Regulated PCR Testing
Have I got Covid-19 Coronavirus?
Data last updated: 15 Sept 2020
Have I got Covid?
Testing is critical to controlling coronavirus and eventually easing restrictions that have halted daily life for many people.
We are currently only able to offer home PCR ("Do I have it?") test kits in the UK.
About Covid-19 home-testing
There are currently two types of Covid-19 test:
- PCR: Tells you if you have an active coronavirus infection, whether you have symptoms or not. It is called a PCR Test.
- Antibody: Checks to see if you were previously infected at some point and fought it off.
Vala partner with The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) to offer our PCR tests. TDL is a medically-led laboratory that was established in 1987. It is the largest independent provider of clinical laboratory diagnostic services in the UK.
About PCR Testing
- This tests whether you have Covid-19 or not at the time of taking the test.
- This is a swab test, not a blood test.
- Results will be returned within 2-3 working days from receipt of test.
- Your test will be sent by Royal Mail next day tracked delivery.
- Our tests do not interfere with the NHS stock levels.
- Tests ordered at the weekend will be dispatched on the next working day.
- For households a form must be completed for each member of the household.
- We can only supply tests for 5-year-olds and above.
- You must be over 16 to order a test.
Order your test kit
In order to send you a test, we'll need your details to confirm you qualify for a test. The Questionnaire below should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete.
After you have filled out the details you will be asked for a one-off payment of £110 to cover the cost of the kit, shipping and lab-processing.
When you receive it open the package read the instructions carefully.
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.
Why take a PCR test?
A PCR test looks for the presence of the RNA of the virus itself. This means that it will pick up the presence of the actual virus in the nose and throat. It is 100% accurate and will be able to confirm whether anyone with symptoms has the virus. It will also pick up whether the virus is present for people who have been exposed but are not showing any symptoms as yet. So long as there are viruses present on the swab the laboratory receives it will be reported "virus detected". This is a more expensive test as it requires more technical expertise than the antibody tests.
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.
- 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.