TEST REVIEW: Collinson day 2 and 8 testing in London

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Today’s review of Covid testing when returning from an amber country is provided by Peter aka Travel Todi who is a travel blogger. You can find him on Instagram here. 

If you are looking for a Covid test in the UK, the best way to find one is a comparison site rather than the endless and confusing government list. Covid Testing Network‘s website allows you to narrow down your search by lots of criteria such as what type of test, where the company is, home testing and whether they are government approved and recommended. 


Collinson for the Day 2 & Day 8 test

Following my break in an Amber country I chose Collinson for the Day 2 & Day 8 test. About a week before my flight I made the booking online, which was easy and clear. You can select the Amber country return and pick location, date, time for Day2 and Day8. You add your personal details, flight details, and pay by card. I had an EasyJet flight and they offered a 20% discount with a code, therefore instead of £165 it was £132. British Airways also offers a discount code for Collinson.

And this was the point when I had a panic attack, because after I hit the PAY NOW button and confirmation showed up on my screen I realised the Day 2 date is incorrect and actually is before I am back to the UK. This means, despite providing them with the flight details, the system does not double check the dates of the flight, Day 2 and Day 8, which would be fairly easy IT programming. So I was trying to quickly find contact details for Collinson and envisaging that I need to pay again for a test. In many reviews, it was highlighted that these tests are not refundable! Quickly I found an email address and also a live chat on the website.

I wish to thank Collinson for the prompt responses, as in around half an hour they confirmed via email that the day 2 date has been moved to the correct date. Also while it took a while to get through an agent on the online chat, the agent could also confirm that the date on the system had been amended. Phew, that was close!

Arriving at the test centres at the O2 car park

Collinson was convenient to me as I live in Greenwich and they have a test centre at O2 car park, so I could easily drive there or walk in. I read many reviews where companies failed to post the home test kits on time, so I wished to avoid that. Collinson also has test centres at London airports, therefore the day 2 test, which is officially day 2 or before PCR test (!), can be done right after you land. I did not wish to waste time with that on my arrival, and as I landed at Gatwick the test centre is not in the airport building, rather a nearby location. I am not sure how people are meant to get there without a car, as I could not find the information on Collinson’s website. Either they assume people have cars at the airport so they can drive there, or there is a shuttle bus, but there was no information about that.

The barrier to the car park, you need to take a ticket, but don’t need to pay

Day 2 morning came and I arrived on time (8am) at the O2 car park, but I was a bit confused as no clear signs were provided. This is the same location as the NHS covid test centre as well. Basically, you need to get into the car park by taking the ticket at the barrier. I was worried if the parking fee needed to be paid, but was assured that nothing had to be paid, and I will be let out after I finish with the test at the exit barrier. After taking the booking details, and checking your identity, a brief explanation and a sticker with test reference were given. Then an assistant took my samples from throat and nose while still in the car. The whole process was quick and I think in around 15 mins I was out. 36 hours after the sample was taken, I received a text with a notification that the result is now available on the website under my profile.

Day 8 morning came and I arrived 10 minutes early to my appointment (8am). Two cars were ahead of me, but the test centre opens only at 8, so I waited a bit. Same way, details were taken, information was given, samples were collected. This time it was more like 30 mins by the time I finished and was let out from the car park (needed to wait for somebody to let us out at the barrier). The result notification text arrived 24 hours later, so I could check my result online.

Booth taking the details and then under the cover taking the samples

Overall, I am very satisfied with the service Collinson provided, from the customer service response and help with changing the date throughout the test centre location, sample taking, providing information, and people. I know there are other companies providing this service for an even lower price, but for me, the face-to-face interaction and knowing I do not need to worry about postage, lost samples, etc. was worth that extra few pounds.

You can find details on Collinson testing here. 

You can search for the most suitable tests for you with Covid Testing Network.  Read more about them in this article. 



14 Comments on "TEST REVIEW: Collinson day 2 and 8 testing in London"

  1. I swear by HALO. It’s a non intrusive saliva PCR test and discounted with BA code ( BRITISHAIRWAYSHALO ). Reliable delivery and courier service ( all included in price ). 24hr drop off box in central London also an option. I have never waited longer than 24hrs for my results once they have receive the sample.

    • Thanks Tony. Worth pointing out to readers that many countries do not accept these type of tests.

    • I recently used HALO for Day 2 and 8 testing. They are selling the package and are on the Govt accredited list.

  2. Look forward to review Michelle ! Did you get a knock on the door by so call Priti Patel parade ?

  3. I recently arrived into UK had a call around lunchtime every day I was in the UK but no visits to my quarantine address.

  4. Thanks Craig ! Total shambles for double vaccinated

  5. Michele Waxman | 20 June 2021 at 6:10 pm |

    It’s a disgrace we have to isolate if we have had both vaccinations. Apparently there is only a one in 30,000 chance of coming back with covid if you are double vaccinated. It’s totally Boris fault we have the delta variant here. What was the point in having the vaccine if we can’t go abroad.

    • I agree. Let’s hope the government change something in the rules soon.

    • ‘What was the point in having the vaccine if we can’t go abroad’

      Well if you don’t understand the greater reasons of being vaccinated outside of you getting two weeks in the sun then there’s I’m not sure how to explain it in laymans terms.

  6. Michele Waxman | 20 June 2021 at 6:13 pm |

    By the way my daughter used Collinson for day 2 test. She got British Airways discount it arrived in the post day she came home and she posted it back next day. She was coming from a green country. All went smoothly.

  7. Yes, I also got calls every day during the 10-day self-isolation. A friend of mine who arrived with me also got a visit at her home, but only once.

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