Coronavirus (COVID-19): International travel - sector exemptions

If you do a certain job, which requires you to travel or return to Northern Ireland from abroad (outside the Common Travel Area), you may qualify for an exemption from one or more of the COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

Jobs that qualify for exemptions

This guidance summarises:

  • the list of jobs that qualify for exemptions and which restrictions do and do not apply
  • conditions that need to be met or evidence that needs to be provided

For more details see international travel regulations.

Diplomats

Applies to members of diplomatic missions and consular posts in the UK, officers, servants or representatives of international organisations, representatives of a foreign country, and their families or dependents.

You do not need to complete the passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing, however for public health reasons, you are recommended to complete tests after your arrival.

If arriving from a red list country, you do not need to enter managed hotel isolation, however you will need to self-isolate where you are staying.

If not arriving from a red list country, you do not need to self-isolate if it is confirmed that your work is essential. Your family members will have to self-isolate.

Before you travel, your mission, international organisation or conference will need to notify the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) or Protocol Directorate, who will issue you with an exemption letter.

Crown servant (border work)

Applies to UK officials and contractors required to work on essential border security duties, who are:

  • required to carry out essential government work related to the UK border in the UK during the period which - for this exemption, you would need to self-isolate
  • carrying out essential government work related to the UK border outside of the UK but required to come back to the UK temporarily before departing the UK to again to carry out essential government work related to the border

You do not need to complete the passenger locator form if you have not travelled from a red list country. You do need to complete this if arriving from a red list country.

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK, unless you have travelled from a red list country.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing.

You do not need to enter managed hotel isolation or self-isolate.

You should use your official photo identification to show your status.

Crown servant (defence), armed forces, visiting forces

Applies to defence personnel, visiting forces and government contractors who the Ministry of Defence has confirmed are required to deliver essential defence activities.

You do not need to complete the passenger locator form if you have not travelled from a red list country. You do need to complete this if arriving from a red list country.

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK, unless you have travelled from a red list country.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing.

You do not need to enter managed hotel isolation or self-isolate.

You will need to request a letter from the Ministry of Defence confirming you are exempt. You will need to show this letter to officials at border control on entry to the UK.

Foreign official (border work) 

Applies to non-UK officials and contractors required to work on essential border security duties.

You do not need to complete the passenger locator form if you have not travelled from a red list country. You do need to complete this if arriving from a red list country.

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK, unless you have travelled from a red list country.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing.

You do not need to enter managed hotel isolation or self-isolate if you live in the UK.

If you live overseas you must self-isolate, except while you are undertaking the exempt activity or travelling as part of your work.

You should use your official photo identification to show your status.

Communications networks worker

People engaged in urgent or essential work on electronic communications network, including BBC broadcasting transmission network and services.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

You will need to show a letter from your company which includes:

  • your personal details, such as name and address
  • contact details for your employer
  • what work you’ll be doing

If your employer issued you with photo identification, you should bring this with you to the UK.

Clinical trial workers

Applies to sponsors and essential persons needed for clinical trials.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

You will need to show:

  • your staff pass or photo identification
  • confirmation from the trial sponsor including:
    • the date and location of the trial
    • what your involvement in the trial is, for example if you manage, coordinate or administrate trials or medical research

Clinical investigation worker

Applies to essential persons needed for clinical investigations.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

You will need to show:

  • your staff pass or photo identification
  • confirmation from the trial sponsor including:
    • the date and location of the trial
    • what your involvement in the trial is, for example if you manage, coordinate or administrate trials or medical research

Essential infrastructure worker

Applies to people involved in essential maintenance and repair of data infrastructure required to reduce and resolve outages, or in the provision of goods and services to support these activities.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

The relevant UK government department must certify that the work you will be doing is necessary to facilitate essential government work or essential state business.

Oil facility worker

Applies to workers with specialist technical skills required for essential or emergency works to ensure the continued safe and secure operations of a downstream oil facility that has a capacity in excess of 20,000 tonnes.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

You will need to show a letter from your company which includes:

  • your personal details, such as name and address
  • contact details for your employer
  • what work you’ll be doing

If your employer issued you with photo identification, you should bring this with you to the UK.

Elite sportsperson

Applies to domestic and international elite sportspersons and essential operational or support staff.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

You must self-isolate but you may leave self-isolation to travel directly to or between the locations of elite sports events, specified competitions or training where you are undertaking your duties as an elite sportsperson.

You should provide written evidence from a UK, Northern Irish or Irish national governing body for your sport confirming both your status as an elite sportsperson or essential operational or support staff who has travelled to take part in an elite sports event or competition or is returning from an elite sports event or training for a major competition to continue their competition or training.

