What result might I receive from my Covid-19 (PCR) test and what does it mean?


Please note: This information applies to Covid-19 PCR tests, if your query is regarding a Rapid Antigen test, please click here.


You’ll receive one of four possible results from your test:

Positive – this means that the sample you provided contains SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA. You can get this result even if you don’t have symptoms. You should isolate in line with current government guidelines and seek help and advice if you become unwell.

Negative – this means that the sample you provided doesn’t contain detectable levels of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA. However, you could have been previously infected by the virus and you could also be infected in the future.

Inconclusive – fewer than 1% of tests come back ‘inconclusive’, so it’s very unlikely this will happen. If it does, it means your sample didn’t meet the requirements to be reported as a Positive result, but there was a partial signal that the SARS-CoV-2 virus could be present in your system.

Failed – again, this result is produced by only a very small percentage of tests we run. It means we haven’t been able to accurately process your sample in our lab. Usually this will be because there’s not enough of the sample mixed with the stabilising fluid. Failed tests are very rare but, if you do get this result, we’ll tell you why this has happened if we can.