COVID-19 tests for travelling to green (rest of world) countries from the UK
Find out what tests you'll need for going to a country on the "non-red" list (green and amber merged as of 4 October).
If you plan to travel to a country on the list that the government calls “rest of the world” (non-red), you’ll need to check what restrictions that specific country has in place. Each country has its own rules for arriving holidaymakers, and it’s possible you’ll need to take a pre-departure test before setting off. As of 7 January, the rules for returning to the UK have been slightly relaxed for those who are fully vaccinated.
What COVID-19 tests do I need to travel from a non-red country?
Travel to the UK from a country on the “rest of the world” list requires different tests, depending on whether you’ve been fully vaccinated or not.
What COVID-19 tests do I need to travel to the UK from a non-red country?
The tests are different depending on whether or not you’ve been fully vaccinated.
If you’ve been fully vaccinated in the UK, US or Europe, or are under 18, you must:
- Book and pay for a day 2 test (excludes children aged 4 and under, or 10 and under in Scotland). Cheaper lateral flow tests for day 2 testing are accepted if you’re under 18 or fully vaccinated.
- You must fill in your passenger locator form up to 48 hours before arrival into the UK.
You’ll need to take your day 2 test on or before the second day after your arrival. You don’t need to quarantine.
If you’re not fully vaccinated, you’ll need:
- A pre-departure COVID-19 test before you travel – bring the negative result to the airport.
- Book and pay for day 2 and day 8 PCR tests. These are typically available from providers as a bundle.
- Optional: In England only, you have the option of taking another COVID test (test to release) on day 5 of your quarantine, and if this is negative, you can end your quarantine. You still need to take the day 8 test on day 8, though.
You’ll also need to fill in your passenger locator form up to 48 hours before arrival into the UK.
You must quarantine for 10 days or, in England, until your optional day 5 (test to release) test comes back negative. There’s no Test to Release scheme in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Can I get a free COVID test for travel from the NHS?
You can’t. The gov.uk site says that NHS tests can’t be used for this purpose. The NHS offers free PCR tests only to people with COVID symptoms or those who are advised to get a test by a medical practitioner or public agency. For travel, you have to use a paid-for COVID test.
Compare COVID-19 tests for travel to non-red countries
Can I get a free COVID-19 test for travel from the NHS?
You can’t. The gov.uk site says that NHS tests can’t be used for this purpose; the NHS offers free PCR tests only to people with COVID-19 symptoms or those who are advised to get a test by a medical practitioner or public agency. For travel, you have to use a private COVID-19 test.
Can I take a rapid lateral flow test as a pre-departure test to return to the UK?
Yes. Lateral flow, PCR and LAMP tests are acceptable but they must meet the UK government’s standards for accuracy.
Check with your test provider that the tests you plan to take meet these standards.
Do I need to take a day 2 test even if I’m fully vaccinated? And do children need to take a test?
Every adult returning from a non-red list country must take a day 2 test, even if they’re already fully vaccinated. The only exceptions are children aged 4 and under in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and aged 10 and under in Scotland – children of these ages don’t need to take a test.
What happens if I’m not vaccinated and I don’t provide proof of a negative test result when I return from a non-red list country?
If you risk entering the UK without proof of a negative test result you might not be able to board your return flight or ferry.
If you do arrive back without proof of a negative test you may be fined £500.
Full list of “Non-red” countries
- Cape Verde
- Costa Rica
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- French Guiana
- Sierra Leone
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Antarctica/British Antarctic Territory
- Antigua and Barbuda
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Hong Kong
- Israel and Jerusalem
- New Zealand
- Pitcairn Island
- South Africa
- South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
- St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Dominican Republic
- Akrotiri and Dhekelia
- The Bahamas
- Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- British Virgin Islands
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue
- Côte d'Ivoire
- Czech Republic
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- French Polynesia
- The Gambia
- Marshall Islands
- New Caledonia
- North Korea
- North Macedonia
- The Occupied Palestinian Territories
- Papua New Guinea
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- Solomon Islands
- South Korea
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Maarten
- St Martin and St Barthelemy
- St Pierre and Miquelon
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- United Arab Emirates
- United States
- Wallis and Futuna
- Western Sahara
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