Boots launches Covid-19 testing service in seven Irish stores

3 Dec 2020

Image: © Tony Baggett/

Boots said that it will initially launch a Covid-19 PCR testing service in seven of its stores, but only to those not showing symptoms.

Boots said it is launching a Covid-19 PCR testing service in a small number of stores in Ireland to cater to Government guidelines that came into effect on 29 November. These guidelines allow for passengers arriving from a designated orange, red or grey region to end their movement restrictions if they receive a negative PCR test taken a minimum of five days after arriving in Ireland.

Boots said that testing will only be made available to those not showing symptoms of Covid-19 and results will be available the day after testing. The test will take place between 9am and 1pm and, once in store, a Boots pharmacist will facilitate the swab test, package the swab and send it to the laboratory to be tested.

Each test – booked online – will cost €139 and will be launched in seven stores initially from 4 December, with plans to roll out further testing across the country after demand is assessed.

The seven stores are:

  • Letterkenny Retail Park, Co Donegal
  • Gateway Shopping Park, Knocknacarra, Co Galway
  • Half Moon Street, Co Cork
  • Monread Shopping Centre, Naas, Co Kildare
  • Dawson Street, Co Dublin
  • Church Street, Tullamore, Co Offaly
  • Ashbourne Town Centre, Co Meath

‘Evolving our pharmacy offering’

Boots said that the cost of the test reflects costs related to lab testing, product materials, in-store infection control measures, courier service, staffing and VAT. In addition to testing international arrivals in Ireland, the pharmacy chain said that it aims to offer it to those looking to get “peace of mind” before visiting family and relatives over Christmas.

“At Boots Ireland we are evolving our pharmacy offering through expanded healthcare and pharmacy services, to future-proof our pharmacy model and provide further support to the Irish healthcare system,” said Caoimhe McAuley, director of pharmacy and superintendent pharmacist at Boots Ireland.

“We are delighted to be launching Covid-19 PCR testing and hope that, by providing this option in local community pharmacies, Boots Ireland can help people who need to travel in line with the EU traffic light system.”

She added: “However, it is important to note that a negative test does not preclude people from observing Government guidelines, which must continue to be adhered to at all times.”

Efforts to ramp up testing continue in Ireland, with LetsGetChecked opening a new lab in Dublin to process Irish home-testing kits.

Ordered online, the in-vitro diagnostic test is performed at home and, through the company’s app, can provide a test result within 24 to 72 hours. To get tested, customers can order a kit online, complete a suitability questionnaire and collect a lower nasal swab sample for processing and physician review.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic