Coronavirus (COVID-19) fit for travel certificates
If you want a certificate of your COVID-19 results to travel, we strongly advise you check with your airline and destination country that your certificate is appropriate. You can check these requirements by visiting the Foreign Office travel advice pages, or by contacting a country's UK based embassy.
COVID-19 travel regulations
We’re all aware the COVID-19 pandemic is constantly changing at home and around the world. If you’re planning to travel abroad, you’ll be keen to keep up to date with the latest travel information on the government website. on the government website. This will help you keep up to date on the COVID-19 restrictions in the area you want to visit and any restrictions in the UK when you return. See the government’s foreign travel advice for further information.
What is a COVID-19 travel certificate?
At the moment, some countries ask for proof of a recent COVID-19 test, either when you arrive in the country or before getting on a flight. You’ll be asked to provide a certificate or document of your results. If you don’t provide proof of your test result it might mean you can’t enter the country. A COVID-19 travel certificate is this official document that details the results of a recent COVID-19 swab test, sometimes called a COVID-19 PCR test.
These tests work by detecting if the virus is currently in your system (they are not able to tell you if you’ve been infected in the past). The idea of these certificates is to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, making sure only people who’re unlikely to be carrying the virus can come into the country.
To find out which countries require proof of a COVID-19 test result on entry, visit the foreign travel advice page.
Where can I get a fit for travel COVID-19 certificate?
COVID-19 testing for international travel is not currently available on the NHS. If you require proof of your results you’ll need to purchase a COVID-19 swab test privately, you can do so using our COVID-19 swab testing service.
We’ll provide you with a downloadable document with your results in, as soon as your results are ready which is normally an estimated 3 working days after sample processing begins. We advise you check with your airline and destination country that our certificate is appropriate. You can check these requirements by visiting the Foreign Office travel advice pages, or by contacting a country's UK based embassy. Please see a certificate example below:
If your travel is for work purposes, you’ll need to organise a test through your employer.
Can I order a COVID-19 test to my house?
Yes, through Online Doctor you can request a COVID-19 swab test kit, and have it delivered to your door. Once your request is approved by one of our clinicians, it will arrive within an estimated 2 working days.
Don’t forget, our test kits are for adults aged 18 and over and you can’t order a test kit on behalf of anybody else.
How long do I need to wait for my COVID-19 results?
Once the lab has received your sample, it usually takes an estimated 3 working days for them to process your results.
We'll send you an email or text as soon as your results are available in your patient record. You'll also have access to a downloadable document with your results which you can then print if you need a paper copy.
Can I have a paper copy of my COVID-19 results?
When we have your results, you will be able to view them in your Patient Record. You’ll also have access to a downloadable version of your results in the ‘Documents’ section, which you can print out as a paper copy.
We advise you check with your travel company or contact the UK based embassy of the country you’re travelling to. Make sure you do this before departure so you know your results will be accepted.
What happens if I forget my COVID-19 travel certificate?
If you forget your COVID-19 travel certificate, you may be asked to turn around at the airport. It’s important to ensure you have all documents required to enter the country you wish to travel to.
Other travel recommendations
Here are some other things to consider before you travel:
- Sign up for email notifications from the government’s travel advice page so you don’t miss any of the latest updates.
- Ensure you’re travelling with enough face masks, as these are now mandatory on most forms of public transport.
- Bring yourself up to speed with the safer air travel guidance for passengers before you leave so that you know what to expect when you reach the airport.
- Prepare for the unexpected and purchase travel insurance.
- It’s important to take care of your mental wellbeing during this time. Stay in touch with friends and family throughout your holiday, especially if you need to self-isolate upon arrival or during your stay.
Updated 9th Oct 2020 - we recommend the COVID-19 pages on the NHS website for more up to date information.