GENERAL FAQs

Which tests do you provide?

We provide direct Covid-19 RT-PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing using the swab method. This PCR test detects the RNA of SARS-CoV2 coronavirus particles and is extremely sensitive and accurate. The test will determine whether you were actively positive or negative for SARS-CoV-2 at the time of testing and can detect presence of the virus in both symptomatic and asymptomatic people. 

How much do the tests cost?

The costs of all tests are on our website.

If you have been directed to us through one of our corporate partners, please follow the link provided by the partner.

Who can use the home testing kit?

Our swab test kits are only suitable for anyone 6 months old or older. When using a home testing kit, we advise only swabbing the sides of the cheeks for babies and toddlers. Please see below for video links to demo swabbing procedures and for swabbing children.

I have purchased a test kit, but my situation has changed and it is no longer required. Can I return it?

For Hygiene and Safety reasons, all online test kit sales are final. You are not able to cancel your order or return your unused sample collection kit for a refund once purchased.

How accurate is your PCR test?

No PCR test is 100% accurate but we are using a system that has excellent sensitivity and specificity.

This test has a clinical sensitivity of 100%, which means that out of 1000 known positive cases, all 1000 were shown to be true positives with this test.

This test has a clinical specificity of 99.7% which means that out of 1000 known negative cases, 997 were shown to be true negatives with this test.

Our test is sensitive to 480 copies of the target viral RNA/ml, making it a highly accurate test.

There is always a small chance that the virus may be not be picked up by the swab, depending on the swabbing technique therefore to ensure the test is as accurate as possible, please follow the testing instructions within the home testing kit as closely as possible.

When should I purchase my home testing kit?

Please order your kit as soon as you can to minimise the risk of postage delay. Home test kits can be stored for up to a year.

When placing your order you have the option of selecting a standard free of charge Royal Mail 1st Class postage or a Royal Mail next day delivery service (additional charges will apply). We provide pre-paid returns labels for you to use to send the swab back to the laboratory after use. Return labels use Royal Mail Tracked 24 service.

If you place your order prior to 2pm Monday – Friday, your order will be dispatched the same day. Kits should generally be delivered to you the next day (Monday-Saturday) when using the standard Royal Mail 1st Class postage but are expedited when using the Mail Royal Mail next day delivery service (excluding Sundays and bank holidays).

If placing your order after 2pm on Friday or over the weekend, your order will be dispatched on Monday and should generally be delivered to you on Tuesday. Orders will not be dispatched on bank holidays.

What do I need to do before I take my test?

Please read the instructions enclosed in your swab kit and check the contents of the kit carefully before taking the test.

Please do not eat, drink, chew gum, smoke or brush your teeth at least 30 minutes before taking your sample. Not following these steps can contaminate your sample resulting in a retest required and therefore, delay your result. We are not liable as a result of inconclusive test results due to errors in sampling.

I’m unable to swab myself, or I need assistance swabbing. What should I do?

Taking the test will feel a little uncomfortable and unusual for most people.

Remain calm and confident as you go through the process. If possible, do a mock practice without using any of the testing materials. See how to take your nasal swab test by watching an online video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCqo7MhQT6U&ab_channel=DepartmentofHealthandSocialCare

If you still need assistance, get an adult to help you by following the video above.

If testing a child, please see this link on how to do the oral and nasal swab: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xaw8DsF2Igc&ab_channel=DepartmentofHealthandSocialCareDepartmentofHealthandSocialCare

Please note: These videos are for guidance on the swabbing procedure only. The test kit contents shown in the video may vary slightly from those you receive from us, however please be assured that the swab kits we provide are CE Marked and PHE validated.

Do I need to register and activate my test?

Yes, when you are ready to use your kit you must activate it on the online activation portal, using the unique Barcode and PIN sent to you in your order confirmation email. The email also contains a link to the activation portal.

Follow the instructions provided with the kit to register and activate your sample, and complete the declaration form and insert the sample taken date/time.

If you do not complete the self-declaration information, or if you enter the sample date and time incorrectly, the lab will be unable to match your sample to a registered account. This will cause delays in testing and in generating the auto certificate for viewing. The time/date on your results certificate will be the time the test was registered.

Additional information is required for departure Fit to Fly, Border Entry, Test to Release and Day 2/Day 8 tests (see section below).

How do I post my test?

We have two options:

1.      Royal Mail Priority Post Box – you will receive a pre-paid postage label in your kit. Where possible, please post prior to 12pm (or the latest pickup time for your local priority post box) to ensure it arrives at the lab within 24 hours. You need to post your completed test kit no later than 1 hour before last collection. Weekend collection times may differ from weekdays. We will not be liable for any outcomes as result of postage delays.

2.      Courier service – you can arrange your own courier to return the kit back to the laboratory. This service is not included with the testing packages and you will need to be arrange and pay for this service is you require it.

Please note that the delivery of swabs back to the lab is your own responsibility. One Scientific are not liable for any other associated costs in the event of your results being invalid or if you book your tests outside the required timeframe.

