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The UK's best connected port

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Current travel restrictions

There are new travel restrictions and requirements in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus and its variants. Check gov.uk/travel-abroad page to help plan your journey.

  • You must check the entry requirements for your chosen destination before you travel. You may be required to evidence your Covid-19 vaccination status and/or show a negative PCR test result. Links to Foreign Office advice for destination countries are available towards the bottom of this page.
  • You will need to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test within 72 hours of your return journey to England.
  • Anyone testing positive prior to travel will not be permitted to travel back into England, will be required to follow local rules for isolation – you could incur additional costs during this period.
  • Ensure you book Covid-19 tests and complete relevant documentation (such as Passenger Locator Forms) for your destination and return to England. Those who have returned from red or amber list countries will be required to quarantine in a hotel (red) or at home (amber) for 10 days and take tests on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of their quarantine.
  • Those who have returned from green list countries will be required to take tests on or before day 2. Tests and quarantine must be booked prior to your return to the England.
  • Cruise passengers should check with their cruise line for specific requirements for testing before boarding.

Find out more at the bottom of this page.

Steps we've taken at the port

Our aim is to enable you to sail with confidence from Portsmouth International Port. These are just some of the measures that we have put in place to ensure the safety of passengers and staff.

We are verified by the accredited classification society DNV GL in accordance with its My Care methodology. This verification demonstrates our capability to manage and prevent infection risks, including Covid-19.

Temperature scanner
All port staff have their temperatures taken by a contactless scanner prior to commencing work, which protects both passengers and staff. The scanner is also available for operators to use for their passengers.

Hand sanitiser
We’re encouraging passengers to wash their hands as often as possible. In addition we have added hand sanitiser dispensers to all public areas, which are topped-up regularly.

Minimal touch points
Our modern terminal building is equipped with automatic doors which reduce physical contact. Our washrooms are fitted with hands-free flushes, washbasin taps and driers.

Social distancing
We’ve put social distancing measures in place within the port and terminal, which includes clear one way signage to help everyone keep a safe distance. Passenger seating areas have also been segregated.

Enhanced cleaning

We have always ensured that our terminal is cleaned to a high standard, but now we’ve enhanced the frequency even further using virucidal cleaners and paying extra attention to high-touch areas.

Our on-site multi storey car park allows passengers to maintain safe distancing, with passengers able to self-park within walking distance of the terminal. Alternatively, valet parking options are available.

Transfer buses

The drivers aboard our dedicated transfer buses are trained in COVID-19 precautions. They have reduced capacities to maintain social distancing, and are providing hand sanitiser.

Air supply

The terminal air supply is through environmentally friendly wind catchers, which ensure a continuous natural supply of fresh air.

Security controls

Physical contact is minimised through the use of screening equipment, including walkthrough metal detection arches, hand-held metal detectors and X-ray machines.

Face coverings

Everyone should wear a face covering when inside the terminal, following the rules set by government.

Protective shields

Sneeze guards have been installed at passenger check-in desks and also at security control points.

Friendly staff

Our staff are looking forward to welcoming you and your customers with a smile.

Service updates

Brittany Ferries continue to operate sailings to France and Spain. Please check their website or call them directly on 0330 159 7000 for the latest information. 

Condor Ferries are continue to operate services to Jersey and Guernsey. Call them on 0345 609 1024 to find out more.

The terminal building remains closed to the public, as only car passengers and freight are passing through the port. Toilets for car passengers are available adjacent to the car waiting lanes.

Travel advice

Leaving the UK

There are new travel restrictions and requirements in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus and its variants. Check the rules that apply to you in EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

Are there health checks before I board my ship?
Your sailing operator will let you know in advance if a temperature check or health screening questions will take place. We have a temperature camera, but this will only be used when requested by the ship operator. However, you should always take sensible precautions before leaving home to make sure you aren’t travelling with Covid-19 symptoms. Please make sure you’ve followed Public Health England guidance.

What restrictions are in place for hauliers heading to the EU?
You must test negative for Covid-19 before you cross the border into certain EU countries. Check if you need to get a test, and when you should get one at GOV.UK.

What will I need to do on arrival in my destination?
Our destinations have different requirements on arrival, and also different conditions for entry.

The entry requirements for my destination says I need to have a negative Covid-19 test result. Where can I get one?
The guidance we’ve been given by the UK government is that you need to order a private test from one of the companies on their list, ready for when you arrive in your destination. Please check with Brittany Ferries for further information on services and bookings.

Do I have to wear a face covering?
It is now mandatory for anyone while travelling on a ferry to wear a face covering, unless you have an exemption. Everyone who can should also wear a face covering when inside any port buildings, following the rules set by the UK government.

Do I need to do anything in advance?
Always check with the company you’re travelling with for more information on the requirements you need to follow. Our terminal will only open be when foot passengers return, this is to manage safe distancing. There are many toilets available on site, before and after security, that you can use. 

Why are security searches still being conducted?
The security threat level has not changed, with the checks being conducted mandated by the Department for Transport in compliance with the ISPS code. We are using non-contact equipment wherever possible to conduct these checks, but it may still be necessary to conduct a hand body search.

How can you safely manage close contact security checks?
Our staff carrying out security checks will be wearing appropriate levels of PPE, to protect both you and them. This includes gloves, which will be disposed of after each search where they come into contact with a passenger, and they’ll be wearing full face visors too. 

Arriving in the UK

I’m a haulier, what do I have to do?
Hauliers arriving in England from abroad will need to take a Covid-19 test if they are staying for more than 2 days. They need to take the first test within the first 2 days, then further tests every 3 days.

This applies to drivers and crews of HGVs and drivers of vans and other light goods vehicles. It applies to both UK-based and non-UK hauliers. Find out more.

As a goods vehicle driver you still have to complete an online form. This must be completed no earlier than 48 hours prior to arrival. We always want to help get you on your way as quickly as possible, so please help our Border Force colleagues by making sure you’ve completed your online form in advance. Complete your form here.

What happens when I arrive as a passenger from France or Spain?
You must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test to travel to England.

You must take a test even if:

  • you are a UK citizen
  • you are coming from a country on the travel corridors list

You must take the test in the 3 days before you start your journey to England. Find out more, including what type of tests can be used, on the GOV.UK website.

You will need to fill in a form to provide your contact information on arrival in the UK. You can find the form and more details here. You will also need to self-isolate for 10 days, please check the latest updates to the travel corridors list here. 

You can reduce the time you need self isolate by using the test to release for international travel scheme. Under the scheme you can choose to pay for a private Covid-19 test. If the result is negative, you can stop self-isolating. Find out more.

What happens when I arrive in the UK from the Channel Islands?
You do not need to complete the form or self-isolate if you were there for 14 days or more. Please refer to border control guidance on what to do if you were there for fewer than 14 days here.