From April 6, hauliers arriving in England from abroad will need to take a COVID-19 test if they are staying for more than 2 days. They need to take the first test within the first 2 days, then further tests every 3 days.
This will apply 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.
If you do not have proof of a negative COVID-19 test, you could be fined £2,000.
Who does not need to take a test.
You do not need to take a test if you will be in England for 2 days or less.
You do not need to take a test if you arrive in England from Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man – known as the Common Travel Area (CTA). You must have only been in the CTA or the UK in the 10 days before arrival. If you have been outside the CTA in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must take the tests.
When to get tested
You will need to take at least 3 tests, if you will be staying in England for 10 days or longer.
You must take the first test within 2 days of your arrival. The day of your arrival is counted as day 0.
You must take the second test 3 days after your first test and the third test 3 days after your second test.
So if your first test is on day one, your second test will be on day 4 and your third test on day 7.
If your first test is on day 2, your second test will be day 5 and your third test on day 8.
The date and time of your arrival will be collected and recorded in the passenger locator form, which you are required to complete.
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.
Where to get a test
Free 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 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 states:
- the time and date of the test
- the day of testing – for example, day 2, day 5 or day 8
- some personal details, which can be used as evidence of undertaking the test
You can also use:
- workplace testing, if your company has bought the tests from an authorised test provider
- community testing – check for community testing sites in your area
- home-based testing
- private testing – you will need to pay for this
Where UK-based international hauliers use workplace or home testing, they will be expected to register the fact of the test on the NHS app. The fact of this registration can then be used as evidence.
When you get to the test site
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 when you’ve taken the test.
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.
You’ll need to show your test result to:
- enforcement officers in the UK
- border officials in the countries that require them
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.
A small number of test sites will immediately carry out a second test to confirm the result if you’ve tested positive for coronavirus.
If 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. Your household needs to self-isolate too.
Book a free NHS coronavirus test within 48 hours to confirm the test result.
If the NHS test result is positive, you and your household will need to complete the full self-isolation period.
If your NHS test result is negative, you and your household can end your self-isolation period.
If 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 second coronavirus test for you to confirm the result.
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 second coronavirus test to confirm your result. Most people get their result within a few days.
If your second test result is negative, staff will direct you to a test site for another coronavirus test. Once your negative test has been confirmed, you’ll receive proof and will be free to continue your journey.
If your second 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 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 testing for hauliers travelling from the UK
You must test negative for coronavirus before you travel from the UK to:
- Netherlands (you do not need to take a test if you are returning to the Netherlands after spending less than 48 hours in the UK)
This is required if these countries are your final destination or if you will just be passing through.
Check FCDO travel advice for any country you’re planning to enter.
You must take the test before you leave the UK. You’ll need to show proof of a negative test at the UK and EU border, as well as to the carrier. Your test result can be provided as:
- a printed document
- an email or text message you can show on your phone – make sure your device is charged
You must do this if you’re:
- a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driver or HGV crew
- a van or other light goods vehicle (LGV) driver
It applies to both UK and non-UK drivers.
You can get a free coronavirus test if you’re a professional coach driver who is driving abroad for work.
When to get a test
If you need a test, you must get it before you leave the UK.
Each country sets its own rules for when you must take your test.
Get tested before you reach the port from where you’re leaving the UK.
|Country||When you must take the test|
|Denmark||In the 24 hours before you arrive in Denmark.|
|Germany||In the 48 hours before you depart the UK.|
|Netherlands||In the 24 hours before you depart the UK.|
You do not need to take a test if you are returning to the Netherlands after spending less than 48 hours in the UK.
You will need a time-stamped document or ticket to prove that you have been in the UK for less than 48 hours. Read more about round trips of under 48 hours from the Netherlands.
Where to get a test
You can either get:
- a private test from your company (if it has bought them from an authorised test provider)
- a free coronavirus test at most haulier advice sites
You cannot use an NHS test result to leave the UK because it does not give you the proof you need to travel.
Most haulier advice sites are:
- located at motorway services and truck stops
- open between 6am and 9:30pm, 7 days a week
Visit a site as early as possible in your journey. Check the latest traffic updates from Highways England to help you plan.
If you’re leaving the UK via Kent, you should take a test before you reach Kent. This applies if either:
- you’re travelling via the Channel ports or Eurotunnel
- you’re carrying dangerous goods