The New Checklist - Travel & Covid-19

Passport: Check.

Neck pillow: Check.

COVID-19 test result: Ummm…

Whether for business or leisure, there’s one more travel essential to add to the list - a negative COVID test.

Overall travel has been disrupted and has possibly changed forever due to the global pandemic. Whilst only essential travel is permitted, essential COVID-19 testing for travel may be around for a long time to come. The government has made rules outlining the new criteria for travelling, including tests, timings of said tests, and self-isolation periods.

Testing and timings

There are a few different tests for the virus which can be taken to see whether you have it presently or have had it previously. Tests include a polymerase chain reaction (PCR), loop-mediated isothermal amplification (Lamp), or lateral flow (antigen) test. The PCR test is the main test accepted at arrivals and departures, but we recommend having both a PCR and antibodies test.

The antibody test shows if you’ve had the virus previously and have developed antibodies. This is a way to be certain that you have developed an immune response and that the COVID-19 virus has left your body.

Travellers and potential travellers must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before departure, unless you are exempt.

Quarantine Rules

Passengers arriving in England who present a negative result prior to departure from a country not on the travel corridor list will have their self-isolation period reduced.

When you arrive back to England from your country of departure, you will have to isolate on the day of arrival for 10 full days. The 10-day self-isolation period is necessary because it can take up to 10 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear. On the fifth day, you can have a private self-isolation test to see if you can stop self-isolating early.

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