Guidance

COVID-19 PCR home test kit instructions

Step-by-step guide available in different formats on how to use and return your PCR home test kit to test yourself for COVID-19.

Documents

How to test yourself for coronavirus (COVID-19) at home: easy read

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COVID-19 test kit instructions in audio, braille, large print and giant print

Details

A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is a type of coronavirus test you do at home and send back to be processed in a lab. You’ll get the results by text and email.

These instructions tell you how to:

  • register your test kit online
  • take a swab sample for you or someone else
  • post your completed test kit in a Royal Mail priority postbox

This page is for people who have ordered their test kit. To order a test, go to Get a free NHS test to check if you have coronavirus.

Get help to register and take the test

You can have a live video call with specially trained NHS Test and Trace staff to help you register and take a home coronavirus test.

Download the free ‘Be My Eyes’ app and go to the ‘specialised help’ section:

Published 12 November 2020
Last updated 20 May 2021 + show all updates
  1. NHS helpline for Scotland has changed to 119.

  2. Added information about the 'Be My Eyes' app, where you can have a live video call with specially trained NHS Test and Trace staff to help you register and take a home coronavirus test.

  3. Updated all easy read translations to correct test packaging instructions.

  4. Added translations of 'How to test yourself for coronavirus (COVID-19) at home (easy read)'.

  5. Added a link to the RNIB website for additional formats, including audio and braille.

  6. Added 2 new documents: ‘COVID-19 home test: step-by-step guide for people with visual impairments’ and an HTML version of 'Testing yourself for coronavirus: easy read'. Changed page title to make it clear that the instructions are for a PCR test.

  7. Added large print and plain text versions of the home testing instructions.

  8. Added a new document, 'COVID-19 home test: step-by-step guide for use in Wales', and an updated version of 'Testing yourself for coronavirus: easy read'.

  9. First published.