Boots

Boots lateral flow and PCR Covid travel testing review

Boots is a convenient choice for "fit to fly" pre-departure testing, but has significant gaps in its in-store testing facilities.

1.3★★★★★ (13 reviews)Write a review
With travel testing rules changing frequently, its worth a quick check which tests you'll need. A rapidly-growing number of COVID test providers are around, so it can be tricky to figure out which are trustworthy. Like anything, it's important to shop around to find a cost-effective deal that works for you. We're looking at the COVID test service that Boots is providing online and in-store to give you the low-down on how it fares against the competition.
Name Product Test purpose Test type Test location Price (from) Key benefits
VERIFIED
Boots At-Home Fit to Fly PCR Test by MyHealthChecked
Pre-departure from the UK
PCR
Home
£62
Get £6 off PCR tests. Use code C6OFF at checkout.
Boots In-Store Fit to Fly PCR Test
Pre-departure from the UK
PCR
Clinic
£79
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What types of COVID tests can I get from Boots?

In-store, Boots offers pre-departure “fit to fly”PCR or lateral flow testing at over 200 of its stores. You book the appointment online, visit one of the stores for a swab test and should receive your results by email typically within 48 hours (lateral flow results will be available the same day).

Boots also sells at-home DIY kits that can be purchased at certain stores (Boots’ site states “over 500” of its stores, to be more precise) or ordered online. You can order a PCR Fit to Fly test for before you leave the country. You order the kits online and should receive them within 48 hours. Simply swab on the required day and pop the completed test kit into a Royal Mail priority post box. Results should be returned to you within 24-48 hours via the online portal.

For some of its at-home test kits, Boots has partnered with MyHealthChecked.

What is Boots’ refund policy?

If you’ve already completed the test and your travel plans change, a refund will not be issued.

For in-store COVID-19 testing appointments, Boots won’t charge you if you cancel your order and appointment in advance.

Boots customer reviews

Looking at the Trustpilot page for Boots, it was surprising to see that customers had less than favourable reviews. It has an average score of 1.6 out of 5 stars, based on over 200 reviews about Covid testing (last updated: February 2022). The main theme coming from complaints was a lack of commitment to the promised turnaround time scale. One stated that their PCR test results took over 96 hours to be returned to them, another missed a flight due to delays with results.

Taking into account the fact that people are generally more likely to leave a negative review than go to the trouble of leaving a positive one, it’s worth having a quick scan through the comments to see if you’re still comfortable with the service. It’s also important to note that numerous other travel testing providers have similar or worse write-ups from users.

Are Boots Covid tests accurate?

Boots is on the government’s list of COVID test providers, which means its tests meet the minimum safety requirements and you can be confident that they’re pretty accurate. The in-store PCR test boasts a 99.8% accuracy rate while the at-home PCR kit is described as 99% accurate. It’s important to note that no COVID test is 100% reliable.

How long does it take to get results from Boots?

Boots says that the PCR test results will be emailed to you within 48 hours.

How much do Boots Fit to Fly tests cost?

In-store, Fit to Fly PCR tests cost £79 and antigen (lateral flow) tests cost £14.99.

On the self-administered, at-home tests front, Fit to Fly PCR tests cost £62.

Pros and cons of Boots tests

Pros
  • Boots is a government-listed COVID test provider that clearly isn’t about to run off into the night.
  • With over 2,300 Boots stores in the UK it’s certainly a convenient option for “fit to fly” tests.
  • You can earn Advantage Card points on COVID test purchases… what a time to be alive!
Cons

Our verdict: Is Boots’ COVID-19 testing any good?

With Boots being a nationwide store, it’s definitely a convenient option for many travellers looking to get specific COVID tests sorted not too far from home if you want to go the in-person route.

All going smoothly, the service itself is pretty straightforward and efficient. However, there are gaps in Boots’ range, you could find cheaper tests elsewhere, and some users have reported delays receiving results.

About Boots

Boots (the retailer) is a British one-stop shop for all your health, beauty and pharmaceutical needs. It’s joined gov.uk’s growing list of private COVID-19 testing providers as it’s now offering in-store and online COVID tests (which meet the government’s minimum standards on sensitivity and specificity).

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