Priority postbox Sheffield: How to find the nearest Royal Mail postbox for sending back your PCR Covid test

You can now get PCR tests delivered to your door – but you will need to find a priority postbox to send it back.

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 4:46 pm

While it is now easier than ever to complete a Covid test as you can do it from the comfort of your own home, sending it back can be a little bit trickier.

Once you have collected your sample you must deposit it in a Royal Mail priority postbox in order for it to be sent back and analysed by a lab.

But what is a priority postbox and where can you find one in Sheffield? Here is everything you need to know.

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PCR Covid tests need to be sent back using a Royal Mail priority postbox - this is how to find one in Sheffield. Photo by Shutterstock.

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What is a Royal Mail priority postbox?

Royal Mail describes itself as a ‘key partner for the Government's coronavirus testing programme.’

It says: “We are collecting completed test kits from priority postboxes or from homes as part of the Government programme.”

You can find a Royal Mail priority postbox for sending back your Covid PCR test by looking out for these stickers on the front. Photo by Royal Mail.

It’s likely you’ll be asked to post your completed coronavirus test kit to one of Royal Mail’s 35,000 specially selected priority postboxes. These can be identified by the NHS/Royal Mail sticker affixed to them.

If you are expecting your local postbox to carry such a sticker, but you arrive to find it does not, you can still use it, though Royal Mail requests you let them know by calling 0345 266 8038 Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm.

Aside from the stickers on the front, priority postboxes look very similar to normal Royal Mail postboxes.

How does a priority postbox work?

The idea behind priority postboxes is that Royal Mail can use them to get completed test kits back to the NHS as quickly as possible.

Designating certain postboxes as priority ones can also help to reduce the number of boxes that are used to collect coronavirus samples.

This means fewer postboxes come into contact with the virus, thus minimising the risk of spreading the infection.

Royal Mail says it has worked ‘in partnership with the Chief Medical Officer to ensure that the process is safe for our colleagues’.

How can I find my nearest priority postbox in Sheffield?

Details on how to find your nearest priority postbox are laid out clearly in the instruction booklet that arrives with your PCR home test kit.

But if you’re still having trouble, you will also be able to find your nearest priority postbox on the Royal Mail app or the Royal Mail website.

If you’re unable to access a computer or smart device, you can call 0345 266 8038.

This line is open 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

There are hundreds of priority postboxes in Sheffield which can be found by typing in your postcode on the website to find your nearest one.