- Who needs to take a COVD-19 test
- When you must get tested
- If you cannot get a test
- Where to get a test
- If you’re carrying dangerous goods
- When you get to the test site
- Taking the test
- After you’ve taken the test
- If your test result is negative
- If your test result is positive
- If your test result is positive and you can safely self-isolate in the UK
- If your test result is positive and you cannot safely self-isolate in the UK
- COVID-19 UK border rules for drivers of goods vehicles
- Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
- COVID-19 safer practice rules for international hauliers
Who needs to take a COVD-19 test
Hauliers arriving in England from abroad must take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test if they:
- do not qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England, and
- are staying for more than 2 days
This applies to drivers and crews of HGVs and drivers of vans and other light goods vehicles. It applies to both UK-based and non-UK hauliers.
See more: Covid 19 test hgv
Check separate guidance to see if you qualify as fully vaccinated.
You do not need to take a COVID-19 test if either:
- you qualify as fully vaccinated
- you are staying in England for 2 days or less
- you arrive in England from the Common Travel Area (CTA), and you have not been outside the CTA in the 10 days before you arrive
The Common Travel Area is the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
If you need a test and you do not have proof of a negative COVID-19 test, you could be fined up to £2,000.
When you must get tested
If you need to take a COVID-19 test, you must take it by day 2 after you arrive. The day of your arrival in England is counted as day 0.
Example: If you arrive in England on a Monday, you must take your test on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
If you cannot get a test
If you cannot get a test at a time when one is due, for example because of temporary closure of testing facilities or lack of provision in the area, you should take a test as soon as possible once you can access a testing site.
You only have to take these tests while you are in England.
If you are in another part of the Common Travel Area (UK, Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man) when a test is due, you do not need to take that test until you return to England. You should take the test as soon as you can when you return to England.
You may be contacted to check that you have taken your test or you have self-isolated if you have a positive test.
You can be fined up to £2,000 if you do not get tested.
Where to get a test
Free rapid lateral flow testing for hauliers is available at haulier advice sites around the country.
You do not need to book a test in advance, but you should check the list of sites to make sure they are open and if they are likely to be busy.
If you take a test at a haulier advice site, you will be provided with a letter which says:
- the time and date of the test
- the day of testing – for example, day 2
- some personal details, which can be used as evidence of undertaking the test
If you have a UK residence you can also order tests online or pick up tests from a pharmacy.
If you’re carrying dangerous goods
If you need to take a test, you must ensure you take it before you enter Kent if you’re carrying:
- polymerising substances
- infectious substances
- radioactive substances
- goods that are of high consequence for terrorism
This is because these types of loads are not allowed at the testing sites in Kent. You will be refused access if you’re carrying them.
Check with your transport manager or consignor if you’re not sure if your goods fall into any of these categories.
When you get to the test site
Protect yourself and others by wearing a face covering.
Do not leave your vehicle except to use the rest facilities or when asked to by a member of staff.
A member of staff will give you a test kit.
Taking the test
The test involves taking a swab at the back of your throat and the inside of your nose using a long cotton bud.
You do the test yourself. Staff will watch you, and the test kit has instructions for you to follow.
After you’ve taken the test
Return to your vehicle and wait for 30 minutes for the results.
If your test result is negative
You will receive proof of your negative result if you test negative.
Staff will then direct you to your departure point and you’ll be able to continue your journey.
Keep the result safe. If you lose it, you’ll need to take another test.
If your test result is positive
You cannot continue your journey if the test result is positive.
What you do next depends on where you can safely self-isolate.
If your test result is positive and you can safely self-isolate in the UK
You can self-isolate in the UK if you have a home in the UK, or if you can stay with family or friends in the UK.
Return your vehicle to your depot or place of work. Do not share the vehicle with anyone.
Go home and self-isolate.
Book a free NHS PCR test within 48 hours.
If your NHS PCR test result is positive, you will need to complete the full self-isolation period.
If your NHS PCR test result is negative, you can end your self-isolation period.
If your test result is positive and you cannot safely self-isolate in the UK
If you do not have anywhere to stay in the UK, it means you cannot safely self-isolate.
You’ll be given hotel accommodation so you can safely self-isolate and support staff will arrange a follow-up PCR test for you.
You’ll be directed to a hotel to self-isolate.
Park your vehicle in the hotel car park.
Arrange with your company for any perishable or dangerous goods to be picked up by another driver. Staff at the hotel will tell you how to do this safely.
Support staff will arrange for you to have a follow-up COVID-19 test. Most people get their result within a few days.
If your test result is negative, you will be free to continue your journey.
If your test result is positive, you’ll have to self-isolate at the hotel for 10 days. After 10 days, you’ll receive proof to show you have completed your isolation period and will be free to continue your journey.
You can stop self-isolating on day 6 if you do a lateral flow test on days 5 and 6 of your self-isolation period and:
- both tests are negative
- you did both tests at least 24 hours apart
- you do not have a high temperature
Lateral flow tests will be given to you at the haulier advice site once you have reported your positive result.
You will not have to pay for the hotel accommodation and food.
You should not leave the hotel without permission while you’re self-isolating.
COVID-19 UK border rules for drivers of goods vehicles
Due to COVID-19, there are rules about what you must do before you travel to England and after you arrive.
Read here for the full requirements for drivers of goods vehicles travelling internationally.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own rules and exemptions. Read more about:
- exempt jobs in Northern Ireland
- exempt jobs in Scotland
- exempt jobs in Wales
COVID-19 safer practice rules for international hauliers
Read about the rules that you need to follow on safer practice for:
- isolating in your cab
- sleeping and breaks
- entering and exiting the vehicle
- loading and unloading