Dante Labs

Dante Labs review: Private COVID-19 testing for travel

Our review covers which COVID-19 tests Dante Labs offers and what customers say about the service.

2.2 ★★★★★ (9 reviews) Write a review

If you’re going abroad this year you’ll need to arrange COVID-19 tests for travel back into the UK. There are new rules in place as of 4 October, so get up to speed with what’s happening before you start booking tests. In this review, we cover prices for tests from the private test provider Dante Labs, and share customer reviews of the company, which has attracted some complaints.

Name Product Test purpose Test type Test location Price (from) Key benefits
VERIFIED
Dante Labs Day 2 & 8 COVID-19 Travel Testing Package
Day 2 and 8
PCR
Home
£68
Student discount available on Fit-to-fly, Day 2 tests and Day 2 & 8 bundles
VERIFIED
Dante Labs Fit to Fly & General Testing
Pre-departure from the UK
PCR
Home
£48
Student discount available on Fit-to-fly, Day 2 tests and Day 2 & 8 bundles
VERIFIED
Dante Labs Day 2 COVID-19 Travel Testing Package
Day 2
PCR
Home
£39
Student discount available on Fit-to-fly, Day 2 tests and Day 2 & 8 bundles
VERIFIED
Dante Lab Lateral Flow Fit to Fly & General Testing Kit
Pre-departure from the UK
Lateral flow (antigen)
Home
£20
VERIFIED
Dante Labs Test to Release (Day 5 Test) COVID-19 Test
Day 5
PCR
Home
£39
Dante Labs Day 2 Lateral Flow Antigen Test Kit (England)
Day 2
Lateral flow (antigen)
Home
£20
Pending confirmation that this product will be on the UK government’s list
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What is Dante Labs?

Dante Labs is a digital healthcare company currently producing and selling private COVID-19 tests for travel. The company is under investigation by the competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), because of concerns about its treatment of customers, including complaints that it’s not delivering tests on time, or at all, and not issuing refunds. The company says it is disappointed by the CMA’s decision to investigate, and is co-operating fully. It also says it has invested significantly in its customer service “in the face of huge demand” and that most customers have received a “timely and cost-effective service”.

Dante Labs is on the UK government’s list of general COVID-19 testing providers. It is also on the Test to Release provider list and the day 2 and day 8 tests list for international travel. This means the tests meet the official minimum standards for safety and performance for those test types.

What types of COVID-19 tests can I get from Dante Labs?

Dante Labs supplies all the COVID-19 tests you might need if you’re returning from low-risk countries to the UK. You can order day 2 tests, day 2 and day 8 test kits, Test to Release tests (to end your quarantine early on day 5 in England), as well as pre-departure PCR tests you can take before your travel.

Unlike some private COVID-19 test companies, Dante Labs doesn’t have its own testing centres. All tests are administered by the user at home and then posted back to Dante Labs’ laboratory for analysis.

What is Dante Labs’ refund policy?

Dante Labs says it can process a refund up to 14 days after purchase if the sample has not yet been received by its lab. However, the CMA is investigating concerns about refunds being refused or delayed.

Dante Labs customer reviews

Dante Labs generally does not score well for customer satisfaction, according to the latest Trustpilot reviews (last updated October 2021). The page has a notice at the top, flagging that Trustpilot has detected and deleted a number of fake reviews.

Of more than 3,300 reviews, over half rated the company as “Bad”, although nearly a third rated it “Excellent”; overall it was 2.5 out of 5 when we checked. The main issues raised were delays getting test results, and poor communication and service. There were similar complaints on Twitter.

Are Dante Labs tests accurate?

We couldn’t find any information on the efficacy of Dante Labs’ COVID-19 tests on its website but all COVID-19 test providers listed on the UK government website have to have “demonstrated compliance with the applicable minimum standards” and at least be going through the 3-stage accreditation by UKAS, the government-appointed accreditation body.

But remember, no COVID-19 test is 100% accurate, even those that meet official standards for performance and safety.

How long does it take to get results from Dante Labs?

As a supplier of at-home COVID-19 tests, Dante Labs relies on Royal Mail for the safe return of test samples. This means you need to return your sample via a Royal Mail priority box. The company says your results will be processed within 24 hours of the laboratory receiving your sample. You won’t be able to get your results the next business day after posting your sample.

How much do Dante Labs tests cost?

Dante Labs tests are at the cheaper end of the market when it comes to COVID-19 tests for travel. Day 2, Test to Release tests (for England) and pre-departure tests are £39, while day 2 and day 8 test kits are £68.

Pros and cons of Dante Labs

Pros

  • Government-listed COVID-19 test provider
  • Easy to order tests online
  • Cheaper than other COVID-19 test providers

Cons

  • Under investigation by the CMA
  • Poor Trustpilot reviews
  • No guarantee of when you’ll receive test results
  • No proof of test efficacy listed on website

Our verdict: Is Dante Labs any good?

Dante Labs has generated a high volume of complaints about its service, and concerns about issuing of refunds. This has prompted an investigation by the competition watchdog.

The high volume of poor Trustpilot reviews doesn’t inspire confidence in Dante Labs’ service, but those who did have positive experiences seem to have had a fast turnaround. Dante Labs tests are certainly cheaper than a lot of other test providers, which has led many to opt for it as a provider.

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