COVID-19: Testing and demonstrating status for international travel

Information on testing, including testing following recent COVID-19 infection and demonstrating COVID-19 status

There may be a small number of countries where COVID-19 entry requirements and restrictions remain which could include testing and quarantine. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) details current entry requirements and any COVID-19 restrictions in place within countries worldwide, including information about COVID-19 testing. These requirements and restrictions can change at short notice.

There are currently no COVID-19 requirements for travel to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales [1].

COVID-19 testing before travel from the UK

Some countries require proof of recent COVID-19 testing prior to entry or require travellers to take one or more tests on arrival. Travellers should check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) foreign travel advice (see the summary, coronavirus, and entry requirements sections for details). As rules can change at short notice, travellers should subscribe to FCDO for destination updates.

The UK-based embassy of the destination country can also be contacted if further details are required.

When arranging a test, travellers should check the exact requirements of the country (or countries) they are travelling to and consider the time it will take to process the test and get the result. COVID-19 testing for international travel purposes is only available as a private service in the UK.

The rules for children may differ depending on their age and travel destination requirements.

Certain countries may accept evidence of previous COVID-19 infection once a specified time has passed since the traveller tested positive for this virus, and/or can demonstrate they have immunity following infection, and/or have proof of recovery. However, many countries do not; travellers must check the rules for their destination and for the UK on return should testing requirements be reintroduced.

COVID-19 status (COVID Pass)

England

NHS COVID Pass (or NHS COVID Pass letter) has now closed.

Scotland

Residents in Scotland can access the NHS Scotland COVID Status app, which contains details of the COVID vaccination record.

Full information on how to demonstrate your COVID-19 status when travelling internationally is available from NHS Scotland COVID Status.

Wales

The NHS COVID Pass in Wales has now closed.

Northern Ireland

The Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland COVID Certification service is now closed to new applications. 

Active certificates and the COVID Cert NI app will end on 12 January 2024.

Returning to the UK

Travellers entering the UK no longer need to demonstrate their COVID-19 status, take tests or complete a passenger locator form. 

The Government continues to monitor and track potential new variants and maintain a range of contingency measures in reserve, which would enable it to take action to delay any future harmful variants of COVID-19 entering the UK should the need arise.

Resources

First published : 10 December 2020 Last updated : 05 January 2024
  1. All content reviewed.

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