Detailed guide: Coronavirus antibody home test kit: taking a blood sample

When your test kit arrives

Test kits take up to 5 days to arrive in the post (you do not have to sign for it).

Store it in a cool dry place (not in direct sunlight or the fridge).

Take the test as soon as possible. But do not take your test, or post your sample, on Saturday or Sunday.

Video: how to do your test and get your result

The kit has everything you need to take your test and post your sample to get your result.

It takes about 30 minutes to do the test (do it without interruption or you will spoil your sample).

Watch the antibody test follow-along video

Avoid common mistakes

Before you start your test, watch the video and always read the instructions to make sure you:

  • follow the tips to get blood flowing before you start it makes it easier
  • collect the right amount of blood
  • only use the kit with your name on or you will not be sent a result
  • follow the instructions to return your sample correctly

If you cannot get enough blood

You can prick a different finger to try and get the right amount of blood needed for the test. You must follow the instructions and only use lancets from your kit.

You must not complete the test if you have run out of lancets. Instead, follow the instructions to dispose of your test safely. You can sign up again to get a new test.

You will not be sent a result if your sample does not contain enough blood.

Safe lancet disposal

Lancets can cause injury and carry blood-borne viruses.

Dispose of any used and unused lancets safely. To do this:

  • press any unused lancets into a hard surface (like a table) until it clicks
  • put the lancets in a sharps bin (a special bin for medical waste)

Your workplace may have a sharps bin. Or check if your local pharmacy has one you can use on your next visit.

Do not do your test until you know you can access a sharps bin.

Get your results

It can take 3 to 7 days to get your result after you post your sample.

Do not post your sample on a Saturday or Sunday it might sit in the post too long.

Use your nearest priority post box so your sample gets to the lab quickly.

What your antibody test result means.

Call centre

The call centre cannot give you medical advice or help you take your test.

Please report damaged or incomplete kits to help us improve the service.

Calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

Open every day 7am to 11pm.

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