I haven’t received my test kit, what should I do?

If you haven’t received your kit after 2 working days, please contact us at [email protected].

Please include your Booking Reference Number in the email so we can locate your order. The Booking Reference Number will be included in the confirmation email you will receive shortly after ordering.

My test kit arrived damaged, what should I do?

If the security seal is broken when you receive your test kit, do not use it. If you notice anything defective within the kit, do not use it. Contact us at [email protected] and request a new kit to arrange a replacement kit.

Please include your Booking Reference Number in the email so we can locate your order. The Booking Reference Number will be included in the confirmation email you will receive shortly after ordering.

When and how do I get my test results?

Results will be available within 24-48 hours of the lab receiving your swab and will be emailed to the address you have provided during kit registration.

Our testing service operates at a limited capacity over the weekend and this could impact your turnaround time. If you need to test on a Friday and have a 72-hour window before departure, there is a higher risk of delay being over the weekend so please arrange an alternative courier service.

There may be some cases where in the unlikely event that your sample requires retesting or where some samples take longer to process for various reasons, this may delay the delivery of your result. Please note that in terms of Day 2 and Day 8 testing, you will have completed your duty in sending back the tests and if contacted by DHSC please have details of the drop off date to the post box at hand.

There is also the risk that the test will return an inconclusive result and a new sample will need to be submitted. In order to prevent this, please follow the instructions supplied with the kit very carefully and return the swab to us as soon as possible and within 72 hours of sampling.

Given the currently high demand for testing and ever-changing and unpredictable circumstances surrounding the pandemic, we are not liable for any travel or work arrangements made and cannot be liable for any errors, delays or changes brought forward as a result of government guidance, postage delays, travel disruptions or any other unforeseen risk to this effect and those using our service must understand the risk of occasional delay.

What should I do if my Covid-19 PCR test is positive?

If the results of your Covid-19 PCR test is Positive, this means that coronavirus was found on your sample and you are considered infected/infectious with coronavirus. You and your household will need to isolate immediately (or continue to isolate if already doing so) as you may be at risk of spreading the virus to others. For more information go to the NHS Covid-19 website which gives further advice on the next steps you need to follow. If you are also feeling unwell, please visit the NHS 111 online assessment website or obtain emergency medical assistance if required.

We will not be liable for any losses, costs or damages that you suffer or incur as a result of receiving a positive test result (including, if you are unable to travel as a result of testing positive). We are not medical advisors and clients should always seek medical assistance/guidance where required.

What should I do if my Covid-19 PCR test is negative?

If you receive a Negative result, then this means that you have been tested negative with our test, and you can therefore be considered not infected with Covid-19 when you took the test; nor infectious with coronavirus.

However, if you have symptoms, follow the advice on the NHS Covid-19 website. We are not medical advisors and clients should always seek medical assistance/guidance where required.

If your Day 2 test is negative and you have returned from an Amber list country, you will still need to continue your quarantine period and take your Day 8 test as scheduled. You may be able to shorten your quarantine period when returning from an Amber list country by opting into the Test to Release program, which requires an additional swab at day 5 and must be purchased separately. Please see Test to Release section below.

Unclear or inconclusive tests

A small number of tests may come back unclear or inconclusive. This simply means it was not possible to say if you had the virus when the test was done due to several unknown factors. Unfortunately, this means you will need to be tested again. Please contact us to arrange a new test kit to be sent to you.

We will not be liable for losses incurred as a result of an unclear or inconclusive test.

What should I do if I haven’t received my results in time?

Regardless of travel destination and/or travel provider test timing requirements for international travel, the actual PCR test requires that the swab be tested within 72 hours from sampling to provide the most reliable result. Everyone taking our tests must understand the risk of occasional delay. If your results have not arrived within 72 hours from you testing yourself with the swab, please email our results team for assistance: [email protected]. Please include your Booking Reference Number in the email so we can locate your order. The Booking Reference Number will be included in the confirmation email you will receive shortly after ordering.

Given the currently high demand for testing and the ever-changing and unpredictable circumstances surrounding the pandemic, we are not liable for any travel or work arrangements made and cannot be liable for any errors, delays or changes brought forward as a result of government guidance, postage delays, travel disruptions or any other unforeseen risk to this effect and those using our service must understand the risk of occasional delay.

Who do I contact if I need to make a corporate or bulk order?

If you require corporate or bulk bookings/orders please contact [email protected] and one of our bookings team will be able to assist you.

Can I make an order over the phone?

Unfortunately, we cannot complete your order over the phone. However, our website has been designed to make the ordering process as easy as possible for you. But if you do have any questions, then please contact us at [email protected] and our team will be happy to guide you through the process.

UK DEPARTURE FIT TO FLY TESTS FAQs

Are your tests suitable for international travel?

We offer ‘Fit to Fly’ tests and can provide you with a ‘Border Entry Report’. Which test you need is outlined through the travel guidance provided by the Foreign office https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

The Border Entry Report is suitable for other methods of transport out of the country (e.g. ferry) and is not solely required for flights.

