Coronavirus testing rules for international travellers who arrive in Wales from 4am on 18 January 2021.
Passengers arriving directly into Wales from all international destinations will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before departing to help protect against new strains of coronavirus circulating internationally.
You must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel to Wales from abroad.
If you are arriving in Wales before 4am on 18 January 2021, you are under no legal obligation to get a test before you travel. You should not be denied boarding for failing to provide proof of a negative test result, and will not be fined on arrival into Wales.
We still encourage you to comply with this guidance and get a test if possible.
From 4am on 18 January 2021, if you do not present proof of a negative test result, you may not be able to board and could be fined £500 on arrival into Wales.
From 15 February 2021, all passengers arriving to Wales either directly or via the rest of the UK, will also need to take two additional COVID-19 tests once they arrive back in Wales.
These test will be taken on day 2 and day 8 after your arrival date.
Booking Your Travel Testing Package
A ‘travel test package’ will need to be booked before your arrival in Wales via the GOV.UK booking portal. Each test package will cost £210.
All travellers aged 5 and above must book a testing package.
You will need show evidence of your booked tests before you board.
If you arrive in Wales without proof of test booking, you could be fined £2,000.
Take a coronavirus test before you travel to Wales
From 4am on Monday 18 January 2021, you must have proof of a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test to travel to Wales
You must take a test even if:
- you are a UK citizen
You must take the test in the 3 days before you start your journey to Wales.
For example, if you travel on Friday, you must take a test no earlier than Tuesday.
You will need to present the proof of your negative test before you board to travel to Wales.
If you don’t present proof of a negative test result certificate, you may not be able to board any form of transport to travel to Wales.
If you arrive in Wales without proof of a negative test result, you could be fined £500.
Test providers and type of test
You will need to find a test provider. You must make sure that the test provider can meet the standards for pre-departure testing.
The test must:
- meet performance standards of ≥97% specificity, ≥80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml
- this could include tests such as:
- a nucleic acid test, including a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or derivative technologies, including loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) tests
- an antigen test, such as a test from a lateral flow device
It is your responsibility to ensure the test meets the minimum standards for sensitivity, specificity and viral load details so you must check with your test provider that it meets those standards.
You may not be able to travel if the test does not meet these standards. It is your responsibility to ensure you get the right test that meets the above requirements.
Where information about providers of tests is available locally, FCDO travel advice pages will be updated with this information. If you need consular assistance should contact the nearest consulate, embassy or high commission.
If you take your test in the UK, ahead of a return journey of less than 3 days, you must use a private test provider. You cannot use an NHS Test and Trace test.
Information that the test result must include
Your test result must be in one of the following languages English, French or Spanish. Translations will not be accepted, and you must provide the original test result certificate. It 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
- the name of the test device
If the test result does not include this information you may not be able to board, and may not be able to travel to Wales. If you arrive without a test result that includes this information, you will be committing a criminal offence
Positive test results
If your test result is positive, you must not travel. You must follow local rules and guidance for positive coronavirus cases.
If the result is inconclusive, you must take another test.
British nationals who need consular assistance should contact the nearest consulate, embassy or high commission.
Getting a test in a country you transit through
It is your responsibility to make sure you have a valid test result to show when you board. You should not rely on being able to get a test in a country that you will transit through as part of your journey to Wales. It is possible that local or entry restrictions will mean you are not able to get a test.
If you don’t have a test result because you were unable to get one in a country you transited through, and you are not permitted to enter the transit country, you will be allowed to board your transport to Wales. But you could be fined £500 on arrival in Wales for not having a valid test result.
Exemptions – people who don’t need to take a test
Travel from some countries
You do not need to take a test if you began your journey to Wales from:
- England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey
- Ascension, Falkland Islands, St Helena
For a limited time period, you also do not need to take a test if you began your journey to Wales from:
- Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia or Barbados (until 4am Thursday 21 January 2021 – you will need a test to travel on or after this date)
Children and medical reasons
Children aged under 11 do not need to take a test.
You do not need to take a test if you are travelling to the UK:
- for urgent medical treatment or are accompanying someone who is travelling for urgent medical treatment, and it is not reasonably practicable for you to obtain a negative COVID-19 test in the 3 days before departure
- if you have a medical condition which means you cannot take a test – you must present a note from a medical practitioner at check in and to Border Force staff on arrival in Wales
People doing the following jobs do not need to take a test:
- border and customs officials
- channel tunnel system workers
- air, maritime and rail crew
- civil aviation inspectors
- people transporting human cells and blood products
- seamen and masters and inspectors and surveyors of ships
- specialist technical workers doing emergency works
Also, in limited circumstances:
- defence personnel, visiting forces and government contractors
- foreign government officials
- UK government officials conducting essential state business, essential government work or essential policing
Read more details of these job exemptions to see if they apply to you.
Passenger locator form
You must complete a passenger locator form before you travel to Wales.
Self-isolating when you arrive in the UK – travel corridors
Even though you have provided a negative test for entering the country, you must follow the rules for self-isolating when you arrive in Wales.
If you have been somewhere that is not on the travel corridors list in the 10 days before you arrive in Wales, you will need to self-isolate, regardless of your pre-departure test result. Read more about travel corridors and how long you need to self-isolate.