We want to make things as easy and safe for you as possible when getting away during these times, so we've prepared this handy guide to share everything you need to know about COVID testing when travelling abroad before your luxury holiday...
Do I need to take a COVID test before I go on holiday?
When and how often you need to take a test depends on where you are visiting, as different countries have different requirements. No matter where you visit, you will most likely need to present a negative PCR test before you travel, while some destinations also require testing on arrival or at some point during your stay. The best thing to do is check with your Luxury Travel Specialist, as they will be able to advise exactly what is required for your destination/itinerary.
Do I need to take a COVID test before I return to the UK from my holiday?
No matter which destination you've visited, everyone returning to the UK must take a COVID test in the three days before travelling. For example, if you travel directly to England on Friday, you can take the test on the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday before, and will need to have the negative result available before boarding on Friday.
You must book and pay for your return tests before you travel to the UK and enter the booking reference number on your passenger locator form. Many of our luxury hotels offer in-house testing. If not, your Luxury Travel Specialist can advise the best way to get your test whilst abroad.
If you do not present proof you tested negative, you may not be able to board your transport to the UK. If you return to the UK without proof you tested negative, you could be fined £500.
What if I test positive before I return to the UK?
If you test positive before returning to the UK, you must stay in resort (with limitations on your movement) until you can present a negative test. Many hotels offer a special COVID rate to stay in quarantine, but each destination has different protocols in place. Your insurance should cover this cost, but we strongly advise checking exactly what it does (and does not) cover before you travel.
Do I need to take a COVID test after my holiday?
When you need to take a return test depends on where your destination falls on the government's traffic light system
If you return from a country on the 'green' list, you must take a negative COVID-19 test before the second day after you arrive in the UK. After this, there are no further restrictions.Amber
If your previous destination is on the 'amber' list and you have been fully vaccinated with both doses (at least two weeks prior to travelling), you will no longer be required to quarantine on return, although you must take a negative test before the second day after you arrive in the UK. After this, there are no further restrictions. The same applies to those under 18 years old.
If you are over 18 and have not had both doses of the jab (or your second dose was less than two weeks before), you must also quarantine at home for 10 days after returning to the UK from an 'amber' country, while arranging to take COVID-19 tests on both day 2 and 8. There is also the option to pay for a private COVID-19 test on or after day 5, under the Test to Release scheme. If the result is negative, you can end your quarantine.Red
As well as a negative COVID-19 test before departing, returning from a 'red' list country requires you to quarantine for 10 days in a government managed hotel, while taking a test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantining.
How do I present my test results?
You must provide the original test result notification either as a printed document or email/ text message you can show on your phone (make sure it's charged!). Test results must include the following information:
- your name, which should match the name on your travel documents
- your date of birth or age
- the result of the test
- the date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider
- the name of the test provider and their contact details
- confirmation of the device used for the test, or that the test was a PCR test
Where can I get my COVID tests before I travel and when I return?
Testing has become a lot more accessible and efficient since last year, and there is now a huge selection of testing providers to choose from. Many of them deliver everything you need for your test directly to your home, before issuing government-approved certification via an app or email. For a full list of providers, visit the
We have also negotiated an exclusive discount for our clients for a selection of accredited testing providers that offer both home and airport testing. Once you have confirmed your booking, your Luxury Travel Specialist will supply our exclusive promo codes.
Testing packages are currently being compiled based on the requirements of the destination you are travelling to. These include...
- pre-departure rapid antigen tests (before travel)
- PCR 'Fit to Fly' tests (before travel)
- day 2 tests (for everyone returning from a green country, or fully vaccinated travellers/under 18s returning from an amber country)
- day 2 and 8 tests (for those not vaccinated returning from an amber country, or everyone returning from a red country)
- day 5 'Test to Release' test (for those not vaccinated returning from an amber country that want to end quarantine on day 5)
Besides the tests, is there anything else I need to arrange?
For all destinations, you must complete a passenger locator form online before you arrive back in the UK. It's free to submit the form, and you can complete it any time in the 48 hours before you arrive. You'll need to show your form when you check in to travel or board your transport to the UK. To complete your form, click here
What happens if my plans change or are affected by the pandemic in some way?
We totally understand that you might have concerns around booking a holiday right now. In order to give you pure peace of mind and increased flexibility, we are delighted to showcase our Elegant Promise, a set of flexible terms that take the worry away from booking your next trip. View full details here