What test do I need?
Travellers arriving from a ‘green’ listed country or ‘amber’ listed country and *fully vaccinated
Travellers arriving from an ‘amber’ listed country who are not *fully vaccinated
*Fully Vaccinated – Had both vaccination doses in Europe, UK or USA
Kits sent out on the day of your arrival by next day delivery to arrive on your day 1 with tracking notification or pick up kit from testing site.
Return kit using free Royal Mail Track 24 postage. Alternatively you can drop sample at testing site for quicker results.
Our lab then process the sample within 24 hours of receipt (usually sooner). You can then download your certificate by logging into your account.
Kits sent by next day delivery to reach you on day after arrival.
Free enclosed return Royal Mail Track 24 postage usually takes one working day to reach the lab – please see the How It Works page for guidance and tips on which postal boxes to use to reduce postal times.
Pick your kit up during opening hours, carry out your sample, register your kit and then drop off your sample back to testing site.
Samples taken from testing site to laboratory daily – drop off your sample before the drop off cut off time for quicker results (please take note of drop off cut off times for each location)
If you have received a postal kit you can still drop off at a testing site for quicker results
309 Bolton Road,
Monday to Saturday 8AM-11PM
Closed on bank holidays
Cut off time 6pm Monday to Sunday for samples to be sent to lab on that day
Desbox Unit G15
E Richardson St
Monday to Friday 10AM-4PM
Saturday and Sunday 10AM-11.30AM
Cut off time 4pm Monday to Friday and 11.30am Saturday and Sunday for samples to be sent to lab on that day
Moss Bridge House
Moss Bridge Road
Monday to Friday 9AM-5PM
Closed on bank holidays
Cut off time 4pm for samples to be sent to lab on that day
When will I get my test results?
It takes upto 24 hours for our laboratory to process the result so it depends what service you use to get your kit to us.
If you book into one of our testing sites, we get everything across to the laboratory much quicker (at the latest following morning) and therefore quicker results.
Royal Mail tracked 24 postage usually takes one day for the samples to reach us in the lab however there maybe postal delays particularly on weekends and bank holidays. See our worked example below.
June 1st – this is considered day 0 – Arrival to UK
June 2nd (day 1) – kit arrives
June 3rd (day 2) – undertake day 2 sample and return to us using free return postage *
June 4th (day 3) – kit reaches lab, may get test result same day
June 5th (day 4) – day 2 result expected
Day 5 (Test to Release)
We offer the Test to Release COVID PCR test from day 5 of your return to the UK in order to release yourself early from the ten day quarantine period.
If you have NOT transited through any countries on the Travel Ban Red list, you may participate in the Day 5 Test To Release scheme, by taking this test, you will be able to reduce your self-isolation period provided you test negative.
Get your results next day by dropping your sample at one of our testing sites.
Please be informed, your date of arrival counts as day 0, thus if you arrive in the UK on a Monday (this would be day 0), your day 2 would be Wednesday, Day 5 would be Saturday and Day 8 would be the following Tuesday.
Frequently asked questions
What are the testing requirements for when I return to UK?
Travellers to the UK (apart from if travelled from within the common travel area) must;
- provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to three days before departure
- book post-arrival testing (day 2 or day 2 and 8)
- complete a UK passenger locator form
The testing requirements depend on whether you have arrived from a ‘Green’, ‘Amber’ or ‘Red’ listed country - more information on this can be found on the government website.
Arriving from a ‘Green’ country - you need to do a day 2 test
Arriving from an ‘Amber’ country and are fully vaccinated - you need to do a day 2 test
Arriving from an ‘Amber’ country and not fully vaccinated - you need to do a day 2 and 8 test and need to quarantine for 10 days
Arriving from a ‘Red’ country - you will need to quarantine in a quarantine hotel, purchase a hotel quarantine package that includes hotel and testing.
If you have arrived from somewhere in the common travel area you do not need to do any tests on arrival.
The common travel area is the UK, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, and Ireland. All British Overseas Territories are NOT included in the list. For more information, please visit the government website.
What does fully vaccinated mean?
Fully vaccinated means you have had BOTH vaccination doses under either
- the UK vaccination programme
- the UK vaccine programme overseas
- an approved vaccination programme in Europe or the USA - not all are recognised in England
For further information on this, see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-quarantine-when-you-arrive-in-england
Do children need to take the day 2 and day 8 tests?
Children aged 4 and under do not need to take the day 2 or day 8 test.
Do I need to consider transit stops?
When you arrive in England you need to follow the rules for the highest risk country or territory that you have been in or passed through in the previous 10 days. This includes transit stops.
A transit stop is a stop where passengers can get on or off the same part of the transport in which you are travelling. It can apply to ships, trains or flights. Your ticket should show if a stop is a transit stop.
How should I prepare for my trip to UK?
Within 3 days of your travel date to England, take a Covid-19 test with a negative result (please see government. You will need to request and buy a day 2 or day 2/8 Test Package before boarding for England.
