COVID-19 PCR Test Kit
Buy a COVID-19 PCR test for accurate results to check if you have COVID-19.
Prices from £64.99
Simply fill in a brief consultation questionnaire and one of our doctors will review your request today.
Our COVID-19 PCR tests are for anyone who needs to know if they have the COVID-19 virus, or prove a negative status. PCR tests offer greater accuracy than lateral flow tests, so are a good option if you want to be sure that you don’t have the virus.
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A Covid-19 PCR test is an accurate way to test if you have COVID-19. The test requires you to take a swab sample from your nose and tonsils. Your sample is then sent to a laboratory for testing.
PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction. The test detects genetic material (called RNA) from the virus in your body.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is SARS-CoV-2.
A PCR test:
- is processed in a laboratory
- can be taken in a clinic, testing site, or at home
- can give results within 48 hours
- is 98 to 99% reliable
- checks for COVID-19 using genetic material in the virus called RNA
- is processed on the spot
- can be taken anywhere
- can give results within 30 minutes
- is 90 to 95% reliable
- checks for COVID-19 using material on the surface proteins of the virus
A lateral flow test is the same testing device used for pregnancy tests where two lines will emerge if you have COVID-19 in your system.
A PCR test confirms that you do or do not have COVID-19.
You may need to do this as a requirement before an event or when visiting family or friends.
If you are visiting elderly or vulnerable relatives, you may want to take a reliable PCR test before you do so to ensure you will not pass COVID-19 on to them.
You can also take a PCR test if you have coronavirus symptoms and want to check if you have it.
You cannot use this PCR test for travel. If your destination country requires you to take a PCR test for travel, you must buy a fit to fly PCR test from a registered provider. At this time, ZAVA does not sell fit to fly PCR tests.
Check the requirements of your destination carefully before booking your test. Some countries ask for a lateral flow test (these are called antigen tests in some countries) rather than a PCR test.
You do not need to test for COVID-19 to leave or enter the UK anymore.
Anyone can take a PCR test, including children. However, you must be aged 18 or over to buy a test from ZAVA.
You should get your PCR test results within 48 hours of returning your test sample.
We will email you to let you know when your results are in. You can view these in your patient account.
Make sure you keep a note of your Royal Mail tracking ID number so you can track your test.
Always follow the instructions included in your test kit, to ensure that you take the PCR test correctly.
Before you take your test, blow your nose and then wash or sanitise your hands carefully. Make sure the surface you are using is clean and dry.
- Carefully remove the swab from the packaging without touching the fabric tip.
- Rub the swab 4 times on each tonsil. If your tonsils have been removed, rub the swab where they would have been.
- Remove the swab carefully without touching other parts of your mouth.
- Using the same swab, insert it into one nostril until you feel resistance. Roll the swab around 10 times. Use the other nostril if you have a piercing.
- Again, remove the swab carefully.
- Keeping the plastic tube upright, unscrew the lid and put the swab into it with the fabric tip facing down.
- Snap off the end of the swab.
- Screw the lid onto the plastic tube, so there are no leaks.
- Put the tube into the bag provided along with the absorbent paper.
- Follow the instructions about what to do with the bag containing your test.
Return your test to a Royal Mail priority post box. You can find your nearest one using the Royal Mail’s services near you site.
You do not need to activate a COVID-PCR test for general use. Simply take your test, return your test sample and wait for your results.
If your test result is positive, the SARS-CoV-2 is present in your body. It is likely that you had COVID-19 when you took the test.
A negative test means the test sample did not contain any of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. You probably didn’t have COVID-19 when you took the test. However, a negative test does not guarantee that you do not have COVID-19.
A void test means that there was a problem with the sample, and the laboratory could not test it.
No test is 100% accurate, but PCR tests are considered the ‘gold standard’ in testing as studies have shown that they are the most reliable. They score highly on sensitivity (correctly identifying people with COVID-19) and specificity (correctly identifying people who do not have COVID-19).
You can return your test to ZAVA for a refund if it has not been used. There is a £10 admin fee for refunds on unused COVID-19 PCR tests. For more details, visit our delivery and returns page.
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion
Babak studied medicine at King’s College London and graduated in 2003, having also gained a bachelor’s degree in Physiology during his time there. He completed his general practice (GP) training in East London, where he worked for a number of years as a partner at a large inner-city GP practice. He completed the Royal College of GPs membership exam in 2007.Meet our doctors
Last reviewed: 29 Mar 2022
Get tested for coronavirus NHS [accessed 23 March 2022]
Home testing step-by-step guide for adults and children Gov.uk [accessed 23 March 2022]
Lateral flow tests detect most people at risk of transmitting Covid-19 UCL [accessed 23 March 2022]
Systematic review with meta-analysis of the accuracy of diagnostic tests for COVID-19 NCBI [accessed 23 March 2022]