C19: Be safe. Be smart. Be kind. Get tested.

COVID-19 Test to Release

The Test to Release initiative reduces your self-isolation period by getting tested for COVID-19 when you arrive back in England.

Data last updated: 20 April 2021

Travelling to the U.K

The Test to Release initiative reduces your self-isolation period by getting tested for COVID-19 when you arrive back in England.

Vala Covid-19 testing

Vala is a DHSC (Department of Health & Social Care) approved private provider of Covid-19 screening services. Our partner laboratories are UKAS accredited for ISO 15189 certification. We comply with all the government regulations with respect to submitting results to the relevant Public Health Authority.

In December 2020 the U.K government launched their 'Test to Release' scheme. It allows travellers required to quarantine upon returning to England to pay privately for a COVID test five days after their arrival. They are then permitted to end their quarantine period immediately if they receive a negative test.

About Test to Release

The Test to Release for International Travel scheme is for people who need to self-isolate on arrival in England.

Under this scheme you can have a COVID-19 test 5 days after departing the country that you are travelling from that is not on the travel corridor list. If the result is negative, you can stop self-isolating.

Travellers coming into England from a destination not on the travel corridor list, must self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. A COVID-19 PCR test will allow travellers to end their quarantine period earlier by taking a COVID-19 test.

Please read the following information carefully

  • We cannot, and will not issue a test for asymptomatic people, or non-work related travel unless urgent.
  • Our team are not obligated to sign-off on a test if we do not believe you meet the criteria above.
  • A PCR tests whether you have Covid-19 or not, at the time of taking the test.
  • This is a swab test, not a blood test.
  • The test will be sent by Special Royal Mail Delivery and can take between 1 and 2 days to arrive. This may take longer during busy periods.
  • Tests ordered at the weekend will not be dispatched until the next working day (i.e. Monday).
  • Please do not order one of our tests if you have an urgent, date-sensitive requirement i.e. travel.
  • For households a form must be completed for each member of the household.
  • We cannot supply tests for under 5-year-olds. Tests for under 5-year-olds must be conducted by your GP.
  • You must be over 16 to order a PCR test.

Order your test kit

In order to send you a test, we'll need some details to confirm if you qualify for a test.

After you have filled out the details below you will be asked for a one-off payment of £150.00 to cover the cost of the kit, shipping and lab-processing.

Please note, if you require a test as an emergency, please consider your options. Our tests are dispatched from our lab on the next working day, but Royal Mail delivery times will vary from one to three days.

The test is better done by someone who has experience in swabbing throats and noses but in the current extraordinary times this may not be possible. If you have to do it yourself this is what you need to do. First carefully read the introduction letter and instructions, and register your kit. There is more detail than this but simply put, twist open the swab and remove it without touching the soft tip. While standing in front of a mirror, insert the swab into the back of your throat and firmly swab your tonsils and either side of the throat, avoiding your tongue. Then put the swab into one nostril and twirl for a few seconds. Put the swab back into the tube it came in a press it closed. Place the closed swab, along with your completed test request form into the prepaid envelope provided, seal and post as soon as possible from any royal mail postal point.

Terms and Conditions

  • Tests are performed in a London-based laboratory and in no way affects the supply chain of PCR tests for the NHS.
  • As per the government guidance; if you do think you might have Coronavirus, please keep yourself isolated until test results come back to discuss.
  • Test kits usually arrive within 1-3 working days after you have placed the order and are delivered by Royal Mail. However, Royal Mail are experiencing some delays so it may take longer for your test kit to arrive.
  • All coronavirus tests are non-refundable.
  • If a test result comes back as void because of a patient collection error, the price of the test is non-refundable.
  • You should continue to follow the latest government guidelines even if you test negative. A negative test does NOT mean you are immune (protected against the virus) and there is a possibility that you may contract it later down the line. You may wish to consider further testing if you develop new symptoms or are concerned.
  • This Covid-19 PCR test is highly accurate at 99.9%. However, if the swab is taken inaccurately, it may return an negative result even if you have the virus.
  • A positive result does not tell you whether you are safe to return to work.
  • A positive result won't tell you that you can't get it again or that you won't be infecting others.
  • Only c5% of people with mild infections are developing an immune response. The other c95% of people have had the infection but it won't show up on some tests. The tests are only c100% accurate for c5% of people.
  • Vala does not take any responsibility for the accuracy of the results provided by the laboratory.

Vala is rated excellent on Trustpilot:

Trustpilot StarTrustpilot StarTrustpilot StarTrustpilot StarTrustpilot Star