How much will UK quarantine rules cost me if I travel abroad?

We take a look at the latest UK quarantine rules and how much you are likely to pay for Covid-19 tests or quarantine hotels when you return to the UK.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

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While some international travel is now allowed, it’s not as easy as just rocking up to the airport. We’re here to break down what the current UK quarantine rules are – and how much it could cost you to travel abroad.


Traffic light system

At the time of writing, the government has put a traffic light system in place for entering England from another country. That means it has categorised each country as green, amber or red. The UK quarantine rules differ depending on which country you are arriving from.

It is worth highlighting that this is the system that England has in place. If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, then it is worth checking your country’s government website to see what quarantine rules are in place.

Travel to amber and red countries is actively discouraged. Also, before you travel, you should check the FCO travel advice for your destination. Each country may have different rules regarding what they require from you when you arrive.


UK quarantine rules

If you are arriving in England, there are different rules depending on whether you are travelling from a red, amber or green country. Take a look at the for the most up-to-date country lists.

Green countries

When arriving from a country on the green list, you are not required to quarantine. However, there are a few other rules to abide by.

Before you travel to England you must:

  • Take a Covid-19 test
  • Book and pay for a day 2 Covid-19 test
  • Complete a passenger locator form

Amber countries

If you are arriving from an amber country, then you need to quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days.

You will also need to:

  • Take a Covid-19 test
  • Book and pay for day 2 and day 8 Covid-19 travel tests
  • Complete a passenger locator form

Red countries

Arrivals from countries on the red list have the strictest quarantine rules. Once in England, you are required to quarantine in a managed hotel for 11 nights (10 days).

Before traveling to England, you will also be required to:

  • Take a Covid-19 test
  • Book a quarantine hotel package, including two Covid-19 tests
  • Complete a passenger locator form

Costs for tests and quarantine

As you can tell from the UK quarantine rules, there are quite a few items that need to be paid for.


It’s important to note that you will need to find a private test provider. An NHS test won’t count.

The price of tests can vary. On the high street, it could be around £100, while some private clinics will charge up to £200.

Travel companies have started to provide test packages when you book with them. For example, Tui offers a test package to green list countries at a cost of £60.

Some airlines also have links to test providers. British Airways has several that it uses that also provide ‘fit to fly’ certificates as part of the package. These range from £60 to £75.

When thinking about tests for departure from England, you need to make sure that the test is accepted by your destination. Some countries will accept an antigen test, while others require a PCR test or a LAMP test. The costs differ depending on the test you take.

Under UK quarantine rules, you can speed up the process if you have arrived from an amber country and pay for a private Covid-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.


The big bill comes if you are arriving from a red country. The rate for a 10-night stay in a quarantine hotel for one adult and one room is £1,750. The rate for an additional adult is £650, and for a child aged 5 to 11 it’s £325.


Travelling abroad is a costly business at the best of times. But as a result of UK quarantine rules, the costs are mounting up.

And just remember, the country lists are updated regularly. So you may find quarantine rules change for your destination while you are abroad. It’s always best to check the latest guidelines before you travel.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

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