A passenger locator form must be completed with your quarantine address and your Passenger Locator Form number which we provide on booking.
If I wish to travel from a red list country, what should I do?
There is a ban on travel from red list countries to the UK. If you’re travelling from, or have passed through a red list country in the 10 days prior to arrival in England, you must adhere to the UK government’s guidelines.
How do I get to my quarantine location?
You may use whatever mode of transportation necessary to travel to your quarantine location. Only use public transport if absolutely necessary. Do NOT travel by public transport if you have any symptoms at all.
When is my quarantine over?
If you are travelling from a ‘green’ listed country, you do not need to quarantine. If you test positive on the day 2 test you would need to quarantine for a further 10 days from the date of the test.
If you are travelling from an ‘amber’ listed country and you have returned two negative tests for day 2 and 8 you must quarantine for the full 10 days unless you have taken the Test to Release test which can be taken on day 5 after your arrival.
Please note if your day 8 test is negative, you must still quarantine for the full 10 days.
If your day 2 is positive you must quarantine from 10 days after your day 2 result. If you are in quarantine with people you have travelled with, they will also need to quarantine for 10 further days. If you receive a positive result for your day 2 test, you will not be required to take any further tests.
However, people you are staying with will need to take a day 8 test test if they have received a negative result from their day 2 test and have not developed symptoms.
If your day 8 test is not taken you must quarantine for 14 days.
If your day 8 test is positive you must quarantine for a further 10 days from your day 8 test date.
If your day 8 test is inconclusive, you will need to do a further test and quarantine until a negative test result or 14 days.
Is the Travel Test (day 2 and day 8) Package different to the Test to Release scheme?
Yes! We know guidelines and legislation are constantly changing and it can be difficult to keep up. The Test to Release scheme involves a PCR test taken on day 5 after your arrival with the purpose of releasing you early from your quarantine. The Test to Release scheme is optional whereas the Travel Test Package is mandatory. More information on the Test to Release scheme can be found on our relevant page regarding it.
Please note even if you test negative through the Test to Release scheme and finish your quarantine early, you still need to take your day 8 test.
If I test positive on either test, what happens?
If either test—day 2 or 8—are positive, you must quarantine for an additional 10 days. More info will be provided with your test results. The purpose of the day 2 and 8 tests is to detect any travellers with a variant of coronavirus. A positive test result is therefore further analysed at our laboratory with genome sequencing to look for this – there will be no additional cost if this needs to be done.
Some tests may show that a person has a “variant” of the coronavirus. This will result in contact tracing and Public Health England involvement.
There is more information regarding this available on the government website.
When will I get my test results?
If you are using the postal kit option, we send the kits out to reach you by day 2 latest. It usually takes one day for the samples to reach us in the lab and then upto 24 hours for our laboratory to process the result.
Let’s make that easier for you with a worked example;
Arrival to UK June 1st - this is considered day 0.
June 2nd to 3rd - kit arrives (day 1-2)
June 3rd (day 2) - undertake day 2 sample and return to us.
June 4th (day 3) - kit reaches lab, may get test result same day
June 5th (day 4) - day 2 result expected
June 9th (day 8) - undertake day 8 sample and return to us
June 10th (day 9) - kit reaches lab, may get test result same day
June 11th (day 10) - result expected
What happens if I prolong my stay beyond 8 days, after only having booked a Day 2 Test package?
You can book a separate Day 8 only Travel Test package here (link to day 8 booking)
I am staying in the UK for less than 8 days, do I still need to book a Day 2 & 8 Test?
No, you can just book the Day 2 only travel test package here.
What happens if I do not register my test?
If you do not register your test, it will come back to our lab but we won’t be able to know that it is yours and you will not get your results.
You will need to pay for a replacement test - please get in touch with our team and we can organise this for you.
Where can I find my reference number for my Passenger Locator Form?
Your reference number will be located in your confirmation email.
It can also be found in the ‘My account’ section of the website after you have clicked on your specific order. It starts with PHCTE and is followed by 7 digits.
How can I perform the test myself?
Do not worry, all of our home tests come with very clear instructions. You can always contact our customer service team on email@example.com or on phone if you need any help. Please also check the ‘What Happens Next’ page of the website. Please make sure that you read them carefully and that you complete the check list at the end of your Instruction sheet.
How will I know when my results are ready?
You will receive email notification when your results are ready, you will then need to login to your account to check your results and download your certificate.
Is Test to Release mandatory?
The test to release programme is not mandatory. You may choose to forego test to release and simply quarantine for 10 days upon your arrival to England. The purpose is to free you from quarantine early. The day 2/8 tests after arrival are mandatory.
Arrivals from ‘green’ listed countries and ‘amber’ listed countries who have had both vaccination doses do not need to quarantine and therefore do not need a day 5 test.
Get in touch
For all enquiries please use the contact form to get to the right department. Our inboxes are monitored regularly.