The UK’s first platform for comparing PCR tests for travel, compares not just prices and types of tests on offer, but customer satisfaction scores which are important when the implication of a test result delay is a missed holiday or business trip.

The fledgling PCR testing market is seeing two fast-moving trends: the entrance of new, inexperienced PCR test providers, and the fluctuation of the price of tests. This combination makes it difficult for the consumer to be confident that they are getting the best deal. Thanks to Covid Testing Network’s platform, you will be able to gain access to efficient and potentially affordable PCR testing for travel by comparing private test providers’ pricing and service levels across all accredited laboratories in the UK.

The comparison site enables travellers to search for PCR tests using specific search criteria such as:

· Type of test required – Fit to Fly, Test to Release, Day 2 & 8 Arrival Tests

· Testing facility – at home, or in-person local clinic

· Test availability within a specific geographic radius

· Turnaround time – same day, up to 18 hours, up to 24 hours, up to 48 hours and up to 72 hours

Results can be sorted by price, turnaround time or company name. Additionally, results display the key features of a provider’s offering such as whether discounts are available on testing for families, and whether non-invasive saliva tests are available.

The top test providers are marked in the result listings as ‘Trusted indicating the best-in-class providers as evidenced by customer satisfaction scores. Providers labelled ‘Verified’ in results listings indicate that they have been hand-vetted for accuracy and price by the Covid Testing Network.

Founded as a volunteer network, the company was formed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic to offer pro bono testing services to NHS healthcare workers and care home residents.

My small caveats for users: check your supplier is government accredited for the type of test you are purchasing and check the actual price on the suppliers website as some prices are listed as starting ‘from’.

Here’s a link to government approved providers for Day 2 and Day 8 tests:

I went with the UK government’s go-to travel agent Corporate Travel Management for £210 day 2 & 8 tests travelling in April 2021. The testing kit was through my letterbox before I’d even cleared immigration at Heathrow and the swabs were easy to self-administer. Using a Royal Mail priority post box results were back within 24 hours. Good service – if a little too expensive.

Finally a bit of light in the complex world of travel in a global pandemic.

According to the Guardian (1 May 21) Eurofins currently had the cheapest standard PCR test at £44.90.
Another company, Expresstest, which has been providing tests in the elite sporting sector, has opened a series of drive-through sites in Heathrow, Gatwick, Croydon and other sites, expected to include London’s Paddington station, with tests on offer for £60.

Stay tuned…