UK Border Update: Mandatory COVID Test from next week

Published on: 08/01/2021


The Government has updated its policy for all new arrivals entering the UK from next week.  Those entering the UK using any mode of travel will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken less than 72 hours from arrival.

This requirement is in addition to presenting a completed passenger locator form, and passengers will still need to self-isolate for 10-days from the arrival date. However, the self-isolation period can be reduced to 5 days if passengers pay for a test using the Test to Release scheme.

Those travelling to the UK will be required to show a negative result before boarding and may be denied boarding if they fail to do so. The negative results will then be checked again upon arrival by the UK Border Force. A failure to comply with these rules can lead to a fine of £500.

Hauliers, children under 11, crews and those travelling from countries without an adequate testing structure (further guidance pending) will be exempt from this requirement.

We expect further guidance on the type of tests and the exemptions to be laid out in the coming days. It is however, important for those entering the UK from next week to ensure that they have an adequate COVID-19 negative test result before their departure.


This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking professional and legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.