Face covering requirements

As we continue to welcome passengers from around the world, wearing a face covering remains mandatory whilst in our terminals (including our bus stations and railway platforms) - except for those who are exempt. 

 

We also ask passengers to respect social distancing wherever possible.

Frequently asked questions
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  • Welcome back.

    We’re excited to help you explore the world again. 

    Heathrow may feel a little different than last time you travelled but our priority has, and will always be, to ensure the safety of both our passengers and colleagues.  We’ve continued to enhance our precautionary measures whilst you were away to keep Heathrow safe.

    Watch our video and explore this page to find out what extra measures we've introduced to help protect you and our colleagues.

    Fly Safe

    Prepare for your journey

    Whether you are departing, arriving or connecting, here are your step-by-step guides to help you on your way.

    1. Preparing for your trip

      We recommend checking the Government Foreign Travel Advice to check the entry requirements for your destination as many restrictions remain in place. 

      A traffic light system is in place in England with testing and quarantine requirements in place depending on the country you are arriving from.  We recommend checking Government guidance before you book travel, to determine the requirements on your arrival back into the country: 

       

        Green List - Countries on the green list do not require those travelling to self-isolate but passengers will need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two of their arrival back to England

        Amber List –

        UK, EU and US residents who have been double vaccinated are not required to quarantine on their return to England, however will still need to take a pre departure test and a PCR test on day two of arrival back to England. 

        Passengers who have not been double vaccinated will need to complete a mandatory 10-day self-isolation period in addition to booking an approved Government testing package for day two and eight of their isolation, and they will have the option for an additional “test to release” on day five to end self-isolation early. Passengers must also take a pre-departure test before returning to England.

        Red List - Those travelling to countries on the Red list will still be required to book a mandatory 10-day Government Hotel Quarantine package ahead of their return to England; and must take a pre-departure test.

       

      A few things to make sure of when coming to the airport:

       

      1) As well as bringing your passport and ticket, please remember that we require all passengers to wear a face covering whilst at the airport

       

      2) Some countries require passengers to show proof of a negative, COVID-19 test within certain timeframes of departure, so do check the requirements of your destination at the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office website. Information about the pre-departure testing available at Heathrow is available here.

       

      3) Good hand and personal hygiene practices are seen as the most effective response to the virus, so please make good use of the washroom facilities, hand sanitiser stations and maintain a safe distance from others.

    2. Getting here

      Face coverings remain mandatory on all Transport for London (TFL) services and Heathrow Express.  Other operators are following Government guidance which recommends face coverings are worn whilst on board.  Face coverings are required at our bus terminals and train platforms.

       

      If you are dropping passengers off at the airport by car, you can drop them off as normal but won't be allowed in the terminal unless you are travelling. We have car parking spaces in both long and short-stay and you can cancel your booking for free if your plans change

       

      See our Transport and Directions section for all your options.

    3. At Heathrow

      Face coverings remain mandatory whilst inside our terminal buildings, at our bus stations and railway platforms.  Please respect social distancing where possible.

       

      Trollies are free of charge and are all fog-cleaned after every use. All of our toilet and wash facilities remain open and there are hand sanitising dispensers across the terminal.

       

      Hand sanitising stations 

    4. Check-in

      No need to check in early - we always advise to arrive three hours in advance for intercontinental and European flights.

       

      All our check-in and bag drop desks are fitted with protective screens and are regularly cleaned. The check-in lines all have floor markings to help you keep your distance. To reduce the number of touchpoints, you can also check-in online and use your mobile boarding card to go through to departures.

    5. Security

      At Security, our colleagues are on hand to help you to socially distance and we regularly deep-clean our security trays and mats.  You may be asked to remove your footwear or other clothing accessories to reduce physical contact with our security officers.  Should you need to be searched, all of Security team will be wearing face coverings.

       

      More information about security.

       

    6. Departure Lounge

      Most of our shops and restaurants are open for you to explore.  We ask that you respect social distancing where possible.

