Passengers will now need to supply a negative test taken 72 hours before travel to the UK. 

As of Friday morning, anyone travelling to the UK from abroad will need to supply a negative COVID-19 test. Regardless of whether the country they’re travelling from appears on the UK’s travel corridor list 

Government experts have stated these new measures have been put in place to help bolster the UK’s defence against new strains of the virus circulating abroad.  

Take off - Bristol airport

Updated rules from the government mean negative test are now compulsory for travel to the UK

New rules apply to all

The news comes after South Africa and the UAE were dropped from the UK’s travel corridor list.  

However, regardless of which nation you’re travelling from, you will now need to provide a negative test no more than 72 hours before travelling to the UK. So, if you’re due to travel to the UK on Friday, you must take a test no earlier than Tuesday.  

The new rules apply to UK nationals and travellers from countries both on and off the UK’s travel corridor list.  

Two people sit in an airport waiting area

the UK’s new rules apply to UK nationals as well as travellers from countries not on the travel corridor list

Fine in place to failures

Passengers will be required to provide details of their negative test before boarding flights or boats. The government have also been quick to announce Border officials will be conducting spot checks at UK arrivals to ensure measures have been adhered to. Those unable to provide a negative test result will receive an on-the-spot fine of £500 

The government have also confirmed it is the responsibility of the traveller to source testing in the country they’re travelling from.  

Test requirements

Test results should also come from an approved source and include the following details 

  • Your name, matching that on your travel documents 
  • Date of birth or age 
  • Test result 
  • Date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider 
  • Name & contact details of test provider 
  • Name of test device 
  • Results should be in English, French or Spanish (translated versions will not be acceptable) 

Check the FCDO travel advice pages for more information on where to get a test.   

Positive cases

In the instance of a positive case, travel will not be permitted and passengers will be urged to follow the subsequent guidance of that country. If test results are inconclusive, another test will be required. 

Following a negative test and arrival in the UK from a country not on the travel corridor list, passengers will be required to self-isolate regardless of test results. 

Boris Johnson announced new Coronavirus restrictions recently

Mr Johnson has confirmed the latest measures are in place to help bolster the UK’s pandemic defences. Image: Flickr: Pippa Fowler

Self-isolation on return

However, Boris Johnson has confirmed UK travellers can reduce their self-isolation time from 10 days to five by opting-in to the Test to Release system 

The Test to Release system is a paid function, which you can opt-in to via your passenger locator formThe system allows you to complete a new test following five full days of self-isolation back in the UK.