Coronavirus (covid-19): getting tested

Public spaces and services

The wearing of masks is mandatory at all times outside the home throughout Turkey. This includes, but is not limited to, all public places, including streets, side streets, parks, gardens, picnic areas, markets, sea side and public transportation including Metro, buses, taxis and ferries. Masks are also mandatory in all shops, restaurants, hairdressers and barber shops.

Smoking in open areas (streets, avenues and other open public areas) is banned.

Shopping centres, markets, restaurants and hairdressers will be open from 10am to 8pm throughout the week, with restaurants only providing takeaway services.

From 1 December, Turkish citizens and residents will need HES codes (see the ‘Travel in Turkey’ section) to enter shopping centres.

Those who do not abide by COVID-19 restrictions may be issued with a fine of 900 TL (approximately £100). Follow Turkish announcements and local media for up to date information.

Local restriction tiers

  • Guidance: Local restriction tiers: what you need to know
  • Guidance: Local restriction tiers: what you need to know – alternative formats
  • Guidance: Full list of local restriction tiers by area
  • Guidance: Tier 1: Medium alert
  • Guidance: Tier 2: High alert
  • Guidance: Tier 3: Very High alert
  • Guidance: Tier 4: Stay at Home
  • Tier posters: Medium, High, Very High and Stay at Home
  • Statement: Returning to a regional tiered approach
  • Guidance: Local COVID-19 outbreaks: lessons learnt and good practice
  • Guidance: Holidays in areas with local coronavirus restrictions
  • Guidance: Draft options for regional or local coronavirus interventions
  • Guidance: Government’s approach to managing local coronavirus outbreaks
  • Guidance: Containing and managing local coronavirus outbreaks
  • Speech: Prime Minister’s statement on coronavirus 3 July 2020

Coming to court or tribunal during the coronavirus outbreak

Courts and tribunals are open for face to face hearings, making sure that judges, legal professionals, staff and all those attending hearings can maintain effective social distancing.

Local tier restrictions allow people to travel when necessary. This includes all those required to attend a court or tribunal, including jurors, witnesses, defendants, complainants and victims. All our buildings are COVID-secure.

You should not come to any of our court and tribunal buildings if:

  • you have coronavirus symptoms
  • if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are waiting for a test result
  • if you have been instructed by the NHS to self-isolate

Please contact the court or tribunal before you are due to attend so that suitable arrangements can be made for your hearing. Read our guidance about coming to court during the pandemic.

While public health legislation allows those involved in legal proceedings to come out of self-isolation when necessary, you must consult with the court or tribunal first who will consider and decide on appropriate arrangements.

Read the latest NHS information about Coronavirus (COVID19).

We have increased use of telephone, video and other technology to hold many hearings remotely. We make best possible use of the equipment available and are updating and adding to that. Some hearings, the most obvious being jury trials, cannot be conducted remotely, but take place in COVID secure buildings.

Read our guidance on how HMCTS will use telephone and video technology during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Your hearing notice will inform you whether it is taking place in person, via video (CVP) or telephone. If you are self-isolating and unable to attend in person, please contact the court or tribunal immediately so alternative arrangements can be considered.

If you are asked to attend court or tribunal to participate in legal proceedings – such as providing evidence as a witness or a defendant – then this counts as an essential reason for travel. Have your hearing letter with you if you need to provide that proof your journey is essential. Remember to bring any other papers you need for your hearing with you too.

Media and members of the public will be also able to attend court hearings in person if safe to do so, unless self-isolating based on government and NHS advice, or have heard from us.

The testing process

The test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat, which can be done by the person themselves (self-administered) or by someone else (assisted).

The different ways you can get tested are covered below.

Test sites

We’ve established a network of drive-through and walk-through test sites. Test sites are open 7 days a week.

Watch a video explaining the process for drive-through testing:

Coronavirus tests for essential workers

Home testing

Home test kits can be delivered to your door so you can test yourself and your family without leaving your home.

If you have been delivered a home testing kit or have been given a self-test kit at a regional test site, here is an instructional video that supports the written instructions in your pack.

How to take a coronavirus self-test swab

Some test kits may differ slightly from the one shown in this video, so you should always check the instructions that come with your test.

The instructions on testing for coronavirus at home are also available in accessible formats.

Mobile testing units

Mobile testing units travel around the UK to increase access to coronavirus testing. They respond to need, travelling to test essential workers at sites including care homes, police stations and prisons.

New units are being brought into operation each day.

Satellite centres

NHS capability is being increased by providing test kits directly to ‘satellite’ centres at places like hospitals that have a particularly urgent or significant need.

NHS facilities

Testing within an NHS facility such as a hospital is available for patients and some NHS workers.

