COVID Test Frequently Asked Questions

For more information go to the NHS covid-19 website. Do not visit a health centre.

TESTING

What is a PCR Test?

A PCR test is a Polymerase Chain reaction test. This looks for the presence of genetic material (RNA fragments) from SARS-CoV-2 and is used to diagnose if you are currently infected with the virus.

Why should I take a PCR test?

Anyone can take a PCR test. The main reasons for seeking a test are:

  • Concern about exposure – If anyone is worried that they have been exposed to the virus and are showing symptoms they can take the PCR test.
  • Concern for another – You may be in regular contact with a person who is particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 and want to check yourself for your own peace of mind.

For more reasons for taking a PCR test, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

How accurate is the PCR test?

When analysed by Public Health England and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, our test correctly identified all positive and negative samples without exception.

How is the test carried out?

Your sample is sent to our UKAS-accredited laboratory and analysed by EM Analytical.

What does a positive result mean?

As of 24th February 2022, the Government removed the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test.

However, those who test positive will continue to be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with others.

What does an inconclusive result mean?

A small number of tests may return as inconclusive. This means it was not possible to determine if you had the virus at the time of giving the sample. Unfortunately, this means you will need to be tested again. We will either refund your test in full or arrange a new test kit.

Will the test tell me if I already had COVID-19?

No. A PCR test can tell you if you currently have the virus only.

What information will my Fit2Fly certificate contain?

Your fit to fly certificate will contain your name, date of birth, gender, passport number (optional), sample barcode number, sample type, date and time you collected your sample, date and time your sample was tested and a sign-off from our registered Doctor.

Where can I get a Fit2Fly certificate from?

Visit the order page and choose the test option you require.

Will the certificate I am provided with be acceptable to all airlines / is it guaranteed to be accepted?

No, depending on which airline you use and the destination you are travelling to the rules may be different. Please refer to the government website https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for the most up to date information on entry requirements for different countries.

I am not sure whether I need a test or not to fly to my chosen destination - can you help?

Rules and regulations are changing fast, for the most up to date information please visit the government website https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

How far in advance of my trip do I need to take the test?

This will depend on your destination of travel. Some countries allow you to take a test up to 72 hours before your flight, however, some are shorter. For the most up to date information please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

What type of tests do you provide?

We provide home sample PCR tests. This is where we send you a swab and vial to collect your own oral and nasal sample before returning these to us for analysis.

Are your tests accredited / do they conform to ISO 17025?

Yes, our tests are gold standard and conform to all regulatory requirements.

Is delivery cost included in the price of the test?

Yes, everything you require is included in the price.

Do I complete the test at home or at a testing site?

You complete your test at home by collecting an oral and nasal swab using the instructions provided. This is then returned using the prepaid postage label for us to analyse your sample at our laboratory.

What is contained in the test kit?

In the test kit are:

Two swabs, two sample vials, instructions on how to collect your sample, instructions on how to return your sample, instructions on how to register your sample online and all the packaging required to return your sample.

How do I take the test - do I need to swab the back of my throat and nose?

We provide detailed instructions in each test sent. To collect a sample you will need to swab the back of your throat and just around the inside of your nose.

Can someone else help me to take the test if I am struggling to do it myself?

If great care is taken to reduce the risk of cross contamination then yes.

If you require assistance make sure you are comfortable, ensure the person assisting you washes their hands thoroughly, wears gloves while handling the swabs and wears a face mask during the whole process. Only once the sample has been placed in the vial and secured with a lid does the risk of cross contamination disappear.

Will I find taking the test painful/ does the swab hurt?

Taking your test may be uncomfortable, but this is only brief and should not cause you real pain.

How long does a covid test take?

Once we have received your sample at our lab we will have it processed within 6-8 hours.

What could I do wrong that would invalidate my test?

The major risk is cross-contamination. Beyond this ensuring everything is sealed correctly and handled delicately will reduce the risk of an invalid test.

