Mandatory Pre-Departure COVID Test For Arrivals Into England

  • Mandatory pre-departure testing for all international arrivals to England will come into effect worldwide from15 January 2021, including for passengers departing from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
  • In-bound passengers to England will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 3 days before departure.

The UK Government has confirmed that mandatory pre-departure testing for all inbound passengers to England will come into force from Friday 15 January 2021, as an added measure to safeguard public health against coronavirus and its variants.

In preparation for travel, passengers will need to find a testing provider, which meets the standards set out on by the UK Government, the majority of which will be Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests. Full details of requirements will be available at

Prior to departure, passengers will be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than three days before departing to transport operators, as well as their passenger locator form. Carriers may deny boarding to those who do not have a negative test result.

The UK Border Force will conduct spot checks on arrival into England. Passengers who arrive at the border without proof of a negative result will be subject to an immediate £500 fine.

For people arriving from countries, not on the Travel Corridor list, they will still be required to complete a mandatory self-isolation period, and the Travel Corridors list is regularly reviewed to manage the risk of imported cases of COVID-19 from high-risk countries.

Passengers still have the option to reduce their self-isolation period as part of the Test to Release scheme launched last month, unless they have been in South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Zambia or Zimbabwe in the 10 days prior to their arrival in England.

The current advice for persons in the UK remains that they must stay at home and not travel abroad unless it is for a permitted exempt reason.

Further Reading

  • All travellers will still be required to complete a Passenger Locator Form before arrival into England. On arrival into England, Border Force will check passengers’ test certificates and Passenger Locator Forms through the current spot check regime. The link to the form can be found at
  • For more information on tests that meet UK Government requirements, and details on how in-bound passengers can ensure that they adhere to the new measures, check the country’s Travel Advice online at

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