Across all these testing methods, there is a network of couriers who collect the completed samples and deliver them safely to one of our laboratories. The swab samples are analysed at our labs and the result is communicated back to the individual.

We aim to return test results within 48 hours of a swab being taken, or within 72 hours for a home test.

Inter-island travel

You should only travel between islands if your journey is essential. If you have to travel and you are travelling from São Miguel or Terceira to any of the other islands in the archipelago, you will need to

  • have a COVID-19 test 72 hours before you travel and show the negative result when you board, and
  • complete a passenger questionnaire before you depart

If you live in the Azores, you should only travel internationally if your journey is essential.

Face coverings

On mainland Portugal and in the autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores, you must wear a face mask in enclosed spaces, such as on public transport, in taxis and private hire, at airports and other transport hubs, in supermarkets and shops, museums and cinemas, in the public areas of hotels and in restaurants and cafes (except when you are seated at a table). You should wear your face covering when you enter the building and keep it on until you leave.

On mainland Portugal and in the Azores, you must also wear a face mask outdoors where it is not possible to maintain a 2m social distance from people outside your family group. In Madeira and Porto Santo, the use of a face mask outdoors is mandatory, except when driving, exercising, while on the beach or walking the recommended routes in forest and mountain areas.

These measures apply to everyone over the age of 10 on mainland Portugal and in the Azores, and over the age of 5 in Madeira and Porto Santo.

You can be fined up to €500 if you breach the regulations.

You may be exempt from using a face mask both indoors and out on medical grounds. You will have to show a declaration from your doctor as evidence that you have a health condition that prevents you from wearing a face covering. You should observe strict social distancing and limit the time you spend in common areas in enclosed spaces. For further information (in Portuguese) on exemptions, see decree-law 24-A/2020 (Article 13 a and b).

Schools and education

  • Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19) contingency framework for education and childcare settings
  • Announcement: All possible measures to be taken before schools and colleges close
  • Guidance hub: Schools and other educational settings
  • Guidance: COVID Summer Food Fund
  • Guidance: Higher education providers: coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Guidance: Ofsted: coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update
  • Guidance: Guidance for teachers, school leaders, carers, parents and students
  • Guidance: Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care
  • Guidance: Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
  • Guidance: Education and childcare during coronavirus
  • Guidance: Student movement and plans for the end of term
  • Announcement: Staggered rollout of coronavirus testing for secondary schools and colleges

Travel in Italy

All travellers entering Italy must comply with the regulations of the region they are visiting. Public transport links may be less frequent and seating limited to comply with social distancing measures. Masks must be worn on board public services. Taxi and car hire options are widely available.

Rail services are returning to their usual timetables, but there are still some reduced domestic services and international travel is limited. Some cross-border bus companies have cancelled their services.

Passenger ferry schedules remain subject to change and cancellations. Speak to your tour operator or transport provider for the latest information.

More information on all these requirements is available from the Ministry of Health or the European Union’s Re-Open EU page.

Healthcare in Greece

If you think you have symptoms, including a fever or respiratory difficulties such as shortness of breath or a cough, you should avoid visiting local health facilities, but contact a doctor remotely to see whether a test is recommended. There is likely to be a cost associated with this, for call out, examination and testing, which you will have to pay.

If you are staying in a hotel or resort, your accommodation provider will have a list of private doctors that they will call to assess your symptoms and conduct a COVID-19 test.

If you have arranged your own accommodation you can find details of English speaking, private doctors on our list of healthcare providers.

If you are tested and the result is positive, the Greek authorities will ask you to quarantine until advised otherwise. You may be able to remain in your existing accommodation, or be required to transfer into a state hospital or other government-provided accommodation. Costs related to transfer to alternative accommodation and treatment at state healthcare facilities will be covered by the Greek Government. The nature of your accommodation may differ from the specifications of your pre-booked hotel, villa or other place of stay. Depending on local arrangements, travellers in groups may be required to stay in separate accommodation (e.g. if a sufficient number of rooms is not available in one venue, your group may be spread across different accommodation locations).

For more information, consult the Greek National Public Health Organisation (NPHO) online or via telephone (dial 1135, or 210 521 2054, from within Greece).

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.

View Health for further details on healthcare in Greece.

Get help

Food, medicine or essential tasks

  • If you, a family member or a neighbour are self-isolating, or feeling isolated, and need help getting food or medicine or doing other essential tasks:
    • fill in our enquiries form
    • call 0800 694 0184 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 2pm), translation service available
    • deaf BSL users can contact the phoneline through a BSL Interpreter using SignVideo
  • Help to get food


  • Financial help, including help with Council Tax, if you’ve lost your job or had an income drop because of COVID-19
  • The government has set up a Test and Trace Support Payment scheme of £500 to support eligible low paid workers whose earnings are affected by staying at home and isolating for 14 days.

