I’m travelling abroad, what tests do I need?
Firstly, check whether your destination is designated for travel by checking the latest official guidelines from the government.
Also check if your destination requires a you to take a PCR test to enter the country using the government’s search tool.
If your destination requires a PCR test you can purchase a HALO Test for this purpose.
If you are returning from a non-Red list destination from 22 October:
If you are double-vaccinated (that is you have had your final dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before arrival back in England) or between 5 and 17 years old, regardless of your vaccination status, you need to book and pay for Day 2 Tests before returning to England. (Children 4 and under do not need any tests.)
The latest government regulations now allow the Day 2 Tests in this scenario to be Antigen Lateral Flow Tests – which can also be purchased from HALO – or PCR tests. PCR Tests are safer and more reliable than Antigen Lateral Flow Tests because they are able to identify newly infected people more certainly – before they become symptomatic and before they become infectious to others. Click here for more information on the difference between PCR Tests and Antigen Lateral Flow Tests.
If you are not double-vaccinated (that is you have not had your final dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before arrival back in England) you need to quarantine at home for 10 days and take Day 2 and Day 8 PCR tests. (You cannot choose Antigen Lateral Flow Tests if you are not double-vaccinated.)
Or you can choose to book and pay for a PCR test on Day 5 (known as “test to release”). If the result is negative (and the result of your Day 2 test was negative or inconclusive) you can end your quarantine. You must still book and take your Day 2 and Day 8 tests.
Don’t forget, if you are not double-vaccinated you must also have proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel back to England. The HALO service only operates in the UK, so you will need to book this separately in the country you’re travelling to. All travellers must complete a passenger locator form.
If you are returning from a Red list destination from 22 October:
You need to book a managed quarantine hotel within a 14-day period before arrival. The booking will include your hotel, quarantine transport and COVID-19 tests on Day 2 and Day 8 of quarantine. NOTE: You cannot purchase these tests from HALO.
Please note: the above guidelines relate to England only. The government’s travel regulations may differ in Scotland and Wales. HALO is not available in Northern Ireland or outside the UK.
Our travel advice is intended as a guide only – rules change frequently and it is your responsibility to ensure the advice we have provided is still relevant at the time of travel. HALO cannot be held responsible for any changes to this advice. Please check government guidelines.
What if I am travelling with children?
Check if your destination requires children to take a PCR test before entering the country using the government’s search tool. You can purchase a HALO test for this purpose.
If you are travelling to a non-Red list destination from 22 October:
Children between 5 and 17 years old, regardless of their vaccination status, need to take Day 2 Tests upon returning to England. (Children 4 and under do not need any tests.)
PCR Tests are safer and more reliable than Antigen Lateral Flow Tests because they are able to identify newly infected people more certainly – before they become symptomatic and before they become infectious to others. Click here for more information on the difference between PCR Tests and Antigen Lateral Flow Tests.
If you are travelling to a Red list destination from 22 October:
Any children travelling with you need to accompany you at the managed quarantine hotel. Those aged 5 and over need to take tests on Day 2 and Day 8 of quarantine. NOTE: You do not purchase these tests from HALO.
The government’s travel regulations may differ in Scotland and Wales. HALO is not available in Northern Ireland or outside the UK.
Our travel advice is intended as a guide only – rules change frequently and it is your responsibility to ensure the advice we have provided is still relevant at the time of travel. HALO cannot be held responsible for any changes to this advice.
What is HALO™?
HALO provides family-friendly, saliva-based PCR tests for COVID-19 that are approved for travel by the UK government and the MHRA. We are an approved ABTA testing partner and our tests are accepted worldwide (customers should check local rules). We even have our own QR code system to prove authenticity
PCR is by far the most accurate, sensitive and specific test for Covid-19. Most PCR tests are swab-based: The Lancet says saliva sampling is actually better, as well as simpler and less painful. Just spit in a tube, scan it with the HALO app and you’re done. The Sunday Times calls us “the best spit test on the market”.
HALO invested in our own gene sequencing RT-PCR lab facility based in the Imperial College campus at White City, London – unlike many providers who depend on centralised labs which are often overwhelmed. HALO is the only test service to partner with UCL and the Francis Crick Institute to detect and protect against new variants.
