Tests booked through the Government website are not for recreational travel purposes and do not supply you with a fit-to-fly certificate. Unnecessary strain is being put on the government system by those attempting to book tests for travel.
Our in-clinic tests are for travel purposes only. If you have COVID-19 symptoms you should book a test via the Government website or buy a test from our online shop.
The PCR test is a throat and nasal swab that is used to detect the genetic information of the Covid-19 virus (the RNA). The RNA is present in the body before antibodies form, or a person starts exhibiting symptoms.
When the sample swab reaches the lab, a solution known as a ‘reagent’ is added to it. If there is virus present the reagent starts a chain reaction, creating billions of copies of the genetic material in the virus. When there is enough material, it can be detected and analysed by scientists to provide a positive result.
A PCR test gives a good indication of who is infected, meaning a person, and those who they’ve come into contact with, can be isolated and help slow the spread of the virus. The chances of detecting the virus are highest 1-5 days from the onset of suspected symptoms, but it can also be detected later in the illness.
Getting tested is essential for anyone planning on travelling overseas. We offer tests which will give you the necessary lab report, known as a fit-to-fly certificate, to enter these countries with no restrictions.
Most operators and popular destinations require you to produce evidence of test results taken within 72 hours of travel, however, this window can vary so please check with your travel operator if you are unsure. Different airlines have different travel parameters, so ensure you time your test correctly, not too late so as you’re in time to travel, but not too soon as the certificate will expire.
When using our booking calendar you will be able to see the day that you’ll receive your results. We have a standard and an express option which you can choose when booking.
We advise you to check the government website for up-to-date information on travel to other countries, including restrictions travel corridors and rules on returning to the UK.
For ease and speed, your results will be emailed to you from our CQC registered laboratory. Included in the certificate are your personal identifying information, details of our lab, the result of your PCR test, including a detailed breakdown of the test itself, plus the signature and stamp of the medical professional who oversaw the testing of your sample. You can use the email to authenticate your results if required.
We offer both an in-clinic and a test by mail. If you prefer to come to the clinic, we offer guaranteed results within your chosen time frame or your money back. If a face-to-face appointment isn’t convenient, you can book a test from us to do at home here. We send you a swab-based kit that you post back to our labs. Once received, our London clinic will dispatch your sample to our lab via express courier. In-clinic tests are preferable to many customers as they are done under the supervision of our expert clinical staff and dispatched promptly to the lab.
The test has 100% sensitivity. These tests are highly specific because they are based on the unique genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2. The use of nasopharyngeal swabs for molecular testing have the highest accuracy because, in most patients, the nasopharynx, the space above the soft palate at the back of the nose has the highest concentration of virus. If a test comes back positive, you can be confident that there was SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in the specimen collected.
A PCR test does not test for antibodies, so it can’t tell if you’ve had the virus, that is a separate test. However, a negative result can also be useful to demonstrate that if you have had Covid-19, the virus has now cleared.
If you receive a positive result, this means that you are currently infected with COVID-19, and you could pose a risk to others around you. Therefore, you should self-isolate immediately, and inform those you have been in contact within the last 7 days in case this result affects them.
If you would like further information on what you should do if you receive a positive result, you should visit NHS online or contact the NHS on 111.
The countries to which you can currently travel, and their respective regulations are continuously evolving. We recommend that you visit the Government webpage which is kept up to date with the latest information and developments.
Heathrow, Gatwick, Stanstead, Luton and City have all undertaken extra safety measures, including compulsory wearing of face coverings and social distancing in all passenger-facing terminal areas, protective screens, rigorous UV cleaning processes and the extra provision of hand sanitiser and hand-washing facilities across the airports. With a PCR test and professionally approved fit-to-fly certificate from us, you’ll have complete peace of mind. Your main concern will be travelling safe and having a good time.
Your sample collection will be supervised and undertaken by our trained staff who will provide full guidance. You may also wish to familiarise yourself with the sample collection procedure prior to your appointment. If you are taking the test at home, inside the kit will be a sterile swab to take a sample of your nose or throat. The swab should pick up genetic material related to COVID-19 if you are infected.
Carefully insert a swab into the back of the throat near the tonsils and rotate it a few times. Then insert into the back of the nose until you hit some resistance, with a similar rotation action to ensure enough of the sample is collected. Please note, for the test to be performed properly, you will gag and tear up a little. Next, you must place the swab in the preservative liquid in the test tube, without laboratory in the postage envelope provided.
The PCR test kit also comes with full instructions, but If you are unsure how to perform the test you can contact us on 0333 305 8486 and we will talk you through it.
We strive for complete transparency about our test with our patients and are happy to discuss any clinical concerns before, during or after the test. Speak to us in the clinic, or call us on 0333 305 8486 if you have any follow-up questions.
Online Shop & Booking System
PCR Tests can be purchased online and delivered anywhere in the UK. In-clinic PCR travel testing is now available at many of our clinics and can be booked online.
For in-clinic services, you are responsible for taking the swab sample yourself. This will be overseen by a HCP to ensure the sample is taken in the correct manner.
Our laboratory is regulated by the Care Quality Commission. Certificate number: CRT1-4708702735
Blood and Medical Services Ltd Company number 11530768 T/A VIVO Clinic Shop