Important information about COVID-19 tests for travelers to and from the UK and U.S.

U. S. Embassy London
Updated January 27, 2021


U.S. citizens overseas: The UK government will be implementing mandatory COVID-19 testing for all inbound passengers to England, Scotland, and Wales from 4:00 a.m. GMT on January 18, 2021. If you are due to travel internationally to England, please visit their website for detailed information.

On December 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an Order requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test for all air passengers arriving from the UK to the U.S. This Order went into effect December 28, 2020. To read the full order, please go to the CDC website. Please note, this Order applies to all air passengers traveling from the UK to the US, including US citizens and legal permanent residents (LPRs).

The order also requires a passenger attestation for each traveler from the United Kingdom to the United States stating that they have received a negative Qualifying Test result (this is not in place of a test).

All travelers must be tested no more than 3 days before the flight to the US from the UK departs. Make sure to be tested with a viral test (NAAT or antigen test) to determine if you are currently infected with COVID-19. Test results should state any/all of the following: 1) negative, 2) Sars-CoV-2-RNA Not Detected, 3) SARS-CoV2 Antigen Not Detected. Travelers should avoid the antibody tests which look for prior infection.

Make sure that you receive your results before your flight departs and have documentation of your results to show the airline using the Passenger Attestation Form (PDF/2 pages)provided on the CDC website.

If you have additional questions about COVID-19 testing requirements for travelers from the UK to the United States (including information for travelers transiting through the UK and for individuals that have recently recovered from COVID-19), please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the CDC website. For information about COVID-19 testing at Heathrow Airport, please visit the Heathrow Airport website.

Important: If the travel restrictions as a result of the Presidential Proclamation apply in your case, they will continue to apply even if you obtain a negative COVID test.  Please see our website for important information about travel to the United States, ESTA, and visa services.

Some local laboratories for COVID-19 testing are listed below (this is not an exhaustive list of every facility performing COVID tests in the UK).

Please note, COVID-19 testing is not available at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates for members of the public:

In Scotland, private testing is available at a number of facilities.

In Northern Ireland, please visit the Public Health website for more information on testing sites.

Please visit the UK government’s website for information about how COVID tests are conducted, what to do if you have Coronavirus symptoms, and current national restrictions.

The inclusion of a specific company or organization does not constitute a recommendation, and the Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability, reputation, or quality of services provided by the companies or organizations whose names appear on such lists.

For information on COVID-19 Testing Waivers for travel to U.S. please see here.