Do I need a Covid test if I’m travelling for business? (July 2021)

Anyone travelling in and out of the UK in July 2021 will be required to maintain social distancing, complete a Covid test (that has a negative result), provide their contact details via the passenger locator form and follow the relevant testing and quarantine guidelines. This goes for those with and without a vaccine. However, some people are exempt for certain travel and entry requirements because of their job. So here, we highlight which jobs are and reveal everything you need to know about travelling for business.

Before travelling

If you’re travelling for business, you’ll be required to show a letter from your employer at the border. This should include your personal details, their contact details, any work you’ll be doing and photo ID.

You may also be required to tell the government that you intend to use the exemption scheme and may need to provide evidence that you’ve booked additional Covid tests such as a Test to Release kit from companies like Medicspot if you want to end your quarantine early.

Travel exemptions in business

If your job is one of the below, you could be exempt from some of the travel and entry requirements:

  • Aerospace engineers
  • Pilots and aircraft crew
  • BBC broadcasters and journalists
  • Border security professionals
  • Drivers of buses, coaches and goods vehicles
  • Business directors bringing large investment into the UK
  • Channel Tunnel and Eurostar workers
  • Civil aviation inspectors
  • Crown servants or government contractors
  • Data infrastructure maintenance workers
  • Defence personnel
  • Downstream oil facility workers
  • Electronic communications networks
  • Elite sports persons
  • Environment Agency workers
  • High Speed 2 rail workers
  • In-flight security officers
  • IT and telecoms workers
  • Medical workers – both for human and animals
  • Network Rail workers
  • Nuclear personnel
  • Offshore oil and gas workers
  • OPCW and IAEA inspectors
  • Postal workers
  • Prison escorts (international)
  • Quality assurance inspectors for human and veterinary medicines
  • Regular work abroad (weekly international trips minimum)
  • Representatives of a foreign country or territory or British overseas territories
  • Seamen and masters and inspectors and surveyors of ships
  • Seasonal agricultural workers
  • Specialist technical workers
  • Water supplies and sewerage services workers

People working in all of the above jobs are still required to take a test and complete the passenger locator form before travelling to England. But again, each role does come with some exemptions and specific guidelines that must be followed.

Travelling from green countries

If you’ve been in a country that’s on the green list for the 10 days before arriving in the UK, and will be in the UK for two days or more, you’ll need to take a workplace test on or before day two. Going for a Rapid COVID-19 antigen home test would make the things a lot easier.

Travelling from amber countries

If you’ve been in a country that’s on the amber list for the 10 days before arriving in the UK, you’ll need to quarantine where you’re staying for 10 days. However, you can leave your accommodation when carrying out the specific work that’s on the exempt list. If you plan to be in England for longer than two days, you’ll need to take a workplace test or lateral flow test on or before days two, five and eight.

Travelling from red countries

If you’ve been in a country that’s on the red list for the 10 days before arriving in the UK, you’ll need to quarantine in a specific approved hotel and take a test on day two and eight.

While these are the current guidelines, it is changing quickly as more countries are added to the green list and some moved back to amber. Therefore, it’s important to check the relevant measures in both the UK and wherever you’re travelling to before doing so.