Guidance

Minimum standards for private sector providers of COVID-19 testing

Sets out the minimum standards that providers must meet to be listed as a private sector coronavirus (COVID-19) testing provider.

Documents

Details

All coronavirus (COVID-19) testing services must meet certain minimum standards set by the government. Private sector testing providers must also complete a declaration stating that their tests meet these standards.

Each scheme has different minimum standards. For example, day 2 and day 8 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing services must meet different minimum standards from ‘general population’ testing services for people without COVID-19 symptoms.

The government has published guidance on the minimum standards that private providers of COVID-19 testing services must meet when offering the following services:

  • general population testing services for people without COVID-19 symptoms (includes PCR and lateral flow tests)
  • day 2 lateral flow tests for people arriving in England from another country – from 30 November, 4am until further notice, lateral flow tests will not be accepted. UKHSA will still be processing self-declarations against the minimum standards for day 2 lateral flow tests for any providers who wish to offer this service, should it be reinstated in the future
  • day 2 and day 8 PCR testing services for people arriving in England from another country
  • Test to Release testing services for people who want to see if they can end quarantine early after international travel

See the relevant attachment above to read the minimum standards that apply to that scheme.

How to become a private provider

There is separate guidance for prospective providers on how to become a private provider of COVID-19 testing and get added to the GOV.UK list for the testing service you offer.

Finding and choosing a private COVID-19 test provider

The guidance on this page is for private providers of COVID-19 testing. If you’re a member of the public looking for a provider, see the lists of providers on GOV.UK and read our guidance on finding and choosing a private COVID-19 test provider.

Published 16 November 2021
Last updated 30 November 2021 + show all updates
  1. Revised minimum standards for private providers of COVID-19 to reflect travel testing changes coming into force from 30 November.

  2. First published.