Cheapest Day 2 and 8 COVID tests – the hidden costs explained

When you need a Day 2 and 8 test package, how do you know what to look for? Is it as simple as searching ‘Day 2 and 8 COVID test, UK cheapest’? Or is there more to consider? As you might have guessed, cheap COVID tests sometimes have hidden costs. Read on to avoid the pitfalls of risky testing and get peace of mind when you purchase…

What’s the best Day 2 and Day 8 COVID test to buy?

It depends on your circumstances – cost, convenience and the reliability of your provider are all factors to consider. And you need to know if it’s the correct testing package for your travel circumstances too. Here’s a handy checklist to consider before you make a purchase: 

  1. Choose a Government-approved provider
  2. Check where your travel test kit/Day 2 and Day 8 tests is analysed
  3. Be sure that the Day 2 and Day 8 test package is the one you need

Choose a Government-approved Day 2 and Day 8 provider

First, you’ll need to choose a test provider who is on the Government-approved list so your gov Day 2 and Day 8 result is valid. You can find the list here – MyHealthChecked is an approved provider, of course. 

Take particular care with the cheapest Day 2 and 8 tests – double check that your provider is on the list and it’s not a scam. If the price seems ‘too good to be true’, it probably is! 

Check where your covid travel tests/covid day 2 and 8 tests are analysed

It’s important to look at whether the test provider has their own lab facilities and can fulfil all testing promised. As demand for Day 2 and Day 8 tests increases, there may be a delay with despatch and analysis of testing kits if the provider you choose is not in control of their lab facilities. 
If your results are delayed, you’ll be putting friends and family at risk – and will be asked to take a second set of tests at you own expense – so that cheap Day 2 and Day 8 test kit might end up a false economy, and could increase your quarantine time.

Be sure the Day 2 Day 8 COVID test package is right for you

Now you’re clear on the considerations of what to look for in your Day 2 and Day 8 package, let’s recap on what the test package is, what it’s for, and who actually needs it. Before you get your credit card out, it’s vital to know you’re buying the right test package for your needs. This table helps to explain which test you need to order:

Which COVID test do you need? 

This table breaks things down if you want answers fast. Or read our Guide For Travellers for more detail.

What is the Day 2 Day 8 test package/what is Day 2 and Day 8 COVID test?

A Day 2 and 8 COVID testing package for travel is a mandatory COVID test for travellers entering England from Red and Amber list countries. You will be asked to provide details of your testing plans on your Passenger Locator Form as you travel. If you haven’t organised your test before you fly, you face a fine. 


The first test will be sent to your place of quarantine to take on Day 2. If it comes back negative, you will be sent a second test on Day 8. If this comes back negative, you can end your quarantine on Day 10. If either test comes back positive, you have to follow the latest rules on self isolation. There’s a handy timeline that explains it all on the Day 2 and Day 8 test package page.

Do I have to quarantine while I wait for results? 

Yes. If you’re travelling from a red or amber list country into the UK you must quarantine. If you are entering the UK from a Red List country, your tests will be sent to your government-approved quarantine hotel. If you are travelling from an amber list country, you can choose your place of self isolation and we’ll send your tests there. There’s more on the traffic light system rules here on GOV.UK.

Reducing quarantine with Test-to-Release

If you are travelling from an amber list country, you have the option to try and reduce your quarantine time using the test to release scheme alongside the mandatory Day 2 & 8 Testing programme.

Can’t I just use NHS lateral flow tests?

No. The travel rules state that you need to buy your own PCR testing package from a Government-approved provider to be compliant after travel. This is because PCR tests are more reliable than lateral flow tests. You can read about the benefits of PCR testing here and you can find the list of approved providers here

Where can I buy day 2 and 8 covid tests?

MyHealthChecked offers reliable Day 2 & 8 testing. We are a Government-approved provider, and run our own labs – so you can be really confident about getting your test and results in good time . You can also pick up a MyHealthChecked Day 2, Day and Day 8 test package in Boots if you’d prefer.



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Date of publication: 26/05/21

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