Why do I need to activate my Covid-19 test?

It is important to activate your Covid-19 test kit(s) – both PCR and Lateral Flow Antigen – in order to receive your results. Kit activation links your test swab to your Project Screen account, meaning we can send your results to you via email. 

Failing to activate your test kit may result in lost samples and/or delayed results.

Can I activate my test kit early to understand the process?

Do not activate your test kit early in order to see what you’ll need to do for your test. To see an overview of the full testing process for PCR tests and Lateral Flow Antigen tests, click on the test names here to watch our step-by-step instruction videos. 

When should I activate my Covid-19 test?

Whether you have bought an individual test kit or a bundle of tests, use the information below to learn when you should activate your test kit(s).

Important Information: The date and time that you choose to activate your kit is the exact date and time that will show on your results document as “Sample Collection Date and Time”. 

Click on the type of test below to jump to the activation information for that specific test kit.

Fit to Fly PCR Test

Day 2 PCR Test

Day 8 PCR Test

Day 5 Test to Release Test

Health Check PCR Test

Fit to Fly Lateral Flow Antigen Test 

Remote Return Lateral Flow Antigen Test

PCR Home Test Kits

When should I activate my Fit to Fly PCR test?

The date and time that you choose to activate your kit is the exact date and time that will show on your results document as “Sample Collection Date and Time”. Your travel provider will use this date and time to check your test result was carried out at the correct time to fulfil your travel requirements. 

Therefore, you should activate your test kit within the timeframe specified by your travel provider and/or destination’s government. Most commonly, this is less than 48 or 72 hours before your time of departure. Search for “entry requirements to [destination]” or visit Gov.UK foreign travel advice.

For example, if you are due to travel abroad on Saturday at 12pm, and your destination has a 48 hour window for taking your test, you will need to take your test from 12pm on Thursday onwards.  

Or, if you are due to travel abroad on Saturday at 12pm, and your destination has a 72 hour window for taking your test, you will need to take your test from 12pm on Wednesday onwards.  


When should I activate my Day 2 PCR test?

The day you arrive in England is day 0. The date and time that you choose to activate your kit is the exact date and time that will show on your results document as “Sample Collection Date and Time”. 

– Day 2 test: activate on Day 0, Day 1 or Day 2.

For example, if you arrive in England on Monday, you can take your Day 2 Test on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. 


When should I activate my Day 8 PCR test?

The day you arrive in England is day 0. The date and time that you choose to activate your kit is the exact date and time that will show on your results document as “Sample Collection Date and Time”. 

– Day 8 test: activate on Day 8 or after Day 8, but not before. 

For example, if you arrive in England on Monday, you can take your Day 8 Test from the following Tuesday onwards. 

Important: All test kits must be activated individually. Even if you have activated your Day 2 test, you MUST activate your Day 8 test. 


When should I activate my Day 5 Test to Release PCR test?

The day you arrive in England is day 0. The date and time that you choose to activate your kit is the exact date and time that will show on your results document as “Sample Collection Date and Time”. 

– Day 5 test: activate on Day 5 or after Day 5, but not before. 

For example, if you arrive in England on Monday, you can take your Day 5 Test from Saturday onwards. 

Important: All test kits must be activated individually. Even if you have activated your Day 2 test, you MUST activate your Day 5 and 8 tests. 


When should I activate my Health Check PCR test?

The date and time that you choose to activate your kit is the exact date and time that will show on your results document as “Sample Collection Date and Time”. If you are taking the test in order to attend an event, visit family, or travel, please ensure that you take the test within the required timeframe, if necessary. 


Lateral Flow Antigen Tests

When should I activate my Fit to Fly Lateral Flow Antigen test?

The date and time that you choose to activate your kit is the exact date and time that will show on your results document as “Sample Collection Date and Time”. Your travel provider will this use date and time to check your test result was carried out at the correct time to fulfil your travel requirements.

Therefore, you should activate your test kit within the timeframe specified by your travel provider and/or government. Most commonly, this is less than 48 or 72 hours before your time of departure. Search for “entry requirements to [destination]” or visit Gov.UK foreign travel advice.

For example, if you are due to travel abroad on Saturday at 12pm, and your destination has a 48 hour window for taking your test, you will need to take your test from Thursday at 12pm onwards.  

Or, if you are due to travel abroad on Saturday at 12pm, and your destination has a 72 hour window for taking your test, you will need to take your test from Wednesday at 12pm onwards.  

While lateral flow antigen results typically are delivered within 20 minutes, we recommend taking your test at least 12 hours before you are due to travel to avoid any unexpected delays.


When should I activate my Remote Return Lateral Flow Antigen test?

The date and time that you choose to activate your kit is the exact date and time that will show on your results document as “Sample Collection Date and Time”. Your travel provider will this use date and time to check your test result was carried out at the correct time to fulfil your travel requirements.

The UK Government requires travellers to England to take a pre-departure test in the 3 days before the flight on which they will arrive in England. 

For example, if you travel directly to England on Friday, you can take the test on or after Tuesday. You will need to have the negative result available before boarding on Friday. 

While lateral flow antigen results typically are delivered within 20 minutes, we recommend taking your test at least 12 hours before you are due to travel to avoid any unexpected delays.