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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is aware of private-sector (non-NHS) providers who are undergoing UKAS accreditation in order to provide COVID-19 testing services to companies or individuals.
Individuals with coronavirus symptoms should self-isolate immediately and get an NHS Test and Trace test to check if they have coronavirus.
Free NHS testing is for individuals with symptoms or who have been advised to take a test by a medical practitioner or a public agency.
Individuals who do not fall into these categories and require a test for other reasons, such as fit-to-fly, can contact providers for general COVID-19 testing below to book a private coronavirus test at their own expense.
Employers should refer to the list of providers for general COVID-19 testing below if they wish to partner with a third-party provider undergoing UKAS accreditation to provide workforce testing. For private-sector employers and third-party providers looking to set up their own workforce testing sites, please read the guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19): testing guidance for employers.
The government does not endorse, recommend or approve any private test provider. Individuals and employers should conduct their own research about available providers and the testing services they supply. For information about customer service, please check consumer review websites. Locations by region are included next to provider names in each list.
The organisations on the lists do not constitute fully UKAS accredited providers but have demonstrated compliance with the applicable minimum standards, as they progress through the accreditation process.
Each scheme has different minimum standards, which means a test provider of general COVID-19 testing may not meet the minimum standards for Test to Release for international arrivals and/or day 2 and 8 testing for international arrivals.
The lists are not exhaustive. Some organisations which have self-declared that they meet the government’s minimum standards for the type of testing service they offer have decided to opt out from being published on these lists.
Organisations may be taken off the lists if they are at any time found to be non-compliant with any of the minimum standards for the test service they are providing.
Current lists of private providers
General COVID-19 testing
This lists providers of private testing for the general population.
Test to Release for international arrivals
This lists provider of private COVID-19 testing for travellers entering England from an ‘amber list’ country. Travellers will be able to end their quarantine period early if they get a negative result of a test taken on or after day 5 of the 10-day quarantine period. The Test to Release scheme is not available to everyone. To find out if you can participate, please read the guidance on Test to Release.
Please see guidance on providers of day 2 and day 8 coronavirus testing for international arrivals if you’re looking for information on the 2 mandatory tests you must book, pay for and take during your 10-day quarantine period after arriving in England.
Guidance for prospective providers
The end-to-end test provider (the organisation that customers approach to access testing services and whose name appears on these lists) is responsible for completing the self-declaration form for general population and Test to Release for international arrivals.
The declaration is a mandatory requirement for providers with effect from 1 January 2021, or before providers begin testing (whichever is later).
Any organisation which intends to carry out a commercial COVID-19 testing service or carry out an element of that service on behalf of the end-to-end provider, must meet the relevant legal minimum standards for their role in the testing process. The test provider must document in the self-declaration form if they sub-contract elements of the testing process.
The organisation providing sample collection and/or laboratory services will need to undergo UKAS accreditation to the relevant ISO standards.
UKAS charge providers who are required to undergo the UKAS accreditation process. See information on the fees UKAS charges for accreditation .
UKAS accreditation steps
There are 3 stages to the UKAS accreditation process:
1. Organisations who are providing sample collection and/or laboratory services must apply for UKAS accreditation.
The test provider must submit a self-declaration form, as detailed above, to show they meet the minimum standards for their provision of testing. The following requirements must be met as soon as testing services are provided:
2. The organisation undergoing UKAS accreditation must complete UKAS appraisal (within 4 weeks of completing stage one – that is, the date on which the organisation made a valid application for accreditation).
Contact email@example.com for more information.
3. The organisation undergoing UKAS accreditation must complete full UKAS accreditation within 4 months of completing stage 2 (that is, the date on which the organisation submitted evidence to UKAS demonstrating compliance with the UKAS appraisal requirements).
This involves a full assessment of a laboratory’s activities in line with ISO 15189 or ISO/IEC 17025. For point of care testing providers, this would be ISO 15189 and ISO 22870.
Full guidance on the accreditation process can be found on the UKAS website and for further queries contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information contact email@example.com.
Private providers who want to provide a testing service should clearly communicate the following to all individuals and employers:
- the benefits and drawbacks of testing
- how reliable the results will be, and what the limitations are
- what a test result means, in non-medical language
- how they are following the measures set out in this guidance
Private providers should understand what legislation and regulations they will need to follow, including around data protection, patient confidentiality, mandatory reporting to Public Health England (PHE) in accordance with public health legislation and how they will meet these as required.