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

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

  • NHS rapid lateral flow tests – these are tests that show you the result on a device that comes with a test
  • NHS PCR tests – these are tests that are sent to a lab to be checked

If you paid for a COVID-19 test yourself, check with your test provider when you will get your test result.

NHS rapid lateral flow test result

If you used a home test kit, you'll get a result in 10 to 30 minutes depending on the type of rapid lateral flow test you’ve taken.

The test kit instructions will tell you the time you need to wait before reading your result.


If you did an NHS rapid lateral flow test, you should report the result of a home test as soon as possible. Find out about how to report your NHS test result

NHS PCR test result

If you did a PCR test from the NHS, you might get your 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 did an NHS PCR test and have not got your test result after 5 days, call 119 (free from mobiles).

Lines are open:

  • Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
  • Saturday 9am to 1pm
  • Sunday and bank holidays closed

119 provides support in 200 languages.

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

If you paid for a test yourself and have not yet received your result, contact your test provider. 119 are not able to help with private test results.


If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, you should try to stay at home and away from others to avoid passing on the virus.

Find out what to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19

Page last reviewed: 24 October 2022
Next review due: 24 April 2023