Where can I travel with a negative Covid test?

Everything you need to know about COVID-19 testing

Great news: there are plenty of destinations that allow travel if you’ve got a negative COVID-19 PCR test, or a printed or digital ‘Fit to Fly’ certificate. Plus, there are now numerous ways in which you can carry out a test before you travel, so you can find an option that suits you and secure that much-needed sunny escape with your family, partner or friends.

You can now test at the airport, in your local Boots pharmacy or from the comfort of your home, so you can get your dose of sunshine without any fuss. Costs may vary for each type of test, so it’s best to do your research beforehand.

To make sure that your holiday plans run as smoothly as possible, it’s important to check the specific regulations of the destination that you’re travelling to, and arrange a COVID-19 test where necessary. See the ‘COVID-19’ section of our terms and conditions for more information. We also always recommend staying up to date with the travel advice on the FCO website when you book and up until your departure, because these rules and regulations are changing all the time, so it helps to stay in the know.

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How can I do a COVID-19 test?

There are several ways in which you can carry out a COVID-19 test, and some destinations may require a specific form of test or may specify whether you need to show your results certificate in a digital or printed format, so it’s crucial to check this beforehand.

Testing facilities are available in most major UK airports, so you can check availability online and pre-book a test before you travel. If you are unable to get to an airport for testing then most Boots pharmacies also offer testing facilities now, which you can book online via the ReCoVa-19 portal on the official Boots website, before travelling. Manchester Airport has also partnered with Boots to offer a 5% discount if you call 0808 164 0804 before booking your test (lines open 9:00 – 17:00, Monday – Friday).



If those options don’t work for you, then you can always use a home testing kit. You can order a COVID-19 test directly here, where you’ll receive the full kit and clear instructions to make sure you take the test properly and safely. Plus, the postage is already paid for - so you can send your test back to the UK-based laboratory free of charge.

How do the different COVID-19 test processes work?

COVID-19 tests at the airport

Several UK airports are now offering COVID-19 testing facilities, including Manchester, East Midlands and London Stansted. Simply check online if your local airport offers the testing facilities, and then book your desired slot. Once you have your appointment, you can arrive with any required identification and booking details, and the test will then be carried out. The turnaround time for results varies for each type of test, so make sure to keep this in mind, as well as how recently your destination requires you to have been tested before you travel. Different destinations require different test types, so it’s best to check beforehand. Please also note that airport testing facilities should not be used if you suspect that you do have COVID-19.

COVID-19 tests in Boots pharmacies

Most Boots pharmacies are now offering a COVID-19 test. To arrange a test, simply book your appointment online through the ReCoVa-19 portal, register your details and choose a date and time that suits you. After the test is complete you will receive an email within 48 hours to let you know how you can view your results, and – if negative – you will be able to download a results certificate.



At home COVID-19 testing

It’s now also possible to carry out a COVID-19 test from home. You’ll receive clear instructions with your test kit to ensure that you carry out the test safely and properly. Once completed, your test will arrive at the UK-based lab three days before your flight, and – if the result is negative - you will receive your ‘Fit to Fly’ certificate via email.

When should I take my COVID-19 test?

Time frames for taking your COVID-19 test may vary depending on the type of test you’re taking and the destination you’re travelling to, but it’s important to keep this in mind based on your departure date. Full details about when to book the test and an estimate of how long the results may take should be provided on the official website of your chosen provider when booking your test.

For the Boots COVID-19 test, it is advised that when flying abroad you book your appointment no earlier than 72 hours before your flight, and no later than 60 hours before your flight. This is to ensure that your test result is recent enough to still be valid when you travel, whilst still leaving enough time for the result to come back.

If you are doing an at-home test, you’ll need to order your test kit no later than five days before you’re due to fly. You will receive your kit the next day – although you can order in advance if you prefer – and must send your completed test off on the same day, four days before your outbound travel date.

Where can I travel to with a negative COVID-19 test?

If you’ve been dreaming of that beachfront break all year, then dream no more. There are now plenty of destinations that you can visit if you carry out a COVID-19 test beforehand and the result is negative, so it’s still possible to jet off for some sun, sand and sea.

