Test to Release

Last updated 17th May 2021

The government’s Test to Release for International Travel scheme has been put in place for those who have been in a country or territory on the amber list in the 10 days prior to their arrival in to England. Currently, in accordance to the new traffic light system rules, you must quarantine for 10 days on arrival. However, under the Test to Release scheme you can choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test and if the result is negative, you can end your quarantine.


You cannot take a test until you have been in England for 5 full days. The scheme is voluntary and applies to those quarantining in England only.


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?

 From 17th May 2021, new rules will apply for entry in to England. What you must do when you arrive in England from abroad depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive. You must check before you book and travel to see which list the country you are travelling to and from appears on, this will determine if you need to self-isolate on your return to England.


Red list passengers
1. Book a managed quarantine package.
2. 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 of entry and quarantine in a government approved hotel for 10 days.


Amber list passengers
1. Book tests for day 2 and 8.
2. Complete a passenger locator form.
3. Make plans to self-quarantine in private accommodation for 10 full days after arrival (or full duration of stay if less than 10 days).


Green list passengers
1. Book a test for day 2.
2. Complete a passenger locator form.


These measures apply to all persons (including UK nationals and residents) arriving in the UK from outside the common travel area comprising the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands. The British Overseas Territories are not in the common travel area. Public health requirements may vary depending upon in which nation of the UK you’re staying.


The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to countries that are not on the green list – please note that travelling to one of these countries may invalidate your travel insurance.


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.



PCR Testing Packages

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

Travelling Safely

Wondering if it’s safe to travel by ferry to Calais, Rotterdam or other European destinations? If you’re looking for coronavirus travel advice, or considering how to travel safely with P&O Ferries, visit our Travelling Safely page for all of the information you need.

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Book with Confidence

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.