Frequently asked questions

How do I use the HALO service?

  • How do I register?

    First, you will need to either download the HALO™ App or, if you are operating on an Android device, you should visit our web portal. Once downloaded or on the HALO™ site, just follow the simple registration instructions.

  • What is the HALO™ App?

    The HALO™ App is the platform through which you can track the life cycle of your HALO™ tests. From the app, you can access guidance on how to take a test, how to be notified of test results, and how to retrieve test certificates.

  • Do you have an Android App?

    At this point we unfortunately do not have an Android App, however are working hard to bring this to market in the very near future. It is still possible to register and use the test by logging into our web portal.

  • How do I take the test?

    For guidance, watch our how-to video here.

  • How do I return the test?
    Instructions on how to return your kit(s) are inside your pack.

    Our test kits are easy and free to send back. Book your collection as soon as you receive your test and prior to 3pm for next business day collection. Please see the leaflet enclosed in the test kit for details. Shipping can depend on your location and the date posted.

    How to return tests via HALO’s courier partner:

    • ‘Individuals should contact the Customer Collection hotline on 0330 390 4586, Option 1 (or +44 330 390 4586 if dialling from outside the UK), to arrange for collection of each completed test. Families can reference their order number for a single collection.
    • You will need to provide the barcode number on the back of the test kit.
    • Collections take place between Monday and Friday.
    • Book by 3pm for next business day collection. Our courier service delivers to us next day Monday through Saturday.
  • When will my test be received by the HALO Lab?

    Our courier service delivers to us Monday through Saturday.

  • How do I submit a test for a child?

    The child’s parents or guardians will need to log into the web portal on behalf of the child and register the child as a user. It is important to note that for data protection reasons you will need to include a unique email address for the child.

  • How can I talk to someone?

    We have a dedicated call centre at 0330 390 4586. If calling from outside the UK please dial +44 330 390 4586.

How do I get the results?

  • How long does it take to get test results?

    You will be notified of your result via email and a notification through the app. Your test result will be available within 24 hours of the test reaching our Lab.

  • Why have I not received my test results?

    The standard turnaround times for test results is 24 hours from when the test reaches our laboratory. If you have still not received your results after this period please check the App or website for notifications, as it may mean that you have not submitted your test correctly or another is required due to the quality of the sample provided. If this is the case, you can contact our support teams on 0330 3904586 (or +44 330 390 4586 if dialling from outside the UK) – opening times 0800-2000 hours on Monday-Friday, and 0800-1630 hours Saturday and Sunday.

  • My test came back inconclusive. What should I do?

    At HALO, our NSR (New Sample Required) rate is lower than other test providers. A very small percentage (1.7%) of tests come back inconclusive. In this unlikely event, you will need to book another test as soon as possible.

    The most common reasons for an inconclusive result include:

    • Too little or too much saliva in your sample
    • You were dehydrated while taking the test
    • If you have poor oral health
    • You ate, drank or smoked within 30 minutes before taking the sample
    • There was a foreign object in your sample, for example lipstick or food

Why should I get a test?

  • Why is it important to get tested?

    If you have been infected by COVID-19, not only can it make you ill but you can also transmit the virus to other people. When infected, there is a chance to fall seriously ill. This is especially dangerous for people belonging to ‘at risk’ groups, such as the elderly, or people with pre-existing health conditions (such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease).

    At HALO, we believe the best way to combat COVID-19 is through widespread testing and tracing. This allows identification of both symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers of the COVID-19 so they can self-isolate, minimising the risk of transmission. This not only gives those who are free of the virus a greater sense of security when returning to work and everyday life, but also is the most effective way of protecting the health of your loved ones and your community.

    The success of this approach has been demonstrated by countries such as South Korea that have employed mass testing and contact tracing as key components of their strategy in reducing the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

What type of tests do you offer?

  • Do you test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus?

    Yes, we perform a highly sensitive RT-qPCR test for viral genetic material in your saliva. Our test is 100% specific for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus which causes COVID-19. Our test detects all new and emerging variants.

    Furthermore, our test is 97% specific to SARS-CoV-2 and is capable of detecting all currently known strains at 99% sensitivity.

  • How accurate is your test?

    The higher your viral load (the amount of virus present in your saliva), the more likely it is to be detected. This amount increases at the start of the infection.We use a highly sensitive RT-qPCR test, capable of detecting SARS-CoV-2 at lower viral loads than any other test available on the market. Internal tests correctly identified the virus in 100% of tested samples where the viral load was 1000 times lower than amounts typically found in patient saliva.Furthermore, our test is 100% specific to SARS-CoV-2 and is capable of detecting all currently known strains.

  • Why do you use saliva for testing and not throat or nasal swabs?

    Collection of saliva samples provides a minimally invasive method of sample collection that can be reliably self-administered.Reliable self-collection of saliva decreases the risk of transmission to healthcare workers and isn’t subject to disruption of the supply of swabs, transport media, and personal protective equipment necessary for healthcare providers to obtain quality swab samples.Furthermore, saliva sampling provides greater sensitivity in comparison to throat or nasal swabs, and is subject to less variation in sample acquisition. This makes it more likely that we can detect antigens earlier into disease onset.

Does the HALO test provide ‘fit to fly’ certification?

  • If you test negative you will be provided with a certificate which proves that you are ‘fit to fly’.

Where is HALO based?

  • Do you test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus?

    Our laboratory is based at Imperial College, London.

What is the Test to Release scheme?

  • What is the Test to Release scheme?

    The UK Government Test to Release scheme allows you to reduce your self-isolation period after international travel. Under the scheme, you can end self-isolation as soon as you receive a negative COVID-19 test.

  • Where can I find more information about Test to Release?

    See the government Test to Release page here.

  • Can I use the government Test to Release if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

    If you have COVID-19 symptoms, Test to Release is not suitable for you. Visit the NHS for the latest information about what to do if you are ill with COVID-19.

  • How long will I have to self-isolate on return from a quarantine country?

    If you do not have a negative COVID-19 test result you will have to self-isolate for ten days. When you are self-isolating you cannot leave your home for any reason. You will have to arrange deliveries for everything you need. Under the government’s Test to Release programme you can, on the fifth day after leaving the quarantine country (that is, not on the government’s travel corridor list), take a COVID-19 test. If you get a negative result then you no longer have to self-isolate.

  • Can I use Test to Release in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland?

    Test to Release only applies to England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as devolved nations, will make their own arrangements.

  • Do I need to isolate after my trip abroad?

    If you are returning to England from one of the government’s travel corridor countries you do not need to isolate. To find out if you are travelling from a travel corridor country, please check the list on It changes frequently and without notice, so check it immediately before you travel.