Find help to find work and information about training courses on:

  • Ways2Work 
  • Future Bright

Healthcare in Spain

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers and healthcare for UK nationals visiting Spain.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

If you cannot travel back to the UK due to ill health or reduced mobility, you may wish to consider looking for longer-term accommodation in Spain until the State of Emergency is lifted. If you need medical treatment, the UK EHIC is still valid for the rest of 2020.

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

View Health for further details on healthcare in Spain.


Nationwide curfews are in place as follows:

  • On weekdays, the curfew lasts from 9pm until 5am the following morning; and
  • On weekends the curfew lasts from 9pm on Friday evening until 5am on Monday morning.

There will be a lockdown from 9pm on 31 December until 5am on 4 January.

There remains an ongoing curfew for those who have a chronic medical condition. If you are a Residence Permit holder aged over 65 you are only allowed to go outside between 10am and 1pm unless you are going out to work. If you are a Residence Permit holder born after 1 January 2001 you are only allowed to go outside between 1pm and 4pm unless you are going out to work. Those aged over 65 and under 20 are not allowed to take public transport.

These restrictions do not apply to those visiting for tourism.

See if you fall into one of these categories and need to travel.

Communications for aerodromes

Aerodrome operators and others involved in GA are encouraged to communicate with local communities. This is to ensure that the easing of restrictions on GA activity is understood not just by the GA community, but also by the general public – particularly those living near to airfields. This is to avoid people becoming concerned by the increase in airfield activity.
Pilots should also act responsibly, for example by avoiding noise-sensitive and built-up areas.

Both the CAA and stakeholder organisations within the GA community are valuable sources of information about managing the challenges of flying in the current environment, and members of the community are encouraged to consult both for more detailed advice and guidance where applicable.

Read the CAA’s advice and tips for a safe return to flying.

Travel in Turkey

HES codes for intercity travel and lodging

Turkish citizens and residents must request a HES (Hayat Eve Sigar) Code for domestic and international flights, train and ferry travel. As of 30 September the HES code will also be required when checking into accommodation including hotels, motels, boarding houses, pensions, camps etc. Some provinces also require submission of a HES code upon entry to public buildings, shopping malls and banks. This does not apply to foreign tourists. This can be done through the e-Devlet system, the ‘Hayat Eve Sığar’ smartphone application and by SMS.

IF YOU HAVE A TURKISH RESIDENT ID: Send a text message to phone number 2023 that includes (a) the letters “HES”, (b) your Turkish kimlik number (c) your year of birth, and (d) the number of days you will be traveling, plus 7 days. Put a single space between each item.

IF YOU HAVE TURKISH CITIZENSHIP: Send a text message to phone number 2023 that includes (a) the letters “HES”, (b) your Turkish kimlik number (c) the last four digits of the series number of your ID, and (d) surname, the number of days you will be traveling, plus 7 days should be used. Put a single space between each item.

Airlines also have information on their websites in English about the HES code, including:

  • SunExpress
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Pegasus

Arrival in the UK – passenger locator form

You must show proof of a completed passenger locator form at the UK border.

This applies to people entering the UK from all countries, territories and regions.

It applies to UK residents and visitors.

You should complete the form before you enter the UK.

You can complete it any time in the 48 hour period before you are due to arrive in the UK.

Make sure you leave yourself enough time to complete it. If you do not complete the form before you arrive in the UK, it might take you longer to enter the UK.

The form is an online form. You will need an internet connection and details of your journey to complete it.

Failure to complete the form is a criminal offence.

People on domestic flights and people arriving from Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands don’t have to complete the form. There are also a small number of people who don’t have to complete the form because of the jobs they do.

Countries, territories and regions on the travel corridor list

You do not need to self-isolate if you’re travelling to England from one of the countries, territories or regions listed on this page. You must have spent the last 10 days in one of these places, or in the UK.

If you visited somewhere that is not on the list in the 10 days before your arrival in England, you will need to self-isolate. Visiting includes making a .

You will still need to complete the passenger locator form before you enter the UK.

  • Anguilla
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • the Azores
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Botswana (arrivals before 4am 12 December need to self-isolate)

  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • the Channel Islands

  • Cuba
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands

  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Greek islands: Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes, Zakynthos

  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Ireland
  • the Isle of Man

  • Israel and Jerusalem (read about the UK position on Jerusalem)

  • Macao (Macau)
  • Madeira
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia (arrivals before 4am 12 December need to self-isolate)

  • Seychelles
  • South Korea
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Sri Lanka
  • St Barthélemy
  • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam

Our travel advice

Our travel advice pages explain that you must comply with the restrictions on travel, both domestic and international, that apply in each nation across the UK.