      See our shops
      See our restaurants

    7. Boarding

      Check on the screens for your departure gate or download the app for up-to-date notifications. To help with distancing, five people will be boarded at a time.

      Have a pleasant trip!


    1. Preparing for your trip

      A traffic light system is in place in England with testing and quarantine requirements in place depending on the country you are arriving from.  We recommend checking Government guidance before you book travel, to determine the requirements on your arrival back into the country: 

       

        Green List - Countries on the green list do not require those travelling to self-isolate but passengers will need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two of their arrival back to England

        Amber List –

        UK, EU and US residents who have been double vaccinated are not required to quarantine on their return to England, however will still need to take a pre departure test and a PCR test on day two of arrival back to England. 

        Passengers who have not been double vaccinated will need to complete a mandatory 10-day self-isolation period in addition to booking an approved Government testing package for day two and eight of their isolation, and they will have the option for an additional “test to release” on day five to end self-isolation early. Passengers must also take a pre-departure test before returning to England.

        Red List - Those travelling to countries on the Red list will still be required to book a mandatory 10-day Government Hotel Quarantine package ahead of their return to England; and must take a pre-departure test.

       

      For more information visit the UK Government website

    2. Getting off the plane

      Welcome to the UK. We are doing everything we can to reduce the impact of COVID-19 and get you on your way safely. Follow signs for arrivals.

    3. Social Distancing / face coverings

      Face coverings are mandatory at Heathrow for all passengers aged 11 or over.  We ask that you respect social distancing where possible.

    4. Immigration and passports

      Passengers arriving from red-listed countries are to proceed into the lane where you will be processed through Immigration and passports and then transported to your Hotel where you will quarantine.

       

      All other arriving passengers are to follow the usual process through immigration and passports.

    5. Collecting your bags

      We are trialling out special UV cleaning methods on all arriving bags. In the meantime whilst you are waiting, social-distancing signs and floor stickers will help you stay apart but you can always use the width of a trolley to help keep your distance.

    6. Arrivals Lounge

      Once you have cleared Customs you just need to follow signs for public transport, car parks and taxis. If you are using public transport, face coverings are mandatory. Most operators have amended their services and have introduced limits on the number of onboard passengers to help with social distancing.

       

      Transport and Directions

       

       


    1. Preparing for your trip

      All international arrivals are required to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken no earlier than three days before departing for England. This applies to passengers transiting the UK.

       

      Steps 2 - 7,  listed below are for any passengers not travelling from a country on the “red list”. If you are travelling from a country on the “red list”, please see our guidance for transfer passengers.

    2. Getting off the plane

      Welcome to the UK and we too are doing everything we can to reduce the impact of COVID-19 and get you on your way safely. Follow signs for arrivals.

    3. Social Distancing / face coverings

      Face coverings are mandatory at Heathrow for all passengers aged 11 or over.  We ask that you respect social distancing where possible.

    4. Connecting to your next flight

      If your connection involves a bus journey between terminals, all our drivers are wearing full personal protective equipment for your safety and theirs. To help with social distancing, we will limit the amount of passengers on board.

    5. Security

      At Security, our colleagues are on hand to help with your social distancing and we regularly deep-clean our security trays and mats. Should you need to be searched all of Security team will be wearing face coverings.

    6. Departure Lounge

      Most of our shops and restaurants are open for you to explore.  We ask that you respect social distancing where possible.

      See our shops 
      See our restaurants

    7. Boarding on to your next flight

      Check on the screens for your departure gate or download the app for up-to-date notifications. To help with distancing, five people will be boarded at the time.

       

      Have a pleasant trip!

       

    We have launched a range of private testing options for passengers at Heathrow to keep you flying safely. Testing requirements vary depending on the country you are travelling to and from, which is why independent test providers at the airport are offering a variety of tests which can be used by both arriving and departing passengers.

    Please note that these tests need to be pre-booked and fees apply.

    Find out more about travel testing requirements and the types of tests available for purchase at Heathrow on our dedicated page on Testing.