Ahead of the tour to England, Pakistan were scheduled to play three One Day International (ODI) matches in the Netherlands, and two T20I matches in Ireland. However, in April 2020, the matches in the Netherlands were postponed after the Dutch government announced that it had banned all events in the country, both sports and cultural, until 1 September 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In regards to the pandemic, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) were also looking at hosting the Test matches in bio-secure environments, with Old Trafford in Manchester and the Rose Bowl in Southampton being possible venues, due to their hotel facilities. In May 2020, Wasim Khan, the chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was in talks with the ECB about the possibility of touring England, with the PCB saying that they were "very optimistic" with regards to the planning. The PCB plan to send a squad of twenty-five players, with the Test and T20I teams travelling together, to give them the best options in case of any injuries. In the same month, Babar Azam was named as the new captain of Pakistan's One Day International (ODI) team. Babar said that he had complete faith and trust in the PCB's decision on touring, and said if it is safe to go he would definitely travel for the tour.
In late May 2020, a revised schedule was issued, with the first Test match taking place at Old Trafford from 5 August 2020. On 9 June 2020, the PCB appointed Younis Khan and Mushtaq Ahmed as their batting and spin-bowling coaches respectively for the tour. The PCB also decided not to hold a training camp for the national team in Lahore, with the board working with the ECB to bring their travel date forward by one week. On 11 June 2020, the PCB confirmed that Mohammad Amir and Haris Sohail were not available to tour England due to personal reasons. On 12 June 2020, the PCB named a 29-man squad for the tour, with Azhar Ali captaining the Test side and Babar Azam captaining the T20I side. After the squad was named, Wahab Riaz said that he would be willing to play Test cricket again, after taking a break from red-ball cricket in September 2019.
The PCB announced that the touring party would go through three rounds of COVID-19 testing prior to leaving Pakistan, and would be tested every five days once in England. On 22 June 2020, the PCB confirmed that Haider Ali, Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf had all tested positive for the virus. None of the three players had shown any previous symptoms, and were all advised to go into a period of self-isolation. England's director of cricket, Ashley Giles, said he was "concerned" by the news, but said that the tour was not in doubt. However, the following day, seven more players had tested positive for the virus. Despite the increase in positive tests, Wasim Khan said that the tour was still on, with the team planning to depart for England as scheduled. Anyone who has tested positive will be allowed to rejoin the squad after they finish their quarantine period and return two negative tests. Mohammad Hafeez, one of the seven cricketers to test positive on 23 June 2020, tested negative the following day, after taking a private test to get a second opinion. Six of the ten players who initially tested positive returned a negative, when they were tested again. On 27 June 2020, the PCB confirmed that twenty players and eleven members of their support staff would be travelling to England. The flight departed from Allama Iqbal International Airport the following morning, and arrived in Manchester later the same day. On 30 June 2020, the six cricketers that tested negative after initially testing positive, provided a second negative test, and will travel to England as soon as possible.
On 12 June 2020, the Pakistan Cricket Board also named Bilal Asif, Imran Butt, Musa Khan and Mohammad Nawaz as reserve players for the tour. On 27 June 2020, due to the high number of positive tests for COVID-19, Rohail Nazir was also added to Pakistan's touring party. Zafar Gohar, who is based in England, joined the team when they arrived in the country, but only took part in pre-match preparations.