Countries That Offer Testing on Arrival Instead of Quarantine

Aviation Industry

The UK will not be replacing quarantine restriction anything soon, with testing on arrival for travelers.

The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said, “We know for certain if you are going to test people on day zero it won’t help.”

However, in an interview, Mr. Shapps said, “The chief medical officer has been clear it would not capture sufficient information on those who are asymptomatic.”

He also mentioned that a test “after about a week”, at the passenger’s expense, might allow travelers to leave quarantine earlier.

The head of NHS Track and Trace, Dido Harding, also warned that quarantine requirements will not be eliminated by airport testing.

She said, “A negative test at a point in time only proves that you’re not infectious at this point in time,” 

“And if you’ve been traveling from a high-risk environment. I would suspect that the clinicians advise that some form of quarantine is still going to be necessary.”

However, there are other countries that are offering on arrival testing to boost international travel.


Italy has announced in October that it is changing its rules for visitors from the UK. However, travelers from the UK will now have to show a negative test result for COVID-19.

However, travelers can take a private test. But it should not be taken more than 72 hours before their arrival in Italy. Moreover, the country is also providing a testing facility for free on entering the country.

As some airports offer rapid testing it takes less than an hour and passengers will have to wait to receive their results. However, in case of no availability of rapid testing. Travelers must self-isolate in their hotel or accommodation until they receive their test results.

Some airports or stations don’t have testing facilities, in which case arrivals must quarantine. And get tested within 48 hours of entering the country. 

According to the FCDO, “you should call the Covid-19 helpline for the region you are in to arrange this. You will have to pay a fine if you do not comply with this requirement. Even if you don’t need to book a test. You still need to call the Covid-19 helpline for the region you are traveling within 48 hours of your arrival to inform them of your visit.”


Travelers arriving in Germany from “high-risk” areas will have to either show evidence of a negative Covid-19 test result. Or quarantine for 14 days upon the arrival. Travelers who have visited the high-risk countries in the last two weeks will have to show a negative test result as well.

Northern Ireland, Scotland, North East England, North West England, Yorkshire. And the Humber and Wales are all on the list of as high risk.

However, arriving travelers have some options for testing in Germany. According to the FCDO, travelers coming from a high-risk area can present a valid test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival. Or they can take a test directly on arrival or take a test after returning to their place of residence in Germany, where they are required to report to the local health office. The test is free of charge if taken within 72 hours of arrival.

However, some German states require a second negative test before granting an exemption from quarantine.


The biggest Channel Island has the Safer Travel Testing Programme and it is doing testing in Jersey free of charge. Depending on the destinations a traveler has visited. Those who wish to take part in the program will be given permission to isolate for a shortened period. Instead of undergoing a blanket 14-day quarantine.

However, passengers will have to mention their travel history for the 14 days prior to their arrival in Jersey. This includes their country of departure and any other countries or regions where they have stayed overnight. Or will have stayed overnight in the 14 days before arrival.

Based on this, travelers are assigned a classification of green, amber, or red. This traffic light system determines what requirements arrivals must adhere to based on the coronavirus risk of the region they’re traveling from.

Azores and Madeira

These Portuguese territories are still on the Department for Transport’s list of travel corridors. However, the travelers going back to the UK from destinations on the corridors list do not need to quarantine for two weeks.

Both archipelagos require travelers to provide a negative test for Covid-19. But they can either get this done in the UK within 72 hours of departure. Or opt to get tested at their arrival airport free-of-charge instead, on the proviso that they then quarantine at their holiday accommodation until a negative result is received.


Aruba reopened its borders for European travelers on July 1, 2020. However, UK travelers can reach the destination by connecting flights via Miami.

Similarly, a negative Covid-19 test result is mandatory on arrival. And the test must be carried out no more than 72 hours before arrival in Aruba or upon entering the island. The visitors who opt for testing on arrival must undergo a mandatory 24-hour quarantine until they receive a negative result.

Canary and Balearic Islands

Spain has recently introduced new safety measures to enable travel corridors between the Canary and Balearic Islands. And the rest of Europe to start tourism.

The government is introducing new protocols, focusing on coronavirus testing, to enable safer travel to the islands during the pandemic.

Tourists entering the islands from a European country where the Covid-19 case rate is 50 per 100,000 inhabitants. They do not have to get the test results in advance. However, anyone arriving from a destination where the rate is higher than 50 per 100,000 will have to present a negative Covid-19 test result. It must be carried out no more than 48 hours before their flight.

It will be testing all the tourists for the virus for free 48 hours prior to their departure. Anyone who tests positive will have to quarantine on the islands. However, the authorities will provide the cost of accommodating and other related costs.

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