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If you are planning on travelling abroad this year, you’ll need to carry out COVID tests before and after you travel. With the rules set to change on 4 October, be sure to check how this will affect you. You’re likely to need tests from a government-listed private test provider, such as Randox Health. In this review, we look at the pros and cons of Randox, one of the UK’s biggest test providers, and compare its products.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
What is Randox?
Randox is one of the UK’s leading COVID test providers, supplying tests to major airlines and travel companies like British Airways, Easyjet and TUI, as well as to Team GB for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in 2021.
Randox is a government-listed private COVID test provider and its testing laboratories are accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), which means the tests meet the minimum requirements for performance and safety.
What types of COVID tests can I get from Randox?
Randox provides pre-departure PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and antigen (lateral flow) tests for travel. Remember, different countries have different test requirements, so remember to check what test you need before booking.
You can book a test for travel at one of Randox’s 6 Health Travel Centres, in London, Liverpool, or 1 of the 4 in Northern Ireland. You get your PCR test results the next day and antigen test results within an hour, alongside the appropriate certificates for travel.
There are also test centres at Manchester Airport, London Stansted Airport or East Midlands Airport. Again, PCR and antigen tests are available, and you can pay more (£95) to have your PCR results within 1-3 hours.
Randox also sells at-home COVID test packages for people travelling to and from Green and Amber list countries. You take these tests at home and then return them via a Randox drop box or a courier who can accept biological samples.
Randox also sells testing kits for COVID testing when you return to the UK. These can either be sent to your home or picked up from 1 of the 6 Randox Health Travel Centres, as mentioned above. These are £45 each or £86 for both.
If you’re visiting an amber list country from England and are double vaccinated, you can take part in the government’s Test to Release scheme where you can take a test on day 5 of your return and, if the result is negative, end your 10-day quarantine early. Randox sells day 5 testing kits for £48.
What is Randox’s refund policy?
If you’re leaving the UK and need to cancel an appointment, as long as you give more than 24 hours’ notice, Randox promises to refund you. But if you’re returning, Randox says that once it’s given you a reference for your passenger locator form, it can’t offer a refund.
Randox won’t refund you if you don’t show up or don’t cancel with 24 hours’ notice. Nor will it refund you for unused test kits.
Randox customer reviews
Customer reviews of Randox are a mixed bag and the average Trustpilot rating is just 2.7 out of 5 stars.
The main complaint seems to be the turnaround time for tests being posted to people after they place an order, resulting in them either not being able to travel or take their day 2 and day 8 tests on time.
Customer service also ranks poorly, with many people unable to get through to the customer support team due to the high volume of calls. The Randox drop-off postbox also sparked complaints, as regular postage would be easier. Media pictures from August 2021 showed overflowing drop-off boxes, and the firm vowed to tackle the problem.
On a more positive note, most customers highly rate the in-person testing experience at the Randox Health Centres and airports. Also, those who did manage to get through to the customer support team on the phone highly rated their overall customer experience (last updated: September 2021).
Are Randox tests accurate?
Randox is one of the UK’s leading test providers and has its own testing laboratories. This means that tests, if carried out properly and aren’t contaminated or compromised in any way, should be accurate.
However, 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 Randox?
Following receipt of your at-home PCR test sample to a Randox laboratory, you should get your test results within 24 hours. If you go to a Randox Health Centre or do a test at the airport, you can pay more for rapid test results, which take 1-3 hours.
How much do Randox tests cost?
At-home Randox tests start from £45 for a single pre-departure, day 2 or day 8 test. Green and Amber packages are available too, from £86.
Airport pre-departure PCR tests are £60 for next-day results, rising to £95 for express results (1-3 hours). If you’re returning to the UK, you can pick up day 2, 5 and 8 tests from the airport for £60 per test.
Pros and cons of Randox
- Government-listed COVID test provider
- At-home and in-person test options available
- Easily available to order online
- Quick test results
- Travel certificates supplied free with test results
- Find Randox discount codes online
- Customers report a delay in receiving tests
- Test centre and airport slots book up quickly
- Difficult getting through to customer services helpline
Our verdict: Is Randox any good?
With COVID travel guidance constantly changing, it’s little wonder test providers are struggling to keep up with demand and to field customer enquiries. However, we’ve seen other test providers with higher scores for customer service than Randox has.
Randox is one of the UK’s biggest COVID testing companies and provides tests for the country’s leading airlines and travel companies. It’s also on the government’s list of test providers, meaning it has met minimum standards for safety and performance.
For peace of mind, we suggest booking an in-person test at a Randox Health Test Centre or an airport. That way, there’s no danger of your sample or results getting delayed in the post.
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