COVID-19 and influenza point-of-care testing results: how to report

Notifications of COVID-19 and influenza point-of-care testing (POCT) results: legal duties for providers of POCT.

Applies to England

The regulations state that all COVID-19 and influenza positive, indeterminate, negative and void results from point-of-care testing (POCT) are mandated by law to be reported to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). POCT is defined as a diagnostic test that is performed outside of the laboratory setting. This will be set out in amendments to The Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010 (the 2010 Regulations).

The 2010 Regulations are also being amended to require that, in addition to positive cases, laboratories must now report indeterminate, negative and void test results to identify the causative agents for COVID-19 and influenza.

Who reports

The updated regulations will require test providers who provide or have overall responsibility for the provision of POCT for COVID-19 and/or influenza, to report positive, indeterminate, negative and void results to UKHSA. This includes organisations offering POCT testing such as, but not limited to, third-party test providers, occupational health providers and employers running internal testing programmes not using a third party.

What to report

In the case of POCT for COVID-19 and influenza, it is a requirement that the following information is transferred to UKHSA. This data must follow a specific format, with the template available from the UKHSA POCT support team, which can be contacted at

In relation to the person being tested:

  • first name
  • surname
  • sex
  • date of birth
  • NHS number (if known)
  • ethnicity
  • current address (including postcode)
  • telephone number (only in the case of SARS-CoV-2 positive or indeterminate results)
  • email address (only in the case of SARS-CoV-2 positive or indeterminate results)

In relation to the test:

  • name of the test provider
  • the type of establishment of the test provider (for example school)
  • test result code (such as COVID-19 +ve/-ve or influenza A +ve/-ve)
  • specimen identification number (if applicable)
  • specimen type
  • specimen date
  • date test performed
  • test method (for example PCR)
  • name of the testing equipment manufacturer

This information will be stored in the Second-Generation Surveillance System (SGSS), which is the national laboratory surveillance system that holds all notifiable test results and results from infections of public health interest.

When to report

Positive and indeterminate COVID-19 test results should be reported to UKHSA as soon as they are available from the test device and, at the latest, within 24 hours, which will be the statutory requirement. Negative and void COVID-19 test results, and positive, indeterminate, negative and void influenza test results, can be sent to UKHSA within 7 days of testing.

How to report

UKHSA has provided a simple mechanism for securely recording the results from POCT. Contact the UKHSA POCT support team at to register your organisation and receive guidance for sending test results to UKHSA. Include the name of the organisation and the email address that you wish to use for sending records.

Published 26 October 2020