Film and high end TV production

Applies to cast and crew who are deemed essential to the production.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

You will need to show written evidence from the Department for the Economy to show you have been approved for the exemption.

Essential floods worker

Applies to workers engaged in essential or emergency works on behalf of the Department for Infrastructure relating to flood and coastal erosion risk management.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

You should show a letter from your company which includes:

  • your personal details, such as name and address
  • contact details for your employer
  • detail of what work you’ll be doing and its location
  • contact details for the Department for Infrastructure, who you are completing work for

If your employer has issued you with photo identification, you should bring this with you to the UK.

Medicines inspector

Applies to quality assurance inspectors for human and veterinary medicines.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

You will need to show:

  • your staff pass or photo identification
  • confirmation of the date and location of your quality assurance assessment or inspection

Qualified medicines worker

Applies to qualified persons and responsible persons for human and veterinary medicines, clinical trials, clinical investigations and pharmacovigilance.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

You will need to show:

  • your staff pass or photo identification
  • confirmation from the trial sponsor including
  • the date and location of the trial
  • what your involvement in the trial is, for example, if you manage, coordinate or administrate trials or medical research

Essential nuclear worker    

Applies to nuclear personnel who are essential to the safe and secure operations of a licensed nuclear site, including nuclear emergency responders.

You will need to show a letter from your company which includes:

  • your personal details, such as name and address
  • contact details for your employer
  • what work you’ll be doing

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

If your employer issued you with photo identification, you should bring this with you to the UK.

Essential offshore (oil) worker

Applies to workers who have travelled to Northern Ireland in the course of their work to undertake or commence:

  • activities on or in relation to an offshore installation
  • activities on or in relation to upstream petroleum infrastructure
  • critical safety work on an offshore installation or well being decommissioned or preserved pending demolition or reuse
  • activities for the provision of workers, goods, materials or equipment or other essential services required to support the safe operation of the activities referred to above

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

You will need to show a letter from your company which includes:

  • your personal details, such as name and address
  • contact details for your employer
  • what work you’ll be doing

If your employer issued you with photo identification, you should bring this with you to the UK.

Chemical weapons inspector

Applies to international nuclear safeguards and chemical industry inspectors, representing the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

You will need to show a letter issued by the relevant department to your sponsoring organisation – either the IAEA or the OPCW.

If your organisation issues you with identification or travel documentation, you should bring this with you to the UK.

Essential utilities workers

Applies to workers with specialist technical skills required for essential or emergency work in:

  • power infrastructure to ensure the continued safe and secure operations of generating stations, gas or electricity transmission or distribution networks, electricity interconnectors, gas terminals or district or communal heat networks
  • essential or emergency works to the rail network as part of a specialist team with or for Network Rail working either on automated ballast cleaning and track re-laying systems, or maintaining or commissioning industrial machinery for use on national rail infrastructure

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

You will need to show a letter from your company which includes:

  • your personal details, such as name and address
  • contact details for your employer
  • contact details for the company you will be completing work for in the UK
  • what work you’ll be doing

If your employer issued you with photo identification, you should bring this with you to the UK.

Subsea fibre optic worker

Applies to workers with specialist technical skills required for essential or emergency work in:

  • sub-sea telecommunications infrastructure, including personnel who are engaged in or whose role directly supports the installation, maintenance or repair of subsea fibre optic telecommunications infrastructure

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

You will need to show a letter from your company which includes:

  • your personal details, such as name and address
  • contact details for your employer
  • contact details for the company you will be completing work for in the UK
  • what work you’ll be doing

If your employer issued you with photo identification, you should bring this with you to the UK.

Specialist technical worker (goods)

Applies to workers with specialist technical skills required for essential or emergency work in:

  • goods, with works or services including construction, commissioning, installation, maintenance, and repairs and safety checks to ensure the continued production, supply, movement, manufacture, storage or preservation of goods

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

You will need to show a letter from your company which includes:

  • your personal details, such as name and address
  • contact details for your employer
  • contact details for the company you will be completing work for in the UK
  • what work you’ll be doing

If your employer issued you with photo identification, you should bring this with you to the UK.

Specialist technical worker (waste)

Applies to workers with specialist technical skills required for essential or emergency work in:

  • waste, including construction, commissioning, installation, maintenance, repairs and safety checks or to fulfil contractual obligations or warranty specifications in, or in connection with, waste management facilities used for the management, sorting, treatment, recovery, or disposal of waste (including energy from waste)

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

You will need to show a letter from your company which includes:

  • your personal details, such as name and address
  • contact details for your employer
  • contact details for the company you will be completing work for in the UK
  • what work you’ll be doing

If your employer issued you with photo identification, you should bring this with you to the UK.

