How (and where) to find a private coronavirus test centre?

December 27, 2021
Written by
Edward Heywood
How (and where) to find a private coronavirus test centre?

Coronavirus tests are available through the NHS. But only if you currently have symptoms of Covid-19 or if you’ve been asked to take a test by your council or hospital. That’s why many people are booking tests with private coronavirus test centres.

If you’re living with someone who has coronavirus, if your employer wants you to get a test, or if you need proof of a negative result to fly, a private coronavirus test will provide the reassurance you need.

Do a quick Google search and you’ll find lots of pharmacies and clinics offering private coronavirus testing. But how do you work out which one best meets your requirements? 

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

What kind of private coronavirus test do I need?

Private test centres will provide at least one of the following:

PCR Test

If you want the most accurate way to test whether you currently have Covid-19, you should take a Covid-19 PCR test.

Antigen Test

If you want to know quickly whether you currently have Covid-19, you should take a Covid-19 antigen test.

PCR Test + Travel Certificate

If you need to provide proof of a negative result in order to fly, you’ll need to find a private coronavirus test centre that offers PCR tests, plus a travel certification service.

Antibody Test

If you want to know if you’ve had Covid-19 previously and developed antibodies, you should take an antibody test.

Do I want to take the test at home or in a clinic?

Benefits of an at-home test

Most private clinics don’t allow you to visit a test centre if you’re currently experiencing symptoms of Covid-19. So if you have a temperature, a continuous cough or a loss of taste or smell, you can order an at-home test instead.

Testing for coronavirus at home can also be useful if you’ll struggle to travel to a private clinic.

Benefits of taking the test at a clinic

When you get tested for Covid-19 at a clinic, you don’t have to rely on the postal service. This means you get your results as quickly as possible.

If a healthcare professional administers the test (rather than you doing it yourself) you can also be confident that the test has been done correctly and a good sample has been taken.

Is it better to attend a walk-in clinic or book a private appointment?

Private coronavirus tests are available in two formats: walk-in and appointment only.

At a walk-in clinic you don’t need to make an appointment. You may have to wait in line to see a healthcare professional, but you can usually guarantee a same-day test and fast results.

At an appointment only clinic, you arrive at a scheduled time. This is seen as the safer option. Clinics can limit contact between clients and reduce the chance of you catching Covid-19 during your visit.

What to look for in a private coronavirus test centre

Once you know that a private clinic provides the right test and testing environment, you’ll want to assess its reliability and efficiency by looking at the following:


Any coronavirus test you take should be CE marked. This shows that it meets all legal criteria. A lab should also be accredited by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) if you require a negative PCR test as many countries list this as a necessary requirement.

Good turnaround time

Most private clinics won’t leave you waiting too long for your results. Depending on the test you take, you can expect to get results somewhere between 24 and 72 hours.

Be wary of any clinics claiming to provide home tests that give an instant result. No tests of this kind can be legally sold in the UK.

High test reliability

Different private coronavirus tests have different levels of accuracy. The most reliable are accurate 99% of the time.

The best private coronavirus test centres in and around London

London residents have lots of options when it comes to private coronavirus testing. The following represent some of the best:

London Global Practice

Tests cost around £315 and are sent in the post. You conduct the test yourself and your results are available later the same day.

Corona Test Centre

Tests cost between £120 and £175. They’re conducted at several London-based, appointment only clinics and results are available either the same day, next day or within 2 days.  

The Private Harley Street Clinic

Tests cost £350 and results are provided the next day. The process is managed by a healthcare professional who comes in-person to your home.


Tests cost £134 and results are provided within 70 hours of receipt of a sample. Patients take a self-swab test at one of DocTap’s London clinics.

Enjoy the safety and convenience of appointment-only testing at Corona Test Centre

Ready to book your private coronavirus test? Then we’re ready to help.

Take a look at the efficient, affordable and reliable test options provided by Corona Test Centre and we’ll see you as soon as we can.

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