COVID-19 Testing – Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

  • What is a PCR test?

    The Randox COVID-19 Home Test Kit uses Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technologies.

    PCR tests are designed to diagnose individuals with an active infection i.e. those currently infected with SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

    Unlike antibody-based tests which detect the presence of antibodies produced by the body’s immune system in response to the virus and indicate previous infection, PCR tests detect the virus’s genetic material – specifically RNA fragments – and are used to diagnose a current infection.

  • Why should I take a PCR test?

    You should take a COVID-19 PCR test if you have symptoms, have been advised to take a test by the Track and Trace Programme, or require a negative result in advance of travel.

  • How accurate is the Randox COVID-19 PCR test?

    Our COVID-19 test was evaluated and accepted by Public Health England. In its evaluation of the test, Public Health England’s report noted that the assay correctly identified all positive and negative samples without exception.

    The test is also being used within the UK Government’s national COVID-19 testing programme.

  • How is the test carried out?

    Your sample will be analysed by Randox at our UKAS-accredited laboratory. The test uses revolutionary Randox Biochip Technology to provide an accurate diagnosis for COVID-19.

  • What does a positive result mean?

    A positive result for COVID-19 means that you currently have the SARS-COV-2 virus and are potentially infectious to others.

  • Will the test tell me if I already had COVID-19?

    The Randox COVID-19 Home Test Kit is a PCR based test that will detect current COVID-19 infections.

    It will not detect a past infection. To detect past infection you will require an antibody test, available here.

Private Testing FAQs

*Please Note*

If you are purchasing a kit for travel, there are additional FAQs available at: https://www.randoxhealth.com/travel-randox-faqs/

  • Why should I choose a Randox Health COVID-19 test?

    • 12-24 hours service to private clients from receipt of sample
    • Highly sensitive test accepted by Public Health England
    • Randox processes thousands of samples per day
    • Competitively priced
    • Available worldwide, a UK and Ireland wide sample collection service is also available
    • We can offer a direct courier service from your home or business premises to ensure speedy receipt of sample at our laboratory
    • Testing carried out at our highly accredited, state-of-the-art laboratories.
  • How do I book / order a COVID-19 test with Randox?

    You may choose one of the following options;

    Please note you must not book a clinic appointment if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Can I book an appointment / order a test in the Republic of Ireland?

    Regulations regarding COVID-19 testing for travel in Ireland mean that a certified collection officer has to take your sample, so our home sample collection kit is not applicable.

     

    You can book an appointment at your nearest Randox Health Travel Centre at booking.randox.ie

     

    Please note you must not book a Travel Centre appointment if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Is the Randox COVID-19 test suitable for travel to countries that do not accept ‘home tests’?

    With a Randox testing kit, the sample collection is completed in your home and then the testing is carried out by Randox’s certified laboratories.

    That is to say that that our kit is a home sample collection kit rather than a ‘home test.’

  • What happens once I’ve ordered a sample collection kit?

    Once you have ordered a COVID-19 Sample Collection Kit, you will receive it within two working days.

  • Where is my COVID-19 sample collection kit?

    Once you have ordered a COVID-19 Sample Collection Kit, you will be sent an email with a link to track the delivery status of your order.

  • How do I use the COVID-19 sample collection kit?

    You will be sent instructions with your COVID-19 Sample Collection Kit.

    The sampling process is simple and takes just a few minutes.

    • Each kit contains a swab and sample collection tube.
    • Holding the swab in your dominant hand, gently rub the swab over both tonsils and the back of the throat, taking care not to touch your tongue, teeth or gums.
    • Remove the swab from your mouth and gently insert into the nostril about 1 inch (2.5cm) or until some resistance is met.
    • Rotate the swab 5 times against the nasal walls and repeat in the other nostril.
    • Remove the swab from the nose and immediately place the swab into the collection tube, taking care not to touch any other surfaces.

    For more information please refer to our video guide here.

  • Do I need to register my kit online?

    Yes. You must register your kit online to receive your results. Please visit www.randoxhealth.com/register-kit to register your kit. You must enter your URN exactly as it appears on your paperwork. E.g. ‘N00000012’

    Failure to register your kit will mean we will be unable to send you your results.

  • What is my URN?

    Your URN is your Unique Reference Number. Your URN is found within your COVID-19 Sample Collection Kit on pre-printed labels. You must use your URN to register your kit at www.randoxhealth.com/register-kit  You must always keep this URN safe.

  • How do I know if my registration has been successful?

    You should receive an email confirming your registration was successful. If you are unsure if your registration was successful, please try to register again as the site will not allow you to register the same URN twice.

