After waiting months for the government to even make a decision about reducing quarantine with testing, we finally thought we had made progress with the Test & Release scheme which meant you can get tested on day 5 and be released as soon as the results are back.
The government waited pretty much to the last minute to release the details of how you can book your tests and who with. Now the list has already descended into chaos on the day the scheme starts. It pretty much smacks of leaving it all to the last minute and not actually doing any research properly before announcing the scheme in the first place.
There were only 11 test providers on the list to start off with. 11 testing companies out of literally hundreds across the country that are supposed to cope with all travellers requiring quarantine.Can anyone guess what happened next? Yup, they were overwhelmed. Same-Day Doctor was originally on the list but asked to removed after only a day as they could not cope with requests. Two others are currently not accepting bookings.
The good news is that you can either have the test by post or attend a clinic. There are now 12 clinics but only 10 at most seem to be taking bookings.
Here is how it should work:
- You will need to book a test with a private test provider and complete another passenger locator form. You cannot take the test until 5 full days after you left a place not on the travel corridor list.
- You will have to pay the private test provider for your test. You will need to book an individual test for each person opting into Test to Release, including children.
- The test provider will either send a test to your address or you can attend a testing site. You may leave your house to post your test or to travel directly to and from the testing site.
Here is the current list but make sure you check with the official government page as it is likely to change.
|Chronomics||[email protected]||020 8016 2620|
|Collinson||[email protected]||0144 444 2510|
|DNA Workplace||[email protected]||0203 943 8371|
|Halo Verify||[email protected]||0203 991 9743|
|Medicspot||[email protected]||020 3637 8398|
|Nationwide Pathology||[email protected]||01858 571 322|
|Oncologica||[email protected]||01223 869 447|
|Prenetics/iDNA||[email protected]||0208 004 2118|
|Private GP Clinic||[email protected]||01932 344 004|
|Screen 4||[email protected]||01226 730 052|
|SYNLAB||[email protected]||0333 014 3760|
|The London General Practice||[email protected]||0207 935 1000|
Here is what is actually happening with the official list:
|Chronomics||Tests available after 31 December – home testing|
|Collinson||Appointments from 21st December for testing at Heathrow, Stansted, Manchester and East Midlands airports. Results up to 48 hours.||£99 (not confirmed)|
|DNA Workplace||Mail kit 24-48 hour results||£99 +VAT|
|Halo Verify||Out of stock. Should be 24 hours for results from receipt.||£89|
|Medicspot||Not accepting bookings. Usually, next day if the test in the clinic|
|Nationwide Pathology||Can only book via email. No details given.|
|Oncologica||Postal. Results within 24 hours of receipt.||£95|
|Prenetics/iDNA||Postal. Results within 24 hours of receipt.||£119|
|Private GP Clinic||There is no mention of it on their webpage but a normal PCR is mentioned||£195?|
|Screen 4||In-clinic test but very limited opening hours. Takes 2-3 days.||£120|
|SYNLAB||Results 48 hours after posting||£99 except for Bristol Airport passengers £59.99.|
|The London General Practice||Check out our review here. In-clinic testing with results in around 24 hours (not guaranteed)||£295|
Should you wish to use it, the official information is here. Good luck!