PCR Tests for Travel – FAQ

We get a lot of common questions regarding PCR tests for travel. This article contains the answers to several important questions that you’ve been asking:

What is a PCR test?

PCR travel tests use a swab sample to look for current COVID-19 infection

I’m going on holiday, do I need a test?

Many popular holiday destinations require evidence of a negative test results.

For example, Cyprus:

“the UK is in Cyprus’ Category B: this means that tourists are permitted to travel to Cyprus, but they need to provide a negative test on arrival, obtained within 72 hours before travel. On 31 July 2020 The Republic of Cyprus government announced that COVID-test results can be in the form of an email or SMS, but the test result itself and/or appointment letter must include the date and time when the test was taken.” – GOV.UK

You will need to check the specific requirements of your holiday destination which you can do here:

PCR Tests for Travel - FAQ


When do I need to take the test?

In the above example, the test must have been taken within 72 hours before travel. This is a fairly common time window, however, you should check the guidance using the link above to ensure you book your test at the right time. Please also be aware of the time it takes to process your test. We offer a 48hr service (optional 24hr service in some locations) however the laboratory doesn’t process samples on Sundays so please factor this in.

If in doubt you can call our team, use live chat, or check out this table.

Where can I get a test?

In-clinic PCR travel tests are available in Manchester, London, and Birmingham. Limited appointments are also available at other locations.

You can also buy sample collection kits which you take at home then post directly to our lab.

Will I get a fit-to-fly certificate?

Yes. You will receive a results sheet via email which is recognised for most travel destinations. Please check the government website to confirm the specific evidence requirements for your chosen destination.

Can I get a test for free from the government?

Government-issued PCR tests are for UK citizens who are either symptomatic or have been in contact with someone who is symptomatic. They do not cover holiday travel eligibility.


While we strive to provide accurate information at the time of writing, the rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic may mean that there are some inaccuracies. Please refer to GOV.UK for the latest information.



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