When to take a PCR test

If you intend to travel abroad, COVID-19 restrictions are likely to apply both here and in your destination country. You may have to prove that you are not infected with coronavirus. You do this by providing a certificate stating you have had a negative PCR test in the 72 hours before your departure. We call this a Fit to Travel certificate. The NHS cannot provide this for you. The good news is that we can. Just follow our instructions to order your kit and our laboratory will test your sample. If you test negative, we will issue you with a certificate that identifies you, states your test result and when the test was taken. Click here to order your Test to Travel test kit.

If you return to the UK you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 3 days before your return.

If you are permitted to enter England or Scotland, under current guidelines you must quarantine for 10 days and take COVID-19 tests during this period. Additional testing may also be required for entering Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you wish to end quarantine early you may take an additional COVID-19 PCR test on Day 5. This is the Test to Release scheme.

You may end quarantine if this test is negative. Click here to order your Test to Release kit..

The Day 5 Test to Release scheme additionally applies in Northern Ireland but does not apply in Scotland or Wales.

There are restrictions in place for return from some countries and different rules apply for arriving into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You must check with the www.gov.uk/coronavirus website for specific advice in place at the time of travel. The rules will change as lockdown restrictions ease.