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New COVID-19 testing service now available in Boots UK stores

25 October 2020
News Healthcare
  • The new service will launch in selected stores this week, before rolling out to 50 Boots stores throughout November, with a potential to extend to 200 stores over the coming months
  • Convenient private testing for those without symptoms can help ease pressure on the NHS and Government testing programmes
  • The testing service is a continuation of the critical role Boots is playing in the UK’s COVID-19 testing programme, in March, we helped the Government roll out testing of NHS workers in just over a week
  • Coming soon, Boots is also planning to roll out to selected stores a new testing service using the LumiraDx device which has the ability to provide a COVID-19 swab test result within just 12 minutes*


Boots UK today announces the launch of a brand new in-store COVID-19 testing service, specifically offered for those without COVID-19 symptoms, as part of its continued efforts to support the NHS and local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The service is already available in ten stores in total, which are located in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow for customers travelling to UAE, with plans to roll out a wider service to over 50 stores across the UK over the next few weeks. Depending on demand and feedback, the launch may extend to 200 stores over the coming months.

The service is available as a private pre-flight testing service for customers who require a test before travelling abroad. It is also an accessible solution for those who would prefer peace of mind before seeing friends and family.

This is one of several new initiatives at Boots as the company expands its digital healthcare and pharmacy service offerings. Boots is evolving its pharmacy offer as it aims to future proof the pharmacy model and provide further support to the UK healthcare system.

Over the next few weeks, Boots will also be rolling out new LumiraDx devices to selected stores, which will be able to process swab test COVID-19 results in just 12 minutes* giving customers rapid same-day results. Specifically for customers who don’t have symptoms, this way of testing will help customers to quickly get peace of mind, revolutionising the speed of testing across the UK and reducing inappropriate use of the Government testing programme.

Seb James, Managing Director of Boots UK and ROI commented: “Boots has supported the government’s COVID-19 testing programme from the very start and offering this new in-store service is the next step in our efforts to fight against the pandemic. We hope that by offering this testing option in local community stores, Boots can help ease pressure on the NHS and the Government by providing additional access to testing and crucial reassurances for people across the UK. As part of the UK High Street for over 170 years, Boots is proud to serve on the front line alongside the NHS and we will continue to do our part to support the nation’s healthcare needs during this challenging time and beyond.”

To obtain a COVID-19 test, patients can simply fill out a registration form and follow the instructions to book an appointment through the Boots online portal, available through Once in store, a testing-trained member of Boots expert team will facilitate the swab test, package the swab and send it to a laboratory to be tested, with results usually available within 48 hours**. More information on this service is available on


Notes to editors:

*Note that this test is not currently approved as a pre-flight testing service, which requires a PCR test and for results to be processed via a registered lab

**There will be a different process for the in-store testing using the LumiraDx device

Pictures are available to download here.


Boots role during the COVID-19 pandemic

Since the peak of the pandemic in March, Boots has supported in the set-up and resourcing of drive-through DHSC COVID-19 testing sites, initially for the NHS and other essential workers, and now for all people with symptoms, with over 700 Boots colleagues supporting around 50 sites across the UK. To date, Boots colleagues have conducted over one million COVID-19 tests nationwide.

Boots has kept its doors open throughout the pandemic to provide vital pharmacy and healthcare services to local communities, supporting its colleagues, the UK public, keyworkers and the NHS. To respond to unprecedented demand for prescriptions, Boots has expanded its delivery network, delivered medicines to vulnerable patients free of charge and significantly increased capacity by 40% at its online repeat prescription service, as well as delivering prescribed medicines every day free via the Royal Mail.


Pharmacy services at Boots

The new in-store COVID-19 testing service adds to Boots’ expanding digital healthcare and new pharmacy services offerings, which provide solutions that relieve pressure on the NHS and allow customers to receive quick and convenient diagnosis and treatment on the High Street or remotely, [without the need to visit their GP].

Today at Boots, patients can access a range of services including:

  • Virtual GP service
  • Digital prescriptions and digital repeat prescription delivery service
  • Online and pharmacy clinics
  • Flu, pneumonia, HPV, Meningitis and travel vaccinations
  • Mole scanning
  • Hair loss clinics
  • Smoking cessation programmes
  • Cystitis test and treat, and more

Additional notes:

  • This service is not suitable for anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, or anyone who thinks they may have COVID-19. Please don’t book an appointment or come into store if you or anyone in your household or support bubble have symptoms of COVID-19. Instead, stay at home and follow the latest government guidance.
  • The instore testing service will launch at £120 per test, reflecting costs related to lab testing, product materials, courier service, digital solution, staffing and VAT – currently one of the cheapest private COVID-19 tests available on the market
  • With the PCR test, swabs will be sent to a private laboratory to be tested, and a result notification will then be emailed over to the customer usually within 48 hours of their in-store appointment
  • Patients must wear a face covering and maintain social distancing whilst in store. We’re doing all we can in store to help keep our patients and colleagues safe. Find out more about safer appointments at Boots.

About LumiraDx:

  • A UK based private company with over 750 employees, 3 major R&D sites including fully automated test strip manufacturing in Stirling, Scotland



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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and 2,100 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 30 November 2023