How do I take the test?
You can follow instructions in this video or in the app.
How are the tests delivered and collected?
Please note: These are the delivery and collection details for PCR Tests. If you are purchasing an Antigen Lateral Flow Test please see our dedicated page for details.
Step 1: Delivery
Your test is couriered to you the next day (if purchased prior to 5pm, Monday to Friday). If purchased after 5pm, your test kit will be dispatched the next business day. Tests purchased on Saturday or Sunday will be dispatched on Monday for delivery on Tuesday.
At checkout, you also have the option to specify a different delivery date in the future.
Please note: HALO services only mainland UK excluding the Highlands and cannot deliver to Northern Ireland, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.
Step 2: Book your return courier
Once you’ve received your Test, you should book your return courier for the day you need to take the Test. You can do this online here or through the HALO iOS mobile app. Your return courier must be booked before 5pm for next business day collection. The return courier is included with the purchase price of the Test.
Weekend and same-day collection is also available for an additional fee – which varies depending on your location. Please call us on 0330 390 4586 to arrange. The call centre is open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 8am-4:30pm Saturday and Sunday.
Alternatively we have a London drop-off centre, which is listed below. In which case you do not need to book a return courier. Using this drop-off point before 5pm will guarantee you receive your test results the following day
Step 3: Take the Test
Take the Test on the day of collection – to do so you can follow instructions in this video or in the app.
Step 4: Getting your Test to our lab
If you booked a return courier, they will collect your test at the agreed time.
Alternatively, you can drop off your completed test at our London drop-off centre. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you drop off your test before 5pm you will get your results the next day.
C/O Absolutely Couriers
15-16 Guildford Street
How and when do I get my PCR Test results?
You will be notified of your result via email and a notification through the app within 24 hours of your test arriving at our lab in London after your collection. (Arrival times at our lab vary depending on your location, but is by the next business day at the latest.)
If you haven’t received your results after this period please call us on 0330 390 4586. The call centre is open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 8am-4:30pm Saturday and Sunday.
What if I need an urgent PCR test?
We have an Express Courier Service that has a faster turnaround time than our standard delivery service – currently available to any customers who live within the M25.
Our driver will deliver your test(s), then wait 15 minutes before delivering your completed test(s) straight back to our lab. You will receive your results within 24 hours – often much quicker than that.
The cost of our Express Courier Service is:
£215 for one test
£295 for two tests
We can also arrange for more tests and services further afield. Please call us on 0330 390 4586 to book our Express Courier Service and to find out more. The call centre is open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 8am-4:30pm Saturday and Sunday.
My PCR test result was inconclusive. What should I do?
At HALO, our NSR (New Sample Required) rate is lower than other Test providers. A very small percentage (less than 1%) of Tests come back inconclusive. In this unlikely event, you will need to book another test as soon as possible.
Please call us on 0330 390 4586. Our call centre is open from 8am – 8pm Monday-Friday, and 8am – 4:30pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The most common reasons for an inconclusive result include:
- Too little or too much saliva in your sample
- You were dehydrated while taking the test
- If you have poor oral health
- You ate, drank or smoked in the 30 minutes before taking the sample
- There was a foreign object in your sample such as lipstick or food
Can I get a refund?
We are unable to offer refunds for tests once the HALOV validation code for the Passenger Locator Form has been issued (This is sent via email immediately after a successful transaction). This is in line with other providers and Government policy to prevent fraudulent use of the code.
If there is a problem with your test (damaged pack contents, delivery issues) we will send a replacement. If you no longer wish to travel, you will be able to use the pack for another journey within nine months.
In either case please contact our Call Centre with your details and outer pack barcode ready. The Call Centre is available on 0330 390 4568 (Mon-Fri 0800-2000, Sat/Sun 0800-1630) and through Live Chat on the website www.haloverify.com/contact
If you are a business customer please contact Business Support on 020 3365 2388 Mon-Fri 0830-1700 or email email@example.com
Still have a question?
Our contact centre is available on 0330 390 4586
Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
Weekends: 8am to 4:30pm