The world of travel has clearly changed, and has left us with a few more questions to answer before we go on holiday. What Covid test do I need to travel? What documentation do I need to get through passport control? How much do all these tests cost? Do I need to quarantine when I arrive home?

In this article we’ll look to answer all these questions and more, using information we’ve gathered first-hand from our own travelling experiences in 2021.

What Covid-19 test do I need to travel?

If you’re visiting a green list country, you will need to take a private lateral flow test, not an NHS test.

You’ll have to order your test online, take it at home, and then register the test by taking a photograph of your completed test with the test number, negative result and your passport all clearly displayed.

You will then have your test verified by the company that supplies the test, and they will send an official certificate via email to show that you have tested negative.

If you are double vaccinated however, all you need to travel to most EU countries is proof of your double vaccination, which you can show on your NHS app.

We would recommend the Reopen EU app to see what Covid test you need to get, or whether you need to get one at all, before you travel.

You can see a list of government-approved test suppliers here.

negative covid test and face masks

What do I need to take to the airport to travel?

You need to take three new things to the airport in order to travel:

– Your certificate from a private testing company displaying your negative result

– Your completed passenger locator form

– Your NHS Covid-19 pass

We’ve already discussed the test you need in order to travel, and you can find the passenger locator form by simply Googling the country you are visiting and ‘passenger locator form’.

Always check whether you need one passenger locator form per person or per household. Once you fill in your passenger locator form and submit it for verification, you will receive an email with a PDF for you to show when you are at the airport.

You can access your NHS Covid-19 pass on the NHS app.

When do I need to take my test to travel?

You must take your test within 72 hours prior to your flight. We would recommend doing it 2 days before you fly so that you have time to receive your negative result and certificate.

What do I have to do in the destination country?

When you land in the destination of your holiday, you will need the same documentation that we outlined above. This will be checked at passport control.

What are restrictions like in holiday destinations?

In most European countries there is no lockdown, restaurants and bars are open, and wearing a face mask is encouraged but not mandatory. You are required to wear a mask at all times during your time in the airport and on your flight.

social distancing chair in an airport

What do I need to travel home?

To travel home, you need to have booked your day 2 test, even if you have been double vaccinated for 14 days. If you have not been vaccinated for a full 14 days on your arrival date in the UK, you must book a day 2 and a day 8 test.

Note that these tests are PCR tests that you will need to complete and then post to the lab.

You will also need a passenger locator form for your arrival in the UK and your departure from your holiday country. You can find your passenger locator form for the UK here.

You need the test registration number to complete your passenger locator form, this is displayed clearly on confirmation emails from the private company you have chosen to order your day 2 test from.

Do I need to quarantine when I arrive home?

If you arrive home from a green list country and you have been fully vaccinated for 14 days on your day of arrival, you do not have to isolate. You must still take your day 2 test.

If you have not been vaccinated for 14 days by the time you arrive home, you must isolate for 10 days and test negative for both your day 2 and day 8 test.

As travel opens back up and holidays become more and more realistic, here at Not In The Guidebooks we are doing all we can to bring you the most up-to-date information and rules when it comes to exploring the world again. The team has visited Iceland, Portugal and Greece so you can be sure that the information we bring to you is from first-hand experience, and you can travel the world with confidence again.