When should I book my Test to Release Scheme test?

If you intend to use the Test to Release Scheme, you may need to provide evidence on entry to the UK that you have a test booked. For this reason we recommend purchasing your test in advance of your flight into the UK. We will send you an email with a confirmation of your booking to use as evidence.

How will I know if I have taken the test correctly?

If you make contact with the swab on the key areas noted in the instructions, this will ensure your test is performed correctly.

How quickly will I receive my results after I have posted the test back to you?

If you are able to drop your test at a Royal Mail priority drop box, we should recieve it the following day and will process it within 24 hours.

How long does it take to get coronavirus test results?

Once we receive your sample we will have your results within 24 hours. With the Royal Mail pre-paid return label, once you drop your sample at one of the Royal Mail Priority Boxes we should receive your sample the next day.

What happens if I contract the Coronavirus after I have completed the test?

If you begin to feel symptoms associated with Coronavirus, even if you have a negative test result, you must self isolate and seek another test to confirm if you have Coronavirus.

Do I receive a paper copy of the certificate or is it digital?

We will send you a digital copy of your certificate as standard, however if you wish to receive a paper copy we can also send this as next day delivery for a small fee.

Can I buy multiple tests for me and my family members?

Yes, you can purchase as many tests as you require. When you register your test online you just need to input the details of the person being tested. Make sure you assign the correct sample tube to the correct person.

Can I buy your tests in bulk for a corporate order?

Yes, we can accommodate bulk orders. If you would like more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch directly.

Do my children need to take Fit2Fly tests?

This will depend on the destination. Some allow children under 12 to travel without a test while others insist everyone is tested. For the most up to date information please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

If I send you my NHS Test Results will you provide me with a certificate without me having to take your test?

No. We must be able to trace your sample from your door to ours and through our laboratory. We cannot give Fit2Fly certificates based on a test received elsewhere.

What happens if I forget my Fit2Fly certificate when I go to the airport?

We will always send a digital copy of your certificate, even if you have requested a paper one. You can access this from any electronic device with an internet connection.

Delivery

How do I return my test to the laboratory?

Using the envelope and pre-paid label provided in the kit, drop your test off at any Royal Mail priority post box. Find your nearest priority post box here: https://www.royalmail.com/services-near-you

How quickly will my test be posted to me after I place my order?

If you order before 2 pm your test will be posted to you the same day. Orders placed after 2 pm will be sent out the following morning.

Is there an option for fast or next day delivery?

With our delivery partner DPD, all deliveries are next day delivery.

Can I track my test delivery?

Yes, all our packages are tracked from start to finish.

Will anyone else have access to my results?

Your results will be shared with the NHS as part of the Track and Trace programme.

Will you inform NHS Track and Trace if my result is positive?

Yes, as part of the NHS Track and Trace programme we would share this information with the NHS.

Lateral Flow Tests

What is a lateral flow test?

Lateral flow tests (LFTs) are a test for coronavirus (COVID-19) that gives a quick result.

LFTs use immunoassay technology using nitrocellulose membrane, coloured nanoparticles (or labels), and typically antibodies and is used to diagnose if you are currently infected with the virus.

Why/When should I take a lateral flow test?

Anyone can take an LFT. The main reasons for seeking a test are:

Concern about exposure – If anyone is worried that they have been exposed to the virus and is asymptomatic they can take the LFT test.

Concern for another – You may be in regular contact with a person who is particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 and want to check yourself for your own peace of mind.

For additional reasons to take an LFT test please refer to https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

How is the LFT test carried out?

The test typically involves taking a sample from your throat and/or nose using a swab.

You get a result within 10 to 20 minutes. There are instructions included that will tell you how long you need to wait before reading your result.

What if the LFT has a positive result?

As of 24th February 2022, the Government removed the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test.

However, those who test positive will continue to be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with others.

What's the difference between PCR and LFT?

As of 24th February 2022, the Government removed the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test.

However, those who test positive will continue to be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with others.