Traveling abroad during Coronavirus

If you are planning on traveling abroad, read the below guidance on what you need to do, what countries are under the travel ban, completing your passenger locator form and taking part in the optional Test to Release scheme.
timelapse picture of people in an airport

International Travel

You should not leave your home except for the legally permitted reasons stated above. If you need to leave your home you should stay local. 

You can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting.

You must have valid proof of a negative coronavirus test to travel to England. You must take the test in the 3 days before you start your journey. You will need to present proof of your negative test before you board to travel to England. If you don’t present proof of a negative test result certificate, you may not be able to board your transport to England, in addition you could be fined £500 at the border when you arrive. 

UK residents currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, you should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning. Foreign nationals are subject to the ‘Stay at Home’ regulations. You should not travel abroad unless it is permitted, this means you must not go on holiday.

If you are visiting the UK, you may return home. You should check whether there are any restrictions in place at your destination.

If you are planning to visit another country you should check their rules for visitors either by checking the government foreign travel advice or by contacting their embassy as many countries have rules over quarantining new arrivals.

Check the latest government travel guidance

Travel bans 

People who have been in or transited through the below countries will not be granted access to the UK. This does not include UK or Irish nationals, or third-country nationals with permanent residence in the UK. You also cannot use the Test to Release scheme.

  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Eswatini
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)
  • Seychelles
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Passenger locator form

If you travel abroad you will have to complete a passenger locator form and self-isolate on arrival for 10 days upon return. All travel corridors for people arriving in England have been suspended.

To complete the form you need:

  • your passport details
  • your travel details, including times and dates
  • the address where you will stay in the UK (if applicable)
  • a booking reference number and the name of the test provider, if you’re using Test to Release to find out if you can end self-isolation early

You can submit the form any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK.

You can include multiple journeys in your form if you’ll enter the UK more than once in a 48-hour period.

Visit this page to complete the form. 

Test to release for international travel scheme

The Test to Release scheme starts 15 December, and it is for people who need to self-isolate on arrival in England. The earliest you can take the test is 5 full days after you left a place not in the travel corridor list. If you don't want to take part in the scheme, you will need to self-isolate until 10 full days have passed since you were last in a place not on the travel corridor list. 

How to take part in the scheme: 

  • You must book a test with a private test provider, you will need to pay for this
  • Choose to opt into the scheme on the passenger locator form
  • You should book your test before you travel to England. This is so you can enter details of the test when you opt into the scheme on the passenger locator form
  • If you decide to take part in the scheme after you have arrived in England, you will need to complete another passenger locator form.
  • You will have to pay the private test provider for your test. You will need to book an individual test for each person opting into Test to Release, including children.
  • The test provider will either send a test to your address or you can attend a testing site. You may leave your house to post your test or to travel directly to and from the testing site. 

Scheme rules: 

  • If you test negative, you can stop self-isolating
  • If you test positive, you will need to isolate for another 10 days, and count the 10 days as starting when you took the test, or when you first had symptoms, if that is earlier.
  • If you are told to self-isolate by the NHS Test & Trace app, you must do so even if you have tested positive. 
  • If you are told to self-isolate by the NHS Test & Trace app before you take the test, you must cancel your test and continue to isolate for 10 days from when you were last in contact with the person who tested positive 

For more information, include scheme rules, visit this page and for a list of private test providers visit this page

Looking for further information about coronavirus?

We have brought together the latest information about coronavirus including how you can get involved and help your community, and how to help your wellbeing during these uncertain times. 

Find out more