Skip to main content

How you get your coronavirus (COVID-19) test result

How long it takes to get your coronavirus (COVID-19) test result depends on the type of test you had. There are 2 main types of test.

Rapid lateral flow test result

Rapid lateral flow tests use a device similar to a pregnancy test to give a quick result. They're only for people who do not have symptoms.

If you did a rapid lateral flow test at home, you can get your result within 30 minutes.

If you did the test at a test site, you should get a text or email with your result within 2 hours. Get another rapid lateral flow test if you do not get your result within 12 hours.


You should report the result of a home test as soon as possible. Read more about reporting a rapid lateral flow test result.

PCR test result

PCR tests are mainly for people who have symptoms. They're sent to a lab to be checked.

Most people get their result the next day, but it may take up to 3 days.

You'll usually get a text or email with your result when it's ready. If you use the NHS COVID-19 app, you may also get your result in the app.

If you do not get your results by day 6, call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines).

Lines are open every day, 7am to 11pm. 119 provides support in 200 languages.

SignVideo is a free online British Sign Language interpreter service for 119.


If you have symptoms, self-isolate straight away. You can leave home to have a test. Check if people you live with need to self-isolate

Page last reviewed: 26 November 2021
Next review due: 9 December 2021