Test to Release

The government’s new Test to Release for International Travel scheme has been put in place for those who are required to isolate following a trip to a country that is not on the government’s safe list. This scheme begins on the 15th December 2020 and allows you to take a private COVID-19 test from a selection of approved partners at least five full days from your arrival into the UK. If your test is negative, you will be able to stop isolating.


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


All international arrivals, including UK nationals will be required to enter a 10 day quarantine from the 15th February 2021 on entry into England. You will be required to either quarantine in the place you are staying or in a managed quarantine hotel for 10 days when you arrive in England. What you need to do depends on where you have travelled in the 10 days prior to your arrival in to England. Find out more about the new testing and quarantine rules from 15th February on the gov.uk site.

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to countries that are not on the travel corridor 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 with Screen4


We have teamed up with Screen4 LTD who offer a government-approved Covid-19 PCR test. The test can be ordered through the Screen4 website. You will have the results of your test within 24-48 hours of your sample being received at the lab, and these will be available in PDF format.


To find out more about Test to Release tests, and to order yours, visit Screen4’s website. Alternatively, take a look at the full list of government-approved Test to Release providers.


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



Pre-travel Covid-19 testing
Pre-Travel Covid-19 Testing

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, some countries require travellers to produce a negative Covid-19 PCR test result on arrival. Read more and find out how to order your pre-travel Covid-19 test.

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