I can’t afford a test but I have to travel. What can I do?
Are group or family discounts available?
Some providers will offer discounts when you purchase multiple tests. We do not currently list these on our website, so please check directly on your chosen provider’s site.
Do I need a Covid-19 test if I’m travelling by car?
All restrictions and rules apply whether you’re travelling by air, motor vehicle, or boat (including cruise liners and ferries). Some countries may have slightly different rules depending on how you are travelling so always make sure to check the entry requirements before booking your test.
Do I need to buy all my tests from the same provider?
No, you can buy the tests you need through different providers. Some of them do offer testing packages at a reduced price. We do not offer testing packages on our website, so you will need to check in providers’ websites directly.
My test kit/test result has not arrived. Can you help me?
You will have to reach out to the provider you booked the test with directly. All test bookings are made directly with the test provider, under the terms and conditions of that provider and as such we cannot enter into communications regarding any individual test booking. We do not have access to any personal information relating to test bookings. The test provider shall be solely responsible for providing an end to end service to you in respect of the provision of all tests and results and we shall have no responsibility or liability in this regard.
If you want to have a backup plan, see other providers here.
Do children count as vaccinated or unvaccinated?
This varies by country, as countries will see the vaccination status of children the same way as that of adults (2 doses to be fully vaccinated), whereas others accept only one dose as fully vaccinated. You will need to check the specific requirements for children for the country you are travelling to. You can do that by following our question flow here.
What are the opening hours for providers?
We have information on opening hours for some providers on our website, but for most of them you will need to check directly on their websites. Please take into account that most providers will operate normal UK working hours, and have a reduced service or be closed for weekends and bank holidays.
Where is my nearest clinic?
You can search testing clinics near you using the postcode search on the menu on the left (if you are on desktop) or at the bottom of the page (if you are on your phone). Just click ‘in-clinic’ and type in your postcode. You can also organise the providers by price.
How can I find drive-thru and park & test sites, or my nearest drop-off/ click & collect location?
You can use the postcode search function to find these kinds of sites near you. We don’t have a filter for them, but it will be clearly stated in the provider name if the location is a clinic, drop-off, click and collect, drive-thru or a park & test site.
How can I find out if a provider is UKAS accredited? What about ISO accreditation?
If a provider is UKAS accredited, they will usually mention this on their websites as well as which ISO standards they meet. The most common ISO standards are 15189 and 17025. Alternatively, you can find a list of UKAS approved laboratories here.
What does Verified/Trusted mean?
Providers with a Verified stamp on their listing have confirmed that their listing information is accurate, and regularly update us to incorporate any changes to pricing or specifics.
Covid Testing Network displays customer satisfaction scores for trusted test providers so the consumer can be assured of quality service from the test provider they select. Providers who are marked as 'Trusted' indicate that they are the best in class provider of Covid-19 testing as evidenced by the customer satisfaction scores.
How can I tell if a provider is on the government list?
All test providers added to our site appeared on the gov.uk list of providers of Day 2 and Day 8 testing, Day 2 testing, Test to Release and General Covid-19 lists for international travel, and may appear on either a single government list or combination of lists.
You can also check whether a provider is in the government lists here.
When do I need to take my test?
That depends on where you are flying to, as different countries have different timing requirements. You can check the requirements for the country you are visiting by following our question flow.
Turnaround times will vary depending on the provider. Our 'more details' page has more information around what turnaround times each provider offers. For further information, please make sure to check the turnaround time guarantees on a provider website before booking your test.
Where can I find a test to return to the UK?
Unvaccinated arrivals will first need a negative test taken 2 days before you travel to the UK. This can either be a PCR test or an antigen test if it meets the correct standards.
If you want to take a PCR test, you will need to find a provider in the country you are travelling to the UK from. The official government website or tourism website of the region you are staying at might have a list of local providers. If you are staying in a hotel or managed accommodation they might be able to advise you on local providers. Alternatively, some UK based providers offer rapid antigen tests that you can purchase and take with you on your trip in order to return. You can find some listed here.
What are the rules for returning to the UK?
In order to travel to the UK the tests you need may vary depending on your vaccination status.
If you are fully vaccinated under a recognised program and coming from a country not on the Red list, you must book a day 2 arrivals test which will include a test to be taken on or before day 2 after arriving in the UK. You must book this before travelling as you will need the booking reference for your passenger locator form.