Medical courier

Applies to people who have travelled to the UK for the purpose of transporting material which consists of, or includes, human cells or blood and which is to be used for the provision of healthcare by a healthcare provider.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK, unless you have travelled from a red list country.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

You will need to show:

  • your staff pass or photo identification
  • confirmation from a healthcare provider explaining:
  • the address of where the material was or is to be collected from, and the date on which the material was or is to be collected
  • the address of where the material is to be transported to, the name of the healthcare provider that is to receive the material, and the date on which the material is to be delivered to the healthcare provider
  • what material you are or will be carrying
  • why you need to carry it

If you’re transporting a controlled drug, you will need to show a Home Office import licence.

Essential water/ sewerage worker

Applies to workers engaged in essential or emergency works, related to water supplies and sewerage services.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days, you must self-isolate. You can leave your accommodation when conducting the specific exempt activity or travelling directly to and from your accommodation and a location for the purposes of this work. You must self-isolate at all other times during your stay.

Specialist aerospace engineer or worker

Applies to specialist aerospace engineers, or specialist workers responsible for ensuring the safe operation of aircraft.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days and you live in the UK you do not need to self-isolate. If you live overseas you must self-isolate, except while you are undertaking the exempt activity.

You will need to show a letter from your company which includes:

  • your personal details, such as name and address
  • contact details for your employer
  • what work you’ll be doing

If your employer issued you with photo identification, you should bring this with you to the UK.

Aircraft pilots and crew

Applies to aircraft pilots and crew, or other people carried to perform duties assigned by the aircraft operator or pilot in command relating to the safety of passengers or the aircraft, where they have travelled to the United Kingdom in the course of their work.

You need to complete the passenger locator form if you travel in a part of the aircraft that is accessible to any passenger for any part of the journey (for example, aircraft cabin).

You do not need to complete the passenger locator form if you travel in a part of the aircraft that is not accessible to passengers. However, if you are travelling from a red list country you need to complete the passenger locator form.

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK, unless you have travelled from a red list country.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing.

You do not need to isolate in managed hotel isolation or self-isolate if you live in the UK.

If you live overseas you must self-isolate, except while you are undertaking the exempt activity or travelling as part of your work.

You should show a crew badge or ID.

Civil aviation inspectors

Applies to civil aviation inspectors engaged on inspection duties.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK, unless you have travelled from a red list country.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing.

You need to enter managed hotel isolation if you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days.

If you are not travelling from or through a red list country and you live in the UK you do not need to self-isolate. If you live overseas you must self-isolate, except while you are undertaking the exempt activity.

You should show your accreditation from appropriate authority in your home country, such as the Transport Department or Civil Aviation Authority.

Road haulage worker

Applies to drivers of goods vehicles and other employees of community licence holders for the international carriage of goods.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK, unless you have travelled from a red list country.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing.

You need to enter managed hotel isolation if you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days.

If you are not travelling from or through a red list country and you live in the UK you do not need to self-isolate. If you live overseas you must self-isolate, except while you are undertaking the exempt activity.

You will need to show that your travel is part of your job, for example a letter from your employer, a consignment note or your operator’s licence.

Official escorting extradition subject

Applies to a person responsible for escorting a person sought for extradition pursuant to a warrant issued under Part 3 of the Extradition Act 2003.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing.

You need to enter managed hotel isolation if you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days.

If you are not travelling from or through a red list country and you live in the UK you do not need to self-isolate. If you live overseas you must self-isolate, except while you are undertaking the exempt activity.

If you’re travelling internationally to escort prisoners, you’ll receive a letter from HMPPS. This letter will include your unique ID number linked to your prison service warrant card. You should present this letter and your warrant card (which also includes your photograph) on arrival in the UK.

Foreign official collecting extradition subject

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing.

You need to enter managed hotel isolation if you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days.

If you are not travelling from or through a red list country and you live in the UK you do not need to self-isolate. If you live overseas you must self-isolate, except while you are undertaking the exempt activity.

If you’re travelling internationally to escort prisoners, you’ll receive a letter from HMPPS. This letter will include your unique ID number linked to your prison service warrant card. You should present this letter and your warrant card (which also includes your photograph) on arrival in the UK.

Official repatriating prisoner

Applies to a person designated by the relevant Ministers under section 5(3) of the Repatriation of Prisoners Act 1984.

You need to complete a passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing.

You need to enter managed hotel isolation if you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days.

