Coronavirus (COVID-19): international travel advice
You should avoid travelling as much as possible in light of the continuing COVID-19 threat. If you need to travel abroad you should keep up-to-date with the latest advice for the country you plan travelling to. You will also have to self-isolate for a period of 10 days on your return home.
The information on this page is specific to international travel. Guidance on travel within the Common Travel Area is available on the following page: Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel within Common Travel Area
Rules for entering or returning to Northern Ireland
New rules for entering or returning to Northern Ireland are now in place:
Anyone intending to travel directly, or via another country, to Northern Ireland from abroad, including British and Irish nationals returning home, must:
- provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure
- provide your journey and contact details by completing the UK online Passenger Locator Form
- self-isolate for 10 days, unless you have a valid exemption
Anyone not complying with the regulations may be refused boarding by the airline or carrier and/or may be fined on arrival.
When travelling to Northern Ireland from abroad, via Great Britain or the Republic of Ireland, you will be required to follow any new requirements for managed quarantine and additional testing that have been introduced. Please refer to the guidance in that country to ensure you are aware of the requirements on arrival.
Managed quarantine and mandatory COVID-19 testing has not yet been introduced for passengers arriving in Northern Ireland directly from an international destination.
If you intend to arrive in Northern Ireland, via the Republic of Ireland, after having been abroad you must complete a UK Passenger Locator Form, This is in addition to travel information you may be required to provide to travel authorities in the Republic of Ireland.
Failure to do so incurs a fixed penalty notice of £500 with laddering for subsequent offences up to a maximum of £4,000.
People travelling to Northern Ireland from abroad will need proof of a negative coronavirus test.
Further information on pre-departure testing is available on the following page:
Passenger Locator Form
You must complete a passenger locator form that provides:
- details of your journey
- contact details
- the address where you will self-isolate
You must submit the passenger locator form 48 hours before you arrive into Northern Ireland.
Before you travel, you should develop a self-isolation plan so that you know where and how you will self-isolate for 10 days after you have arrived into Northern Ireland.
You should self-isolate in one place for the full 10 days, where you can have food and other necessities delivered, and stay away from others.
You must self-isolate at the address you provided on the passenger locator form.
This can include:
- your own home
- staying with friends or family
- a hotel or other temporary accommodation
You are not allowed to change the place where you are self-isolating except in very limited circumstances, such as:
- a legal obligation requires you to change address, such as where you are a child whose parents live separately, and you need to move between homes as part of a shared custody agreement
- it's necessary for you to stay overnight at accommodation before travelling to the place where you will be self-isolating for the remainder of the 10 days
- there’s an emergency
If this happens, you should provide full details of each address where you will self-isolate on the passenger locator form.
If, in an exceptional circumstance, you cannot remain where you're staying, you must update the PLF as soon as possible.
If you cannot safely self-isolate, you should tell Border Force Officers when you arrive.
The people in your household will also have to self-isolate with you if you have travelled from, or transited through a country or territory that is subject to additional measures in the previous 14 days.
Further information on the countries or territories that are subject to additional measures (‘red risk’ countries) is available on the following page:
Self-isolation advice for returning travellers
If you’ve been abroad and you're required to self-isolate on your return, you should:
- head straight home or to your accommodation
- self-isolate in one place for the full 10 days
- not go to work, school, or public areas
- only use public transport if you've no other option
- if you do use public transport, wear a face covering that covers your nose and mouth and stay two metres apart from other people
You cannot go out to work, school or visit public areas.
You should not go shopping.
If you require help buying groceries, other shopping, or picking up medication, you should ask friends or relatives to help you or you should order a delivery.
If you're travelling to Northern Ireland for less than 10 days you will be expected to self-isolate for the length of your stay.
Self-isolation and testing
You must complete the full 10 day self-isolation period. Even if you test negative for coronavirus during self-isolation you must continue to self-isolate until the full 10 day period is over.
After self-isolating for 10 days
If you do not have any coronavirus symptoms after 10 days, you can stop self-isolating.
Permitted reasons for leaving self-isolation
During self-isolation, a person must not leave the place where they are self-isolating except in certain circumstances. Information on permitted reasons for leaving self-isolation is available on the following page:
Fines or further action
It is an offence if you do not comply with the above requirements.
Failure to complete the UK passenger locator form or provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test, will incur a fine of £500 with laddering for subsequent offences up to a maximum of £4,000.
Leaving the place where you are self-isolating, without a permitted reason will incur a fine of £1,000.
A limited number of sector specific exemptions may apply when travelling to Northern Ireland. See XXXX
If you think you meet the criteria for exemption it's important that you check the list of sector specific exemptions before you travel.
Travelling to another country
If you have any enquiries about COVID-19 and travel abroad, check the latest travel advice - you can also sign up for email alerts from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
There is also guidance if you're travelling or living abroad during the coronavirus pandemic.
Travel advice remains under constant review to make sure it reflects the latest assessment of risks.
Travellers should be aware of this if they must travel abroad for an essential reason and ensure they are aware of up to date requirements should the regulations change while they are abroad.
If you are abroad
You must follow the advice of local authorities. Your safety and security is the responsibility of the local authority where you are.
If you need urgent consular assistance:
- phone the FCO switchboard number 020 7008 1500
- phone any embassy or High Commission