It sets out the risks that you may face if you go to another country, including non-COVID risks, if you are able to travel abroad.

We continue to advise against all non-essential international travel to some countries and territories. You should check the country page for your destination. We also currently advise against cruise ship travel.

We are monitoring the international situation very closely and keeping this advice under constant review so that it reflects our latest assessment of risks to British people.  We take a range of factors into account.  For coronavirus, this includes the incidence rate and the resilience of healthcare provision in each country.  Find out more about how our travel advice works.


  • Announcement: More rapid COVID-19 tests to be rolled out across England
  • Roll out of lateral flow tests to local authorities
  • Policy paper: Community testing
  • Announcement: Community testing to help lift restrictions in highest tiers
  • Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): testing guidance for employers
  • Announcement: NHS COVID-19 app launches across England and Wales
  • Policy paper: Allocation of COVID-19 swab tests in England
  • Announcement: New NHS Test and Trace app launched
  • Announcement: NHS Test and Trace service to strengthen regional contact tracing
  • Policy paper: Developing NHS Test and Trace business plan
  • Guidance: Types and uses of coronavirus tests
  • Statement: Update on randox test kits
  • Announcement: Regular retesting rolled out for care home staff and residents
  • Announcement: Walk through local testing sites now offering appointments
  • Announcement: Whole home testing rolled out to all care homes in England
  • Announcement: Government launches NHS test and trace service
  • Guidance: How NHS test and trace works
  • Announcement: Everyone with symptoms now eligible for coronavirus tests
  • Policy paper: How the government intends to scale up testing programmes to provide a test to anyone who needs one
  • Guidance: Privacy notice for testing
  • Guidance: Getting tested for coronavirus if you live or work in Liverpool
  • Guidance: Testing for coronavirus at home
  • Announcement: Community testing offer rolled out to highest risk Tier 2 areas

Travel in Nigeria

Passengers will be asked to follow a number of additional health procedures, including the following:

  • you must wear a mask or face covering
  • all passengers’ temperature will be taken on arrival at the airport
  • you are required to observe social distancing measures
  • you will be asked to use hand washing facilities installed outside the airports
  • your bags will be sprayed with decontamination fluids

The Nigerian government strongly encourages travellers to re-consider all non-essential travel (domestic and international), during the holiday season to help fight the spread of coronavirus.

Most states in Nigeria have introduced their own restrictions on movement. All travellers and residents in Nigeria are encouraged to monitor announcements by the Nigerian authorities on further restrictions, which may be introduced at short notice.

The Federal Government has relaxed the lockdown restrictions in place in Abuja and Lagos and replaced them with new requirements, including a nationwide daily night time curfew between 00:00pm and 04:00am and the mandatory use of face masks in public.

Healthcare in Turkey

You should ensure that you are prepared for any unplanned or extended stays due to changes in COVID-related restrictions or your travel arrangements. If you take regular medication, make sure you have at least 14 days of supplies to cover you in case you are required to quarantine as a result of a positive COVID test.

British-issued prescriptions are not accepted in pharmacies in Turkey, although some medicines may be available over the counter.

If your medical supplies do run out whilst in Turkey it may be possible, in some cases, to liaise with Turkish hospitals and your GP to arrange for a Turkish prescription for the equivalent medicine.

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

View Health for further details on healthcare in Turkey.

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

Planning and building safety

  • Q&A: Planning update on cultural venues and holiday parks
  • Collection: Planning guidance to support the Business and Planning Act
  • Announcement: New measures to help the construction industry boost building and return to work safely
  • Guidance: coronavirus planning update
  • Guidance: Coronavirus compulsory purchase
  • Guidance: Coronavirus community infrastructure levy
  • Guidance: construction site working hours Q&A
  • Guidance: Application of the building regulations
  • Announcement: Pledge to ensure necessary building safety improvements can continue
  • Guidance from the Planning Inspectorate
  • Guidance: Remediation and Building Safety
  • Announcement: Government to grant permission for pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways

Register a home test kit

Once you’ve received a coronavirus home test kit, you must register it so that we can send your results to you.

Employer referral for essential workers

Employers can refer essential workers for testing if they are self-isolating because either they or member(s) of their household have coronavirus symptoms.

They can do this by uploading the names and contact details of self-isolating essential workers to the secure employer referral portal.

Referred essential workers will then receive a text message with a unique invitation code to book a test for themselves (if symptomatic) or their symptomatic household member(s) at a regional testing site.

  • organisation name
  • nature of the organisation’s business
  • region
  • names (where possible) and email addresses of the 2 users who will load essential worker contact details

Once employer details have been verified, 2 login credentials will be provided for the employer referral portal.

See the below.

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