What tests will be accepted for my destination of travel?

You are responsible for confirming your specific Covid-19 test requirements for your travel destinations before purchasing a departure test. You can find more information about this with your airline and/or the embassy for your travel destination you are intending to travel to or get up to date guidance including entry requirements by visiting https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Your travel destination may require a specific RT-PCR test method and or evidence of vaccination; and equally may not accept home-testing. We cannot advise on what is required for your journey. Please ensure that our service is suitable for you before you purchase our tests as all orders are non-refundable.

When should I take my test?

Each travel destination and/or travel provider will have their own specific requirements. Please check with your airline and/or the embassy for the specific time frames requirements your travel destination before booking. It is your responsibility when booking for travel purposes to choose a suitable timeframe for your test date corresponding with their specific requirements.

You can purchase your kit in advance and register and activate your kit on the day that you need to test. We would advise that you take your test as early as possible within your required timeframe.

Do I need to include my passport number in my results certificate?

Yes – there is a requirement to add your passport number in the relevant field when registering online.

Do I need to test children?

Please query with your airline or the embassy for your travel destination if your child requires testing.

My flight was cancelled / changed. Is my test still valid?

If your flight has been changed or cancelled, your testing timeframes will have also changed and your results will now be invalid, unless advised otherwise by your airline or the embassy for your travel destination.

You will need to book and pay to have your test retaken to adhere to the time frame of your new travel arrangements.

UK INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS DAY 2 & DAY 8 FAQ’s

Do I need to do a Day 2 & Day 8 test upon arrival into the UK?

Please see government guidance on entering or returning to the UK. Some exemptions apply and travellers are always advised to check the GOV.UK website for the latest guidance.

As it currently stands, a Covid-PCR test is mandatory on Day 2 of your arrival in the UK from a Green list country. You must book your Day 2 test kit before you depart to the UK and you are required to enter your Booking Reference Number for this test on your Passenger Locator Form.

Day 2 & Day 8 Covid-PCR tests and quarantining rules are currently mandatory upon arrival in the UK from an Amber list country. You must book your Day 2 and Day 8 test kit bundle before you depart to the UK and you are required to enter your Booking Reference Number for these tests on your Passenger Locator Form.

Day 2 & Day 8 Covid-PCR tests and hotel quarantining rules are currently mandatory upon arrival in the UK from a Red list country. Unfortunately we are unable to assist with these tests as they must be booked as part of the hotel quarantine package.

Where you need to quarantine depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive in England. For more information see information for quarantine when you arrive in the UK.      

Can I get a refund for my Day 2 or Day 8 kit?

All orders are final and non-refundable. Due to hygiene reasons, we cannot accept returns for unused test kits. Where a test kit is broken, is not delivered or gives an inconclusive or invalid test result, we will offer a replacement test. This is only applicable to Day 2 or Day 8 tests.

Do I need to book a package for my child?

Children aged 4 and under will not need to take the Day 2 or Day 8 test. Please refer to government guidelines for the latest advice.

When should I take my test?

You must take your Day 2 test between day 0 and day 2 of your quarantine period, with the day you arrive into the UK counting as day 0. If you are required to take a Day 8 test (arrivals from Amber list countries) you must take this on or after day 8 of arriving into the UK.

For example, if you arrived into the UK on the 1st of May, you could test on or before the 3rd May for your Day 2 test, and on or after the 9th May for your Day 8 test.

Can I be released early from quarantine?

When returning from an Amber list country, you may be able to shorten your quarantine period by opting into the government’s Test-to-Release scheme. The scheme is voluntary and applies to those quarantining in England only, but is not eligible for anyone travelling from, or through, a Red list country. For more information see Countries from which entry to the UK is banned – ‘red list’ countries.

You must purchase your Test to Release kit in addition to your Day 2 and Day 8 test kit bundle. You should perform your Test to Release swab on day 5 from your entry to England (where day of entry is day 0). If your result is Negative, you can end your quarantine period (providing you do not have symptoms of Covid-19) however you must still perform your Day 8 test.

If you do not want to opt into the Test to Release scheme, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days and must still perform the Day 2 and Day 8 tests. Please refer to the Government website for more information for quarantine when you arrive in the UK.  

TEST TO RELEASE AT DAY 5 FAQ’s

Please see government guidance on entering or returning to the UK. Some exemptions apply and travellers are always advised to check the GOV.UK website for the latest guidance.

When can I take my Test to Release test?

Under the government’s Test-to-Release programme you need to wait 5 days from arriving in the UK before taking your sample for Test-to-Release. 

For example, if you leave arrived in the UK on a Monday and declare this on your booking form, you will need to take the test and activate this on or after Saturday.

You should still take your Day 2 test on or before Day 2 and your Day 8 test on or before Day 8.

Can I leave quarantine if my Day 5 Test to Release test is negative?

Until you receive your result, you need to self-isolate. You can be released early from quarantine/self-isolation if your Day 2 test and Day 5 test are negative but you must still take a test on or after day 8 to check that you do not have Covid-19.