  • I have made an error in completing my online registration, what do I do?

    If you are a private or corporate customer and have registered your COVID-19 home test kit through the Randox Health website, please send an email with your URN to covid19@randoxhealth.com.

  • How do I return my sample collection kit?

    Once you’ve completed the sample collection instructions and registered your kit, please use a courier of your choice to return the kit to our lab for analysis.

    In Northern Ireland you can alternatively deposit your completed kit at a dedicated collection point found at various Council Building locations. Once you have dropped off your kit to one of our collection containers, please contact Randox Health on 0800 2545 130. Visit www.randoxhealth.com/kit-return to locate your nearest collection point.

    (Please note TUI customers should visit https://www.randoxhealth.com/tui-randox-faqs/ for instructions on how to return your kit).

  • How do I know my sample has been received by the Randox lab?

    If you send your sample to Randox for testing, you will be notified when it has arrived at our laboratory.

  • I have returned my sample but forgot to register, what do I do?

    If you have not registered your kit, but still have your URN, you can retrospectively register your kit.

    Any results that have been reported for this kit will then be issued to the relevant email address.

  • How will I receive my results?

    Your test results will be emailed to you, using the email address provided during the registration process.

    You will be notified via email with your results report.

  • I have returned my sample but forgot to register, what do I do?

    If you have not registered your kit, but still have your URN, you can retrospectively register your kit.

    Any results that have been reported for this kit will then be issued to the relevant email address.

  • How long does it take to receive my test results?

    You will receive your results within 12-24 hours of the sample arriving at the laboratory.

  • I have returned my kit but have forgotten to make note of my URN, what do I do?

    Unfortunately, without a URN and kit registration, there is no way of matching a sample result with the individual who took the sample – this means that no results can/will be released.

  • What should I do if I receive a negative test result?

    You will be notified via email of the result and what to do next.

  • What should I do if I receive a positive test result?

    You will be notified via email of the result and what to do next.

  • What does a void / unclear test result mean?

    A void / unclear result occurs when it has not been possible for the laboratory to test your sample. Reasons that the laboratory cannot test a sample include:

    • The swab sample was received in an unlabelled sample collection tube
    • The swab was placed in the wrong tube (i.e. the transportation tube instead of the small sample collection tube)
    • The swab sample was taken incorrectly
    • The sample collection tube leaked during transit

National Testing Programme FAQs

  • Who is eligible to get a test within the National Testing Programme?

    You can only get a free NTP test if at least one of the following applies:

    • you have a high temperature
    • you have a new, continuous cough
    • you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed
    • you’ve been asked to by a local council
    • you’re taking part in a government pilot project

    You can also get a test for someone you live with if they have symptoms

    If you are symptomatic you must self-isolate and await the results before taking next steps, for which you should use the 111 service to get advice.

    You can find additional guidance on what to do at GOV.UK.

  • How do I order a test within the National Testing Programme?

    Requests and registration for tests within the National Testing Programme have now been centralised on the National Registration Database.

    To order a test within the National Testing Programme please visit https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test and follow the relevant instructions to register.

  • I have made an error in completing my online registration, what do I do?

    If you have registered your COVID-19 home test kit through the GOV.UK website, please call the NHS Contact Centre on 0300 303 2713 for advice.

  • How do I return my kit?

    Please follow the guidance within your test kit to send your sample to Randox for testing.

  • I haven’t received my test results, what do I do?

    Please call the NHS Contact Centre on 0300 303 2713 for advice.

  • I have forgotten to register my kit, what do I do?

    Unfortunately, without a Unique Reference Number and kit registration, there is no way of matching samples with the user of the kit, meaning no results can/will be released. You should arrange retesting.

  • What should I do if I receive a negative test result?

    You will be notified of your result and what to do next via the National Testing Programme.

  • What should I do if I receive a positive test result?

    You will be notified of your result and what to do next via the National Testing Programme.

  • What does a void / unclear test result mean?

    A void / unclear result occurs when it has not been possible for the laboratory to test your sample. Reasons that the laboratory cannot test a sample include:

    • The swab sample was received in an unlabelled sample collection tube
    • The swab was placed in the wrong tube (i.e. the transportation tube instead of the small sample collection tube)
    • The swab sample was taken incorrectly
    • The sample collection tube leaked during transit

    If you receive a void /unclear result, you should arrange to send another sample as soon as possible.

For any other enquiries relating to the National Testing Programme please call the NHS Contact Centre on 0300 303 2713.

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