FAQ’s about COVID-19 tests

Important information you need to know about COVID-19 tests when travelling

A1) Everyone over the age of 5 years old including citizens of the UK, MUST take a PCR coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result during the 3 days before travelling. You must carry proof of your negative test result throughout your travel (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-for-people-travelling-to-england).

A2) Children under 5 do not need to take the day-2 or day-8 COVID-19 PCR tests.

A3) You MUST book and pay for a travel test package, which will include COVID-19 PCR tests to be taken on or before day-2, and on or after day-8 of your quarantine (self-isolation). If travelling from Amber List Countries Or day-2 alone if travelling from Green List Countries.

A4) You MUST complete a Passenger Locator Form (https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk) with details of where you will self-isolate when you arrive and the travel test package booking reference number.

Providing false or deliberately misleading information when filling out your passenger locator form is an offence punishable by imprisonment. You could be fined up to £10,000, imprisoned for up to 10 years or both if you do not provide accurate details about the countries you have visited in the 10 days before you arrived in the UK.

If you develop coronavirus symptoms when you are travelling to England, you MUST tell one of the crew on your plane, boat, train or bus. They’ll let staff in the airport, port or station know, so they can tell you what you should do next when you arrive.

If you do not take the tests, you may face a penalty of up to £2,000.

If you break the quarantine rules, you may face a penalty of up to £10,000.

If you have not left the Common Travel Area for the past 10 days, you do not need a test before leaving or to home quarantine and take tests after arriving.

Depending on your job, you may be exempt from self-isolation. Find out if you are exempt (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules#jobs-that-qualify-for-travel-exemptions). The link helps you to find out whether your job qualifies for an exemption and what that exemption covers. You may need to show evidence of the work you will be doing at the border.

No, you MUST book and pay for your travel test package before boarding your flight to UK.

Your quarantine period starts from the moment you arrive in England. The day of arrival in England will be treated as day zero. You must travel directly to the place you are staying and not leave until 10 days have passed. You will not be able to leave quarantine until you have received both a negative result from your day-8 test and quarantined for 10 days. If you test positive for either test you must quarantine for a further 10 days from the day you took the test – you will receive further advice alongside your test results.

The UK Government is determined to prevent spread of different COVID-19 variants in the UK.

If day-2 testing is positive, it means that you have COVID-19 in your body. Then your swab sample will undergo an additional testing called, genomic sequencing. This test will show what type of COVID-19 you may have been infected with.

No, the test will be done using the same sample that you had sent for day-2 testing.

No, in case of a positive day-2 COVID-19 PCR test result, the sample will be tested for genomic sequencing at no extra cost to you.

If you get a positive result from your day-2 test, you must quarantine for 10 days beginning the day after the swab sample was taken (this means until day 13). Your household will also need to quarantine until day 13.

If you get a positive result from your day-2 test, you do not need to take a test on day-8. Day-8 test will only be required if your day-2 test is negative.

You need to take a COVID-19 PCR test on or after day-8 unless you got a positive result from your day-2 test.

No, genomic sequencing will be done ONLY if the day-2 test is positive. If your day-2 test is negative, there will be no need for genomic sequencing to be done.

No, you must have both day-2 and day-8 negative tests and observe full 10 days of self-isolation, before ending your quarantine time.

If you get a positive test result from your day-8 test you will need to quarantine until day 19. Your household will also need to quarantine until day 19.

No, genomic sequencing is only for POSITIVE day-2 tests.

If you have quarantined for 10 days and both day-2 and day-8 tests are negative, you may leave the place where you have been quarantining.

You can see if you can end your quarantine early (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-quarantine-when-you-arrive-in-england#early) through the Test to Release (TTR) scheme.

The scheme lets you choose to pay for an additional private COVID-19 PCR test. If the result is negative, you can stop quarantining.

You can only take a test when you have been in England for 5 full days.

No, TTR scheme is voluntary and applies to those quarantining in England only. If you do not want to opt into the Test to Release (TTR) scheme, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days.

No, you cannot use the Test to Release scheme if you have been in or through any country that is on the travel ban red list (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/transport-measures-to-protect-the-uk-from-variant-strains-of-covid-19) in the 10 days before you arrive in England.

The UK Government requires following information from all passengers using TTR scheme:

  • Arrival date in the United Kingdom
  • Airline name, Flight number, Coach number, or vessel name (as appropriate)
  • The date on which last departed from or transited through a region or country on the red list.
  • Country or territory travelling from when arrived in the United Kingdom, and any country or territory transited through as part of that journey.

Yes, even if you get a negative result from your Test to Release (TTR) and are released from self-isolation, you still need to take a test on or after day-8 to check that you do not have COVID-19.

No, all day-2 and day-8 and TTR scheme test if used, MUST be COVID-19 PCR test. No other test is accepted by the UK Government.

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