Test to Release

Last updated 4th October 2021

What you need to do when you arrive in England depends on whether you qualify as fully vaccinated under the rules for travel to England. If you do not qualify as fully vaccinated, you must quarantine for 10 days on arrival.


Under the Test to Release scheme you can choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test on day 5. If the result is negative (and the result of your day 2 test result was negative or inconclusive) you can end your quarantine.


You cannot take your Test to Release test until you have been in England for 5 full days.


The scheme is voluntary and applies to those quarantining in England only.


If you do not want to opt into the Test to Release scheme, you will need to quarantine for 10 days.


You cannot take part in the scheme if you have been in or through a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England.


When do I need to self-isolate when returning to the UK?

Full vaccinated travellers are exempt from self-isolation unless they have travelled from a red list country. For information on those who need to self-isolate on return or entry into England see below:


Red list passengers (including passengers who are fully vaccinated)
  1. Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of departure to the UK

  2. Book a managed quarantine package

  3. Complete a passenger locator form

You can only enter if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK. You must enter through a designated port and quarantine in a government approved hotel for 10 days.

Unvaccinated passengers or passengers vaccinated with unauthorised vaccines
  1. Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of departure to the UK

  2. Book tests for day 2 and 8

  3. Complete a passenger locator form

  4. Make plans to self-quarantine in private accommodation for 10 full days after arrival (or full duration of stay if less than 10 days)


How does the Test to Release scheme work?


In order to take part in the Test to Release scheme, you will need to provide the details of your government approved test on your Passenger Locator form. This means that your test must be booked before you return to the UK. Depending on which test you choose, it will be sent to your home or you’ll be asked to visit a testing site. If you are travelling back to the UK with others, everyone who wants to take part in the scheme must have their own test.


Order a Test to Release Kit

Everything Genetics are offering P&O Ferries customers testing packages for Green and Amber countries. This includes PCR test and certificate, plus the compulsory day 2 and 8 required when returning to the UK. You can also purchase single tests from the website here.


We have also partnered with Screen-4 who offer pre-travel Covid-19 test for £95, please visit our dedicated page on Screen4’s website.

For more information about how to travel safely during the coronavirus pandemic, please visit our COVID-19 hub.



P&O Ferries sailing updates
PCR Testing Packages

Pre travel and Test to Release PCR testing service from £65 provided by Everything Genetics covering Green and Amber country requirements.

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Wondering if it’s safe to travel by ferry to Calais, Rotterdam or other European destinations? For more information on how to travel safely with P&O Ferries and what we are doing to help keep you safe onboard, visit our safety precautions page.

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We understand that you may be feeling some uncertainty due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on travel plans, which is why we will not be charging an amendment fee to those who need to change their travel dates.