If you are unvaccinated and coming from a country not on the Red list, you will first need a negative test taken 2 days before you travel to the UK. This can either be a PCR test or an antigen test if it meets the correct standards. You will need to find a test provider based in the country you are travelling from for this. Alternatively, some UK based providers offer rapid antigen tests that you can purchase and take with you on your trip in order to return.
Then, you will need to book a day 2 and 8 arrivals package, which will include two tests to be taken on days 2 and 8 of your 10 day isolation period. You might opt for a day 5 test to leave isolation early, but you will still need to take the day 8 test. You must book these arrivals tests before travelling as you will need the booking reference for your passenger locator form.
If you are coming from a Red list country you will need to take a test up to 2 days before travelling to England and quarantine in a managed hotel facility for 10 days and take 2 Covid-19 tests at your own expense.
What are the rules for children returning to the UK?
Children aged 4 and under do not have to take any COVID-19 travel tests.Children aged 5 to 17 have to follow the testing and quarantine rules for people who qualify as fully vaccinated on arrival in England.
I am unvaccinated. Can I leave quarantine to take my day 2&8 and day 5 tests at a clinic?
Yes, you are able to leave self-isolation in order to visit a clinic for your day 2&8 and day 5 tests, but you must not use public transport to do so.
I’ve recently had Covid. Am I exempt from taking a fit to fly test? What about the 90 day no-test guidance from the NHS?
Whether or not you need a fit to fly test may depend on the country you are travelling to. Some countries do not require a test if you are fully vaccinated, others will accept proof of recovery instead of a negative test result. Alternatively, a number of countries may also accept rapid antigen test results. As these are less sensitive you have very little chance of still testing positive from a rapid test. If none of these exceptions are accepted, you will need to take a PCR test regardless of your recovery status.
You can see more information here.
Can I use an NHS test for travelling? What about for my day 2 test?
There are strictly limited circumstances under which you can use a free NHS Covid-19 test (whether a lateral flow or a PCR test). This includes having Covid-19 symptoms or having been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. For all other reasons — including to travel — you must book and pay for tests yourself via a government listed private provider.
I am transiting through the UK/staying in the UK for less than 24h. Do I need to take a day 2 test?
If you are transiting through England for less than 24h, you are exempted from taking a day 2 test. Please see more information on transiting through England here.
I'm only in the UK for a few days. Do I need to have my day 2 test result in order to leave the UK?
No, you do not need to have your day 2 test result before leaving the UK. If you are unvaccinated you will need to remain in isolation until you receive your result, but if you are making a short trip to the UK, you can leave isolation to exit the country (via airport, ferry, car or train).
I’ve recently had Covid. Am I exempt from taking a day 2 test?
You must take a day 2 test regardless of if you have previously tested positive. As there is a small chance you will still test positive up to 90 days after recovery, please take this into account before travelling.
What is the difference between PCR, RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests?
PCR tests look for viral RNA inside a sample. In order for this to happen, the sample needs to be sent to a lab for analysis. Results are usually turned around from 24h to 72h.
A RT-PCR is a type of PCR test. Most Covid PCR tests are RT-PCR, as it is the standard method used for detecting the genetic material of the virus. There is not an agreed naming convention for PCR tests, which means that some providers might shorten it to PCR even if the method used is RT-PCR.
Rapid antigen tests look for a certain protein and work a bit like a pregnancy test. Antigen tests do not need to be sent to a lab and results are provided in around 30 minutes. Antigen tests are considered to be less sensitive than PCR and therefore not all countries accept them for entry.
What is a self-test? What is the difference between a supervised and unsupervised test?
A self-test is a test you take yourself, either at home or at a clinic with supervision from a clinician. Some countries do not accept self-tests, so you will need to make sure the clinic provider you choose will include a clinician to take your sample.
An unsupervised test is one you take at home, or at a provider location without a clinician present. Some home test providers offer live video supervision. Always make sure to check with the provider before you book your tests to avoid disappointment.
Do providers offer a QR code?
Some providers featured on our website do offer QR codes with their result. You can check this directly on their websites.
How long will test results take?
Turnaround times will vary depending on the provider. PCR tests can take anything from 6 hours to 72h and the price will vary depending on which option you choose. The standard is usually 48h-72h. Rapid antigen tests provide much faster results and you should be provided with these the same day of your test. For further information, please make sure to check the turnaround time guarantees on a provider website before booking your test.
Cannot find the answer to your question?
If you cannot find the answer to your question, please email our team on [email protected]