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Detailed guide: Get a coronavirus (COVID-19) test if you’re an HGV or van driver

You must take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test before you leave the UK for some countries – check which countries require them and how to get a free test.

Detailed guide: Get a coronavirus (COVID-19) test if you’re an HGV or van driver

Published: 21 February 2021
By Chris Haycock



Changes to testing for journeys to France

From 11.00pm (UK time) 21 February, drivers returning to France from the UK on a round-trip who have spent less than 48 hours in the UK do not need to test negative for coronavirus before travelling. Cross-channel operators will give drivers evidence of the time of their trip to the UK. Drivers will need to show this at check-in for the return journey.

From 11.00pm (UK time) 21 February, French authorities will also recognise proof of a negative coronavirus test taken in Ireland if the test was taken less than 72 hours before departure from the UK for France.

Check if you need a test

You must test negative for coronavirus before you travel from the UK to:

  • Denmark
  • France (from 11.00pm (UK time) 21 February, you do not need to take a test if you are returning to France after spending less than 48 hours in the UK)
  • Germany
  • Netherlands

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 your certificate of proof of a negative test at the UK and EU border, as well as to the carrier.

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.

If you test negative, you’ll get a certificate of proof. You’ll need to show this before you can leave the UK.

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 you’re leaving the UK from.

Country When you must take the test Denmark In the 24 hours before you arrive in Denmark. France In the 72 hours before you depart the UK.From 11.00pm (UK time) 21 February, you do not need to take a test if you are returning to France after spending less than 48 hours in the UK.From 11.00pm (UK time) 21 February, you can take a test in Ireland if it is carried out in the 72 hours before you depart the UK for France. Germany In the 48 hours before you depart the UK. Netherlands In the 24 hours before you depart the UK. 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

Check the opening times for the site you want to use before you travel.

You do not need to book in advance.?

Find a site

If you’re using the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel

A negative test result remains valid for entry to France for 72 hours. This gives you enough time to get tested before you set off, or at the start of your journey.

Get a test before you enter Kent. You’ll then be fast-tracked past any queues.

You’ll also need a valid Kent Access Permit.

If you’re carrying dangerous goods

You must take a coronavirus test before you enter Kent if you’re carrying:

  • explosives
  • polymerising substances
  • infectious substances
  • radioactive substances
  • goods that are of high consequence for terrorism

This is because these types of loads are not allowed at the sites in Kent. You’ll be refused access if you’re carrying them.

Check with your transport manager or consignor if you’re not sure if your goods fall into any of these categories.

When you get to the test site

Protect yourself and others by keeping a safe distance and wearing a face covering.

Avoid leaving your vehicle except to use the rest facilities or when asked to by a member of staff.

If you already have a valid negative test, let a member of staff know. If you do not need to take a test, you’ll be directed to your departure point and will be able to continue your journey.

If you do need to take a test, a member of staff will give you a test kit.

Take 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 need to collect your certificate to prove your negative result if you test negative.

Staff will then direct you to your departure point and you’l


Highways England news licensed and reproduced under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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