Post Arrival and UK Pre Departure Testing For Travellers That are not Completely Vaccinated

If you have not received a complete vaccination and are travelling or coming back to the UK from a non-red list country, check out what the regulations are for UK pre-departure testing and post-arrival testing and test results.

Pre-departure Testing

You must pay for and undergo a PCR or LFD COVID-19 test in the two days before you travel if you are above the age of 18.

If you go on Friday, for example, you must take a test on Wednesday or Thursday. If you cannot take it two days before the start of the first leg of your trip because it is a multi-leg journey, you must take it two days before the start of the first leg.

Arriving EU citizens can display their EU Digital Covid Certificate (EU DCC) as verification of a negative test result.

Within the two days leading up to your departure from England, you have the option of taking the exam in the city where you will begin your journey or in another country along the road. If you want to take an exam while travelling to England, make sure it’s possible before you go.

Some nations have entrance limitations, meaning you might not be allowed to be tested there. You must use a private test provider if you take your test in the UK and return in less than three days.

Post Arrival Testing

A PCR post-arrival test must be completed on or before the second day of arrival if the applicant is 18 years old or older. If you have encountered difficulties while using an online booking service, you should:

  • contact customer services
  • make direct contact with private testing service providers.

UK Testing Standard

It is your obligation to locate a test provider that complies with the United Kingdom’s standards for sensitivity, specificity, and viral load data for both UK pre-departure testing and post-arrival testing before travelling.

At viral loads of more than 100,000 copies/ml, the test must achieve performance parameters of greater than or equal to 97 percent specificity and greater than or equal to 80 percent sensitivity, according to the manufacturer. This could include tests such as the ones listed below:

  • tests based on nucleic acids including PCR tests and derivative technologies such as LAMP tests
  • a test for antigens, such as one performed with a lateral flow device

Among other things, it must contain the following information in either English, French, or Spanish:

  • your given name, which should be the same as the name on your travel documentation
  • your birthday or your chronological age
  • the outcome of the examination
  • a date on which the test sample was collected or received by the testing laboratory
  • the name and contact information for the testing service provider

A written document, an email, or text message, which you may present on your phone, are all acceptable forms of proof of identity. Check to see that your device is fully charged.


If you are travelling to the United Kingdom, you do not need to undergo UK pre-departure testing:

  • You’re from Ukraine
  • You’re from Falkland Islands
  • From the islands of St Helena and Ascension
  • If you are travelling for urgent medical care, or if you are accompanying someone who is travelling for urgent medical treatment, and it is not reasonably practical for you to receive a negative COVID-19 test in the three days before departure, you may be required to travel.
  • You must provide documentation at check-in and to Border Force employees upon your arrival in England if you have a medical condition that prevents you from taking a test. You must also provide documentation at check-in and upon your arrival in England.

A specific job function may qualify you for exemption from one or more of the COVID-19-related travel restrictions.

The other exception is USA, which generally requires a pre departure test from the country you are visiting prior to returning to the states. You can book a test for this purpose and find out more info here.