Delivering coronavirus tests

Royal Mail is proud to be collecting and delivering coronavirus tests around the country, supporting the national testing programme.

Delivering coronavirus tests

Royal Mail is proud to be collecting and delivering coronavirus tests around the country, supporting the national testing programme.

We are a key partner for government’s coronavirus testing programme. We are collecting completed test kits from priority postboxes or from homes as part of the government programme. We are also collecting samples from c115 Regional Testing Centres at the end of every day and delivering them to designated testing labs first thing the next morning.

For guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested, please visit the government website.

If you have received a home test kit, please follow the instructions on the test kit to return your sample. If you have any questions, please contact the number in the instructions.

You may be asked to post your sample in one of over 30,000 specially selected Royal Mail priority postboxes. You can find your nearest priority postbox on Services Near You or on the Royal Mail app. If you need help locating a priority postbox you can telephone 0345 266 8038 Monday to Friday 8am-6pm.  

We are also supporting other organisations return completed kits to testing centres through our Medical Sample Returns service. 

  • If you have received a test kit, please follow the instructions on the kit. You may be asked to post your sample in one of our 30,000 specially selected Royal Mail priority postboxes. You can find your nearest priority postbox on the Royal Mail app and website. If you have any questions, please contact the number in the instructions.
  • If you are an organisation that would like to speak to us about this, please contact us or your account manager about this. 

 

How to spot a priority postbox

After finding your nearest priority postbox on Services Near You or on the Royal Mail app you will be able to further identify it by the NHS/Royal Mail sticker which will be affixed to it. You can still use the priority postbox if there is no sticker but you can let us know on 0345 266 8038 Monday to Friday 8am-6pm and we’ll put it right. 

Help if you’ve requested and received a free NHS COVID-19 test kit from the government website

The health of our colleagues is our first priority. Royal Mail has worked in partnership with the Chief Medical Officer to ensure that the process is safe for our colleagues.

Please follow the return instructions provided with your test kit.

You can post your sample in one of over 30,000 specially selected Royal Mail priority postboxes. You can find your nearest priority postbox on Services Near You or on the Royal Mail app. To find your nearest priority postbox, enter your postcode or use your location and then select ‘Priority Postbox’. 

We’ll perform a contactless collection. When collecting your completed test kit we will retreat two metres away from your door after knocking. You should then place the completed kit on the doorstep and close your door. We’ll then collect the kit. If there is more than one kit to collect we’ll place each one in a separate bag.

You’re not able to cancel your collection once it has been booked. If your test kit is not available for collection please let our driver know when they come to pick it up.

We cannot provide you with a specific time. We’ll collect your test kit by 4pm.

We can collect your test kit any time up until 4pm. If we haven’t collected your kit by 4pm, we’re sorry but you’ll need to contact the NHS on: 
119 for England, Wales and Northern Ireland
0300 303 2713 for Scotland.

To discuss the collection of your test kit only contact Royal Mail on 0345 266 8038 Monday to Friday 8am-6pm. 

All test kits must be packaged correctly. This is to ensure there is no health and safety risk due to the potential leak of contents. We require all kits to have an outer packaging, for the sample not be visible and for the lilac label to be attached. Each test kit must be packaged separately.

To discuss the collection of your test kit only contact Royal Mail on 0345 266 8038 Monday to Friday 8am-6pm.