Delivery & Collections

Holiday Season Updates
COVID Test Kit collections over Christmas
Background

Under the revised border testing rules UK arrivals will need to take a PCR test on or before Day 2 and remain in isolation until they receive a negative PCR test result.  As such, any delay in getting COVID-19 test kits returned back to the appropriate lab will result in customers not being able to leave isolation.

What’s the impact for customers?

It’s critical that our partners communicate instructions clearly to customers which are buying test kits from them over the Christmas period. This is to ensure that there is clarity on when kits will be received back by laboratories. Partner providers should also communicate that where required individuals should make alternative arrangements to have kits returned over the Christmas period to avoid potential impact from Christmas working hours.

As an example, if an individual arrives in the UK on Christmas Eve (their ‘Day zero’) and posts a test kit in a priority post box on that day, after the cut off time (collection times will be earlier than normal), the test kit will not be delivered back to the respective lab until Thursday 30th December. This will mean that the person will not receive their result until the 31st December at the very earliest, meaning they will have to isolate for an additional 5 days.

If there is any delay in getting the kit back to the lab it could potentially mean someone would have to isolate into the new year.

This could result in a significant number of complaints that can be avoided by customers having upfront guidance that people should check ‘services near you’ to confirm posting times as Priority Post boxes can have different collection times.

Additional Information:
Christmas arrangements for the return of private test kits

Individuals who order a test kit may be asked to return their sample using one of our 35,000 specially selected Royal Mail priority post-boxes. Local Priority Post boxes can be found on the Royal Mail app and website or by calling 0345 266 8038 Monday to Friday 8am-6pm.

If an individual has any questions about taking and returning their test, they will need to contact the private provider they purchased the test kit from.

Date posted Expected delivery to processing laboratory
Christmas Eve
Friday 24th Dec 2021
Earlier collection times apply. Please check  Services Near You on the morning of posting. Tests posted before the cut off time will be processed and delivered on Wednesday 29th December.  Tests posted after the cut off time will not be processed until Wednesday 29th December for expected delivery on Thursday 30th December
Christmas Day
Saturday 25th Dec 2021
No collections. Tests posted will not be processed until Wednesday 29th December for expected delivery on Thursday 30th December
Boxing Day
Sunday 26th Dec 2021
Sunday Collection times apply. Tests posted will not be processed until Wednesday 29th December for expected delivery on Thursday 30th December
Bank Holiday
Monday 27th Dec 2021
Sunday Collection times apply. No collections. Tests posted will not be processed until Wednesday 29th December for expected delivery on Thursday 30th December
Bank Holiday
Tuesday 28th Dec 2021
Sunday Collection times apply. No collections. Tests posted will not be processed until Wednesday 29th December for expected delivery on Thursday 30th December
Wednesday 29th Dec 2021
Normal collection times apply. Expected delivery on Thursday 30th December
Thursday 30th Dec 2021
Normal collections time apply. Expected delivery on Friday 31st December
New Year’s Eve
Friday 31st Dec 2021
Earlier collection times apply. Please check  Services Near You on the morning of posting. Tests posted will not be processed until Tuesday 4th January for expected delivery on Wednesday 5th January
New Year’s Day
Saturday 1st Jan 2022
No collections.  Tests posted will not be processed until Tuesday 4th January 2022 for expected delivery on Wednesday 5th January 2022
Sunday 2nd Jan 2022
Sunday Collection times apply. Tests posted will not be processed until Tuesday 4thJanuary 2022 for expected delivery on Wednesday 5th January 2022
Bank Holiday
Monday 3rd Jan 2022
Sunday Collection times apply. Tests posted will not be processed until Tuesday 4thJanuary 2022  for expected delivery on Wednesday 5th January 2022
Tuesday 4th Jan 2022
Normal collection times apply excluding Scotland where Sunday Collection times apply . Tests posted in Scotland will not be processed until Wednesday 5th January 2022 for expected delivery on Thursday 6th January 2022
*If processing laboratory is open to receive completed tests. If closed tests will be re-delivered when open.