Guidance

Testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) before hospital

Sets out how and when to use a PCR home test kit to test for COVID-19 before a hospital procedure.

Applies to England

Documents

Testing for COVID-19 before a hospital procedure (easy read)

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Details

If you are going into hospital, you must take your coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR home test kit exactly 3 days before the day of your procedure.

This guidance details how to:

  • check the test kit contents
  • prepare, take and package your swab sample
  • return your completed test kit
  • get your test results by text

The test outlined in this guidance is suitable for:

  • adults aged 18 and over
  • teenagers aged 12 to 17
  • children 11 and under
Published 15 December 2020
Last updated 14 October 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated 'Testing for COVID-19 before a hospital procedure' with information about courier collection.

  2. Updated 'Testing for COVID-19 before a hospital procedure' to replace 119 phone number with 0800 0511 811.

  3. Updated to remove the registration step from instructions and references of it in guidance and to reflect the changes in guidance around how patients should return their test kit.

  4. Updated 'Testing for COVID-19 before a hospital procedure' attachment to remove the registration step from the instructions relating to the elective care testing service and change instructions on how to return test kits.

  5. Added 'Elective care privacy notice'.

  6. NHS helpline changed to 119.

  7. Added Punjabi (Shahmukhi) translation of 'Testing for COVID-19 before a hospital procedure (easy read)'.

  8. Added Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Gujerati, Hindi, Polish, Punjabi (Gurmukhi), Slovak, Somali, Urdu and Welsh translations of Testing for COVID-19 before a hospital procedure (easy read).

  9. Added 'Testing for COVID-19 before a hospital procedure (easy read)'.

  10. Added supporting guidance for testing before hospital treatment.

  11. First published.