What type of tests can I use to travel?

Outbound travel: If a destination requires you to have a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country, you should use a private test provider – a list of the UK Government approved test providers can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing. 

Inbound travel: In line with the latest Government travel announcements what you must do on your return home depends on whether you qualify as fully vaccinated. There are different rules of you have been in a red list country or territory in the 10 days before you arrive in England, and these apply whether you are fully vaccinated or not.

From 7 January 2022, full vaccinated travellers no longer need to take a COVID-19 test before they travel to England from abroad. All unvaccinated travellers must still take a PCR test within 48 hours before travel into England from abroad.

From 9 January 2022, you can now choose a lateral flow test or a PCR test as your post arrival test.

Visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19 for the most up to date guidance.


Your test result can be provided as:

  •  a printed document 
  •  an email or text message you can show on your phone. 

To help with testing requirements on return to the UK, many popular holiday resorts now have pop-up sites in place, while an increasing number of European hotels are also converting rooms for testing.  

It is the responsibility of the traveller to ensure the test meets the minimum standards for return travel to England. A reminder of the list of Government approved providers can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing 

What’s more, your Travel Counsellor can point you towards Government approved providers who are currently offering discounted rates on various testing options, including those that can be arranged pre-departure and verified virtually whilst overseas and in a clinical environment. 

For the tests you need to take once you arrive home, there’s further guidance on this on the FDCO website

All children under 11 are exempt from pre-departure testing for arrival into the UK. However, all children over the age of five are required to take a PCR test or a lateral flow test when back home in the UK.