Coronavirus PCR Swab Test
Test to see if you currently have coronavirus and get quick results that you can trust.
Prices from £135.00
A coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR swab test checks a sample of cells that you collect from your throat and nose. It will tell you if you currently have coronavirus.
If you have symptoms, it picks up at least 98% of positive cases and 100% of negative cases. It’s most reliable if used within the first 5 days of having symptoms. You can take a PCR swab test at any time, but there is a higher chance of getting a false-negative result if you aren't showing symptoms. And, just because you have a negative result doesn't mean that you can't still catch or spread the virus.
This test is ideal if you need to find out if you currently have coronavirus and can't leave your home. Or, you need to get tested as quickly as possible and can't get tested on the NHS. You can also contact our doctors at any time for free if you have any questions regarding your test or coronavirus.
The test is fully regulated and the sample you collect will be analysed in our partner laboratory.
A PCR swab test will not tell you if you have previously had coronavirus. The type of test that does this is called an antibody test.
If you have symptoms that are getting worse, do not wait for the test to arrive or your results to come back. Use the NHS online symptom checker, call NHS 111, or 999 in an emergency.
1 test kit(s) - £135.00
About the coronavirus PCR swab test
This is a ‘polymerase chain reaction’ (PCR) test. Using a swab, you take samples of cells from the back of your throat and nose. You then send this sample to our partner lab for testing.
The test uses a technique, widely thought to be the best of its kind, to look for organisms that cause illness. It looks for the virus directly, rather than waiting for the body to produce a reaction to the infection. It does this by looking at your DNA and identifying the presence of the virus. Our lab’s equipment only needs a tiny amount of virus DNA to diagnose coronavirus successfully.
The test picks up at least 98% of positive cases. It’s most effective if used within 5 days of first showing symptoms.
You can take a coronavirus PCR swab test at any time, but it will not be as accurate if you aren't currently showing symptoms. If you do have symptoms, you should take a PCR swab test as soon as possible, and definitely within 5 days of your symptoms starting.
If you test after your first 5 days of symptoms and get a negative result it may not be accurate as virus levels tend to be lower after this time.
If you have recovered from your illness, this test will not tell you if you have previously had coronavirus.
If you have already been vaccinated, it is still possible to catch coronavirus, so if you are showing symptoms or are concerned you might have the virus, you should order a PCR test to make sure.
Remember, even if you are vaccinated, you can still catch and spread the virus, so it's important to continue following government advice and guidelines.
If you have been vaccinated and want to check the effects of the vaccine on your spike antibody levels, we provide antibody testing services that you can take at home.
Taking a coronavirus PCR swab test is simple, and you can do this by:
- Using the swab, take a sample of cells from the back of your throat and nose
- Send this sample to our partner lab for testing in the prepaid envelope
- You’ll get results and advice from our doctors in your account within 2 days of the sample reaching our partner lab
You can do the swab yourself, without help from someone else, using the instructions that come with your sample collection pack.
It’s best to take your test and return it on the same day that it’s delivered to you.
Once the lab has received your sample, you should get results back within 2 days. These results will be sent to you through your patient account with advice from our doctors.
If you have any questions, just reply through your account and one of our doctors will get back to you.
Positive test results
If you test positive for a current coronavirus infection, you should continue to self-isolate and manage your symptoms at home until you recover.
If your symptoms get worse, use the NHS online symptom checker or call NHS 111 (or 999 in an emergency) if you need more support.
Negative test results
If your coronavirus PCR swab test result comes back negative, you do not need to self-isolate anymore. You should continue to follow social distancing guidelines, because you could still catch it and pass it on.
If your household members are not showing symptoms, they will no longer need to self-isolate.
If you receive a message saying that your test has failed this can be due to:
- collecting your sample incorrectly
- something contaminating your sample before you sent it to the lab
- not using the supplied Zava test
If you’re still unwell and your symptoms are becoming unmanageable after receiving a failed test you should contact 111 or call 999 in the event of an emergency.
Our lab will contact Public Health England and our doctors will contact your local health protection agency to notify them if you test positive for a current coronavirus infection. This helps gather data on numbers of cases and is used to dictate public health policy on the spread of the virus.
Your personal details will be used in these cases, but only the details which are relevant and necessary. They may need to contact you for more information once your sample has been processed.