Test to Release

Last updated 19th July 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?

Everyone entering England from overseas (including UK nationals and residents) must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days prior to direct departure to England.


Fill in your Passenger Locator Form up to 48 hours before arrival. You must declare all countries you have visited or transited through in the 10 days prior to your arrival on your Passenger Locator Form.


Before departure check the list of red, amber and green countries, as the list can change regularly.


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).


If you are arriving from an Amber country, and have been fully vaccinated through an approved vaccination programme, at least 14 days before your arrival in England, you must:

1. Book a test for day 2

2. Complete a Passenger Locator Form


The amber list rules for fully UK vaccinated people do not apply to France. If you have been in France in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must follow the amber list rules for people who are not fully UK vaccinated.


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 England 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.


England: https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control

Northern Ireland: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-international-travel-advice

Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-international-travel-quarantine/pages/overview/

Wales: https://gov.wales/arriving-wales-overseas


Failure to comply with these measures is a criminal offence and you could be fined. There are a limited set of exemptions from these measures. Check the list of exemptions carefully. You may be fined if you fraudulently claim an exemption.



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.