Chronomics

Chronomics review: Private COVID testing for travel

We review Chronomics' range of private at-home COVID-19 tests for travel and assess value for money, availability and speed of results.

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Are you planning a holiday this year? If so, and you live in England, you'll need to do private COVID tests before and after you travel. In this review, we look at the pros and cons of Chronomics, a company that supplies a range of private COVID tests. Bear in mind that the rules for travel are changing on Monday, 4 October. For a summary of what's happening, click here.
Name Product Test purpose Test type Test location Price (from) Key benefits
Chronomics COVID-19 Day 2 PCR Test
Day 2
PCR
Home
£89
Chronomics COVID-19 pre-departure rapid antigen test
Pre-departure from the UK
Lateral flow (antigen)
Home
£23.50
Chronomics COVID-19 Test to Return Antigen Test
Pre-departure to return
Lateral flow (antigen)
Home
£28
Chronomics COVID-19 Oronasal Swab PCR Test
Pre-departure from the UK
PCR
Home
£89
Chronomics Green Bundle (antigen test to return, PCR Day 2 test)
Green country bundle
Lateral flow (antigen), PCR
Home
£98.75
Chronomics COVID-19 Test to Release PCR Test
Day 5
PCR
Home
£99
Chronomics COVID-19 Day 2 and 8 PCR Test
Day 2 and 8
PCR
Home
£170
Chronomics Amber Bundle (antigen test to return, PCR Day 2 & 8 tests)
Amber country bundle
Lateral flow (antigen), PCR
Home
£173.75
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What is Chronomics?

Chronomics is a UK-based testing company that tracks people’s health by analysing data from their saliva. The company is currently specialising in supplying COVID tests for travel. It is listed on the government’s list of private COVID test providers, which means the tests meet the minimum standards for safety and performance.

Chronomics supplies tests to the popular travel company TUI for travellers going on package holidays. British Airways is also a customer, offering discounted Chronomics tests to customers when they book a flight.

What types of COVID tests can I get from Chronomics?

Chronomics sells pre-departure polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and antigen (lateral flow) tests for travel. Different countries have different test requirements, so remember to check what type of test you need before booking.

You can order fit to fly pre-departure tests and Test to Return kits to take abroad with you to ensure you’re COVID-free before you return home.

Testing bundles are also available, including compulsory day 2 and day 8 test kits for when you get back from your trip, and Test to Release packages, which allow you to end your self-isolation early if you’ve already been double vaccinated.

What is Chronomics’ refund policy?

You have 14 days from receiving the confirmation email to change your mind, and can return an unopened testing kit to receive a refund. If Chronomics has begun to process your sample, you must pay for the services provided up to that point and if it has completed the process, you must pay the full amount. Refunds will be made within 14 days of confirmation.

Chronomics customer reviews

A quick scroll through Chronomics’ Trustpilot reviews reveals a real mixed bag of feedback and an average star rating of 3 out of 5. Those who received their tests on time rave about the ease of the process, while others are frustrated by the late processing of test results and difficulty getting through to an advisor on the customer helpline (last updated: August 2021).

Are Chronomics tests accurate?

Chronomics claims that its PCR tests are the gold standard of current tests, with a specificity greater than 99.99% and a sensitivity greater than 97%. Meanwhile, its antigen tests claim to have a specificity of 99.6% and a sensitivity of 95.5%.

It’s worth noting that no COVID test is 100% reliable, even those which meet the regulatory standards for safety and performance.

How long does it take to get results from Chronomics?

Chronomics recommends you leave 4 working days between placing orders for COVID PCR tests and getting your results. This is because it takes 24 hours for you to receive your test, 24 hours to return it and then up to 36 hours to process your sample in the laboratory.

Note that your results may take longer if your order crosses over a weekend as there is no postal service on Sundays.

Results for rapid antigen tests appear within minutes. Once you’ve got your results, you simply register it on the Chronomics website and it generates a negative test certificate. But remember, not many airlines and destinations accept rapid antigen tests as proof of a negative COVID test, so check before you book your trip.

How much do Chronomics tests cost?

Chronomics’ Fit to Fly PCR test and certificate costs £89, while a day 2 and day 8 test bundle is £170. A Test to Release kit, to end your isolation early, costs £99. Test to Return rapid antigen tests, which you can take while you’re on holiday, cost £28.

Pros and cons of Chronomics

Pros
  • Government-listed test provider
  • Easily available to order online
  • Quick digital results
  • Bundle deals available
Cons
  • Customers report a delay in receiving test results
  • Difficult getting through to customer services helpline
  • Website can be confusing to navigate if you’re not a TUI customer

Our verdict: Is Chronomics any good?

As with all COVID test providers, there seems to be a few teething issues with the Chronomics customer service but as long as you order your tests in good time before you travel then you should be fine.

With endorsement by TUI and British Airways, Chronomics can be deemed a trusted supplier of COVID tests for travel. If bought via a travel company like TUI, these are good value for money and will help get you where you need to go. But, if buying directly through the Chronomics website they’re not the cheapest on the market and other private test providers do similar kits for less money.

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