arriving in the UK - testing requirements, advice and assistance

Pre-departure Testing

Since 18 January 2021, all travellers to England (including UK nationals returning home from travel abroad) must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before their commence their journey. Pre-departure testing requirements are detailed on the UK Gov website.

Red, amber and green list rules

From 17 May there are new rules for people entering England from abroad. For an up to date list of green, amber and red countries visit the following UKGov webpage. Bright World can provide quarantine for students arriving from Green and Amber countries if required.

Green list countries

Arrivals from countries on the Green list will not be required to quarantine when they arrive but will still be required to complete the following steps:

Before travel in England

On arrival in England

You must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive. You do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.

Amber list countries

Arrivals from countries on the Amber list are required to self-isolate for 10 days or reduce their period of quarantine by opting in to The Test to Release Scheme. They must complete the following steps before they depart for the UK:

Before travel to England

On arrival in England

Arrival from "Red List" Countries

As of 15 February, if you have been in or through any country on the travel ban red list in the previous 10 days, you will be refused entry to the UK unless you are a British or Irish National or if you have residence rights in the UK.

Pupils with the right to reside in the UK who are returning to the UK from a “red list” country are able to quarantine at their UK Boarding School and must be ready to present; a copy of a letter from The Department for Education to the their school confirming that they are covered by an exception. They must also carry a letter from their school addressed to them which confirms that the school is able to meet requirements set out in the above DfE letter.

See the travel ban red list of countries from where entry to the UK is currently banned. Students arriving from 'Red List' countries cannot use the Test to Release scheme.

Travel Test Package

Arrivals from amber and red countries must also book and pay for a travel test package, which will include COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of their quarantine at the cost of £210. Arrivals from Green listed countries must also book their travel test package but will only be required to complete a test on day 2 after their arrival. This will cost approximately £60.

The travel test package booking reference number and a quarantine address of must be listed on their passenger locator form. This form must be completed prior to departure and before entering the UK. Use the booking portal to book your travel test package and then click the "proceed to Covid test kits" link. The Travel Test package will be sent by post, to the address of where your child is staying for their quarantine period. The Bright World team will be able to assist you with the taking of these tests.

we are here to help

The message we want to send out to our guardianship students, parents, and our overseas partner agents is that we are here, and the office is working throughout the period of school closures and we are still accepting new guardianship enrolments.

We are here to help you rearrange your plans and assist you with your arrivals and accommodation.

when you are ready to fly and before you leave the house...

school boy getting on the plane

Firstly, please DO NOT leave the house if your child is feeling at all unwell. It is important for us to know that they have not been exposed to Covid-19 for at least 2 weeks before travel and that they are not showing any symptoms when they depart.

Before you leave for the UK you will need to complete the following steps:

1. Provide a negative Covid-19 result in English taken within 72 hours prior to departure to the UK. You must be ready to show proof your result in English, French or Spanish. You can find out more about the testing requirements here.

2. Book and pay for a travel test package, which will include COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of your quarantine at the cost of £210 if you are travelling from an Amber or Red list country. Arrivals from Green countries will only be required to complete a test on day 2. Use the booking portal to book your travel test package

3. Your face mask and hand sanitiser.

4. A copy of the Bright World Transfer confirmation email that will be sent to you prior to your departure, if you are using our transport services.

5. Print off the letter that we have sent you to confirm the details of where your child will be completing their quarantine. This is to show on check in, during the flight and in the UK going through border control if necessary.

6. All travellers must complete a passenger locator form before they travel. If you are travelling with your child then you must complete your own passenger locator form. If your child is aged under 18 years old then you can include them within your form, but only if you are staying together at the same UK address. If you’re entering Scotland, then you can only do so if your child is under 16. There are heavy fines in place for those providing false or deliberately misleading information when filling out a passenger locator form. You could be fined up to £10,000, imprisoned for up to 10 years or both.

7. Make sure your child and you have the Bright World 24/7 telephone number to hand so you can contact us at any time if you need our help.

8. Pupils with the right to reside in the UK who are returning to the UK from a “red list” country are able to quarantine at their UK Boarding School and must be ready to present; a copy of a letter from The Department for Education to the their school confirming that they are covered by an exception. They must also carry a letter from their school addressed to them which confirms that the school is able to meet requirements set out in the above DfE letter.

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SENT YOUR CORRECT MOBILE TELEPHONE NUMBER TO lana@brightworld.co.uk BEFORE YOU LEAVE AND PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU KEEP YOUR PHONE CHARGED UP SO THAT WE CAN CONTACT YOU DURING YOUR JOURNEY AND WHEN YOU LAND IN THE UK.

your journey - UK government advice

Online check-in

Where possible, check in online to avoid face-to-face contact at the airport.

You are strongly encouraged to check in baggage to the aircraft hold and minimise any hand baggage. This will speed up boarding and disembarking and minimise the risk of transmission.

Please make sure that any luggage which will be checked in does not contain any lithium batteries (in equipment such as laptops, or stand-alone batteries such as powerbanks), valuable or essential items (such as cash, credit cards, keys, medicines), or other prohibited items.

