tests need to be done.

Test to release

Quarantining for 10 long days can be tiresome as well as detrimental to your return to work and reunion with family. You can shorten your quarantine period by booking a Test to Release which can be undertaken after completing 5 full days of isolation. This test is optional. But if you are doing the test, make sure you are getting it done from a trustworthy PCR test clinic. However, getting this test done doesn’t mean you can skip the day 8 test.

The most crucial aspect to note is, DO NOT MISS the day 2 and day 8 test booking before traveling abroad. That’s because once you order the tests, you will receive a Test Reference Number which must be entered on the Passenger Locator Form before arriving in the UK.

Leave a reply