Before booking, it’s important to do your research on where you wish to travel to, as restrictions can vary from place to place. You can visit our specific airport measures page for more details. Possible restrictions could include taking a COVID-19 test (often at your own expense), self-monitoring with a track and trace app, or agreeing to quarantine for a period of time (destination dependent) if necessary. Please note that as a Sunshine.co.uk customer it is your responsibility to comply with local restrictions at all times, and to carry out a COVID-19 test if required before travelling. For more information about entry requirements regarding COVID-19 and your obligations as a passenger, please see our terms and conditions.




Glittering skyscrapers, luxury hotels and sprawling pool complexes - if you’re craving the holiday of a lifetime then Dubai might just be the perfect place for you. From stretching out along the endless golden coastline to sipping cocktails in swanky rooftop bars, Dubai holidays are what dreams are made of.

Thankfully, you can now visit Dubai if you take a COVID-19 test no earlier than 96 hours before departure and can provide a printed negative result certificate. You can also take a test upon arrival in Dubai, however, please note that this is subject to change.

When visiting Dubai you must also complete a Health Declaration Form and a Quarantine Form. Both forms must be printed and should be handed over to Dubai Health Authority staff on arrival. Please note that all visitors to Dubai must adhere to public health measures issued by the Dubai authorities, including any requirements to quarantine.



Madeira & Azores

Holidays to the Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores are the perfect remedy for your sunshine cravings. Sweeping views of lush green landscapes that contrast beautifully with the sparkling blue seas await.

To visit these patches of paradise you’ll need to fill in a form from the Regional Health Authority (IASAUDE) before you arrive. You will also need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel or on arrival, with possible further screening checks taking place at the airport. If you test negatively beforehand then you must present the negative result certificate, which should be obtained within 72 hours of travelling. If you test on arrival and the result is positive, then you will be asked to quarantine until reassessed by the health authorities.


St. Lucia

St. Lucia is a dream-worthy destination, made for relaxing escapes and tropical fun in the sun. Make those dreams come true with a Caribbean escape.

To travel to St. Lucia at the moment, all visitors over the age of 18 must fill in a mandatory Travel Registration Form and bring a printed copy of the auto-response email, along with a printed copy of a completed Health Screening Form. You must also provide printed evidence of a negative COVID-19 test, which should be taken no more than 7 days before your arrival in St Lucia.





If Barbados is calling your name for an unforgettable holiday, nothing is stopping you from touching down in the land of soft sands, palm trees and clear waters.

Before you travel you’ll need to take a COVID-19 test no more than 3 days before your arrival. You’ll also need to complete an online immigration form and upload the negative COVID-19 results you have received here. You must bring a printed copy of the results with you to the airport as well.


When you arrive in Barbados you’ll stay at a holding hotel or approved villa until you’ve been tested again. This test will be taken 4-5 days after your first one, in most circumstances, you will only have to self-isolate for up to two days after you arrive. Please note that if you test positive you’ll need to self-isolate. You can find more information regarding the travel protocols in Barbados here.



Antigua holidays are always incredible, but imagine how amazing it will feel to touch down in the Caribbean in 2021 – we’ll never take travel for granted again! Make sure you book a hotel from the government’s approved accommodation list – these hotels and villas all meet official hygiene standards, and many of our top-selling places to stay are on the list.


To visit Antigua you’ll need to show negative results from a COVID-19 test, taken no more than seven days before you land. At the airport, there are further health screening methods in place, and you may be required to quarantine in a government-provided location.

All measures are subject to change, but you may see further testing, have your temperature taken and get asked questions about your travel history. Please note that you might need to pay a fee if you’re required to take a test on arrival.


What happens if I test positive?

Of course, it’s always worth considering the possibility of testing positive for COVID-19, whether this is before travel or on arrival at your destination. This is why we always recommend taking out our Sunshine.co.uk Travel Insurance for peace of mind, to ensure that whatever happens – we’ve got you covered. Sunshine.co.uk Travel Insurance covers you for COVID-19 medical, cancellation and curtailment costs (exclusions apply – see full insurance page for more information), meaning that you can book your holiday with confidence knowing that you won’t lose your holiday if you do test positive.


Please also note that as a Sunshine.co.uk customer it is your responsibility to comply with COVID-19 regulations at all times, which may differ depending on the destination. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office still advises against all but essential travel to some destinations, meaning that various restrictions and requirements to quarantine upon return to the UK may be in place.  It is always advised to check the specific entry requirements for your destination before booking.



Further information relating to COVID-19 entry requirements and your obligations as a passenger can be found in our terms and conditions.




** Please note that this information was correct at the time of publishing 21/12/2020.

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