Arriving at the airport

Enter the airport on your own, if you are confident enough, unless you are flying with members of your household or support bubble, where relevant.

You must wear a face covering in enclosed areas of airports in England unless you are aged under 11 years or you have an illness or impairment which prohibits you from wearing your mask safely. You must wear a face covering in all areas of airports in Scotland. You may be asked to wear a face covering in airports in Northern Ireland and Wales.

At check-in

Where possible, avoid touching surfaces in the airport. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after using self-service check-in, luggage trollies and other frequently touched surfaces.

Depending on the airport you fly from and where you are flying to, you may need to have your temperature checked before flying.

At the security checkpoint

Follow advice in the airport to prepare for security checks.

At the departure lounge/ terminal airside area/ arrival areas

Avoid walking around the airport and mixing with people that you do not normally meet.

In shops at the airport, wear a face covering, follow social distancing measures and, where possible, pay by contactless card.

On board the aircraft

Your airline will advise you on measures in place for your flight.

In England and Scotland passengers must wear a face covering on board aircraft unless you are exempt from this.

You can remove your face covering to:

  • communicate with someone who relies on lip reading
  • avoid harm or injury
  • take medication
  • eat or drink, if reasonably necessary

During the flight, you should:

  • remain seated as much as possible
  • follow instructions and guidance from the crew
  • use contactless payment where possible
  • be aware there is likely to be a reduced food and drink service
  • make the cabin crew aware if you become ill

On arrival in the UK

On arriving in the UK, you must comply with border and immigration requirements.

You will need to show the QR code received following the completion of your Passenger Locator form on arrival at the UK border, either by printing a copy, or showing it on your phone. You will also need to show proof of a negative Covid result.

Finding your driver

Please remember to switch your phone on and make sure it is charged up so we can contact you.

Leave the airport as quickly as possible. Access to the terminal is limited to passengers, crew members and staff. Your Bright World Driver will be waiting for you with a yellow Bright World board. Call their number if you can't find them and if they don't answer call the Bright World emergency number you will have with you.

arriving at the airport and your Bright World driver

Taxi driver with a mask on

As part of our six-point plan for Covid-Safe guardianship, we have been putting plans in place here at Bright World and with our partner transfer companies to ensure that taxi transfers will be as low-risk as possible. 

All our partner transfer companies have agreed to uphold our Covid-19 Driver and Passenger Safety Policy so we can reassure parents that Covid-safety as well as road-safety will be our drivers' top priority. 

When our students arrive at the airport, things will be slightly different to normal. Students will need to maintain their distance of at least 1 metre from the driver and drivers will be wearing masks, so it will be more important than ever for our students to look for our yellow Bright World name boards. We ask our students to also wear their own masks or face coverings at all times wherever possible, as this helps to protect others around them, as well, including their drivers. 

Drivers will still help students with heavy luggage if needed, but students will be asked to leave the airport as quickly as possible, to avoid unnecessary contact with others, and head to the car. Once at the car, both students and drivers should sanitize their hands before entering. 

Another point on our policy states that cars will be regularly cleaned during the shifts, with hard surfaces that could harbour the virus being wiped down regularly with anti-bacterial and anti-viral products, so parents and students can be fully satisfied that the car will be as clean as possible. 

In order to keep the cars clean and avoid infection risk, we do ask students to avoid eating in the car; if students need to stop for a comfort break or for food or drink this is fine, but we would again ask that these breaks are as short as possible to avoid unnecessary contact with other people. Each time the student and driver leave and re-enter the car they should sanitise their hands again. 

Test to Release- how we can help

Test to release chart

The UK Government has launched it's 'Test to Release Scheme' in a bid to cut the quarantine period for overseas arrivals in England.

As of 15th December visitors from countries not featured on the Red list are able to significantly reduce their quarantine period. Travellers are now eligible for a private Covid test just 5 days after they enter England and can end self-isolation once a negative result is returned.

Bright World can assist you by providing a link to the government website that shows a choice of testing companies. Our Quarantine and Settling In programmes are designed with this scheme in mind, so that students can leave as soon as a negative test has been returned, or can stay for further quarantine if the test comes back as positive or inconclusive. You can find out more about this scheme by clicking the link below.

your final leg of the journey - onward to your school

girl wearing mask in taxi

If you are going straight from the airport to school and are using a Bright World driver, we will have sent your school all the details about your arrival. When you arrive at school then follow their joining instructions they will have sent to you beforehand.

If you are quarantining with a host family on arrival, we will have contacted your school throughout the programme to give them updates on your health and progress. We will also make them fully aware of your estimated arrival time at school along with all the driver details. We will let you know any specific instructions that they may give us.

more information

Bright World Student

Bright World's 6-Point Covid-19 Safe Plan

  • Read more about the extra things we are doing to keep our students safe.

Test to Release Scheme

  • Find out more

Question Mark

FAQ - Quarantine and Testing

  • All your questions answered.