If you are not travelling from or through a red list country and you live in the UK you do not need to self-isolate. If you live overseas you must self-isolate, except while you are undertaking the exempt activity.

If you’re travelling internationally to escort prisoners, you’ll receive a letter from HMPPS. This letter will include your unique ID number linked to your prison service warrant card. You should present this letter and your warrant card (which also includes your photograph) on arrival in the UK.

Seamen and masters 

You need to complete the passenger locator form if you travel in a part of the vessel that is accessible to any passenger for any part of the journey.

You do not need to complete the passenger locator form if you travel in a part of the vessel that is not accessible to passengers. However, if you are travelling from a red list country you need to complete the passenger locator form.

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK, unless you have travelled from a red list country.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing.

You do not need to enter managed hotel isolation or self-isolate if you live in the UK.

If you live overseas you must self-isolate, except while you are undertaking the exempt activity or travelling as part of your work.

If you work on a ship, including fishermen, you should show a Seafarer’s Identification Document (SID) if you have one. If you don’t have a SID, you can show your joining papers, seafarer’s employment agreement or a seafarer’s discharge book (Continuous Certificate of Discharge).

Alternatively, you could show a basic training certificate or declaration from the registered owners of the vessel that you are a crew member.

Pilots (maritime)

You need to complete the passenger locator form if you travel in a part of the vessel that is accessible to any passenger for any part of the journey.

You do not need to complete the passenger locator form if you travel in a part of the vessel that is not accessible to passengers. However, if you are travelling from a red list country you need to complete the passenger locator form.

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK, unless you have travelled from a red list country.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing.

You do not need to enter managed hotel isolation or self-isolate if you live in the UK.

If you live overseas you must self-isolate, except while you are undertaking the exempt activity or travelling as part of your work.

Ship inspectors

You need to complete the passenger locator form if you travel in a part of the vessel that is accessible to any passenger for any part of the journey.

You do not need to complete the passenger locator form if you travel in a part of the vessel that is not accessible to passengers. However, if you are travelling from a red list country you need to complete the passenger locator form.

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK, unless you have travelled from a red list country.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing.

You do not need to enter managed hotel isolation or self-isolate if you live in the UK.

If you live overseas you must self-isolate, except while you are undertaking the exempt activity or travelling as part of your work.

Returning essential state worker

Applies to:

  • a Crown servant or government contractor who is required to carry out essential policing or essential government work in the UK
  • a person returning from conducting essential state business outside the UK
  • a person returning to the UK where this is necessary to facilitate the functioning of a UK diplomatic mission, consular post, military or other official posting

You need to complete the passenger locator form.

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK, if exempt by the relevant government department .

You are expected to complete tests on day two and day eight where reasonably practicable, but you will not need to complete the mandatory testing requirements if a relevant government department.

You need to quarantine in a government approved hotel if you have been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in the UK unless a relevant government department has certified that you are not required to do so.

You do not need to self-isolate, if not travelling from or through a red list country, if a relevant government department certifies to this.

The relevant government department will issue you with a letter certifying that you fall within the relevant category above. You should contact them directly for this and bring it with you.

Other returning essential workers

Applies to a person returning from undertaking essential or emergency work outside of the UK, which was necessary to facilitate essential government work or essential state business.

You need to complete the passenger locator form.

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK, however certification is required from the relevant government department.

You are not subject to day two and eight testing, however government department certification is required.

You do not need to enter managed hotel isolation or self-isolate.

The relevant government department of the UK government will issue you with a letter certifying that you fall within the relevant category above. You should contact them directly for this and bring it with you to the UK.

Postal operator

Applies to postal workers involved in the transport of mail into and out of the UK.

You need to complete the passenger locator form.

You need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight after arrival in the UK.

If you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days you need to enter managed hotel isolation.

If you have not travelled from or through a red list country in the previous 10 days you do not need to self-isolate.

You will need to show a letter from your company which includes:

  • your personal details, such as name and address
  • contact details for your employer
  • what work you’ll be doing

If your employer issued you with photo identification, you should bring this with you to the UK.

Transiting through the UK

Applies to anyone transiting through the UK, ‘airside’ or ‘landside’.

For people transiting landside (entering the UK), it applies where you are entering the UK for the sole purposes of continuing a journey to a country or territory outside of the Common Travel Area, and you either:

  • remain within your port of entry until your departure from NI, or
  • travel directly from your port of entry to another port of departure in NI

You need to complete the passenger locator form before you travel to the UK.

You need to take a coronavirus test before you travel to the UK.

You do not need to enter managed hotel isolation or self-isolate because you are only transiting via the UK.

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If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

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Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
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Call 0800 587 1377

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If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

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For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

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