COVID 19 testing with same-day results – Do you need a travel certificate?

Find out more about Fit to Fly Certificates, Day 2 and 8 Testing and Test to Release.

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Covid Travel: Day 2 and 8 Tests, Test to Release and ‘Fit to Fly’ Explained

There are no longer any restrictions on travelling from England to a different country. However, to ensure your safety and to protect public health in the UK and the vaccine rollout, you should not travel to countries or territories on the red or amber lists, outlined by the Government. Read more on the Gov website here.

If you need to travel, there are rules in place to ensure your safety. In this blog post, we’ll explain Covid travel tests and what it all means including ‘Fit to Fly’ certificates, Day 2 and 8 testing, as well as Test to Release.

Fit to Fly: What do I need to know before I book any travel?

To travel to most destinations you will need a Fit to Fly certificate to board your flight. The time scales and requirements vary depending on which country you are travelling to. 

A PCR test is performed by a UKAS accredited provider and a certificate is issued by one of our GMC registered private GPs stating when the test was performed and the result. The time the test was taken is also included as these are time sensitive. 

This is emailed to you through our secure portal password encrypted as a PDF file. 

covid travel

Covid-19 Testing for International Arrivals

From the 15th February this year by law anyone returning to the UK from abroad must take a Covid-19 PCR test on days 2 and 8 of your self -isolation period (unless specifically exempt). All arrivals must also quarantine for 10 days, either in a Government approved hotel (if returning from a red list country) or an alternative approved location (if returning from an amber list country).

If you are arriving from an Amber country then we can help provide you with day 2 and 8 tests

What does ‘day 2 and 8 testing’ mean?

At Linbury Doctors, we provide day 2 and 8 bundles for Covid tests.

After you arrive back in England, you are required to take a Covid test on day 2 of your quarantine. The day you arrive back in the country is counted as day 0. This ‘day 2 test’ is to identify any potentially harmful variants of the virus. Should a positive result come back, you and your household must quarantine for 10 days, starting on the day after the test was taken.

For those who received a negative ‘day 2 test’, they will also need to take a test on or after day 8. If this ‘day 8 test’ is positive, you and your household will need to quarantine until day 19.

Please read more about how to quarantine when you arrive in England on the Gov website here.

Why are day 2 and 8 tests done?

The tests are carried out in order to pick up any positive Covid-19 results. These positive tests are also sent for genomic sequencing, which looks for any new variants of Covid that may be coming into the country from abroad.

test to release

When do I order my swabs?

You must order your Day 2 and Day 8 tests before you return to the UK. Failure to do so may incur fines and other penalties. You can order your tests as early as is convenient for you, and we will post them to you on the required days.

When you order your test, we will ask you to provide details about yourself and your journey. You will then receive a unique reference number, which you must enter on your passenger locator form before you arrive in the UK.

When will I receive my test kits?

Your tests will be sent separately in accordance with Government guidelines. We will post them to you for the required days. Please note that, by law, we cannot send your tests to you earlier than this. You should, however, order your tests as early as possible, prior to your arrival in the UK.

What should I do when I receive my test kit?

Please read the instructions included in your test kit carefully. You should then collect your sample using the swab provided and send it to our laboratory on the same day using the postage-paid return envelope. The Royal Mail is experiencing severe pressure during the pandemic so you may wish to consider returning your sample using a courier.

day 2 and 8 test

Can I stop self-isolating if I test negative?

In accordance with the UK Government’s guidelines, even if you test negative for Covid-19 on Day 2 or Day 8, you must continue to self-isolate for the full 10 days. You can only shorten your self-isolation period if you test negative with our Test to Release. This is a separate test which you can enquire about here.

What is a test to release (TTR)?

Should you wish to end your quarantine period early, you can request a TTR test. 

Test to release is a test that can be done on day 5 to reduce your quarantine time from 10 days to 5 days. This test is optional and for those who don’t wish to reduce their quarantine time they don’t need to do this. 

Here at Linbury Doctors, we can arrange this test for you with a same-day courier to the laboratory, ensuring results are available as soon as possible. 

One of our GMC registered private doctors will then sign and issue you a PDF certificate with your results within 24 hours of completing the TTR test. 

How do I book a Covid test?

You can book any of the above tests by filling out our web enquiry form and a doctor will get back to you to discuss your requirements. A subsequent questionnaire will be emailed to you to ensure we have all the correct details for whichever certificate you may require. 

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How much do these Covid travel tests cost?

Covid travel: Day 2 and 8 package:

  • Postal kits: £210 (postal kits)
  • If a visit is required from the doctor for the tests the cost is: £310

Covid travel: Test to release and Fit to Fly certificate:

  • Postal swab for members of Linbury Doctors: £150 
  • Doctor visit and swab for members: £180 
  • Postal swab for non-members: £160
  • Doctor visit and swab for non-members: £200
  • Courier charge: POA

Please get in touch with us if you’d like to find out more about our testing by calling 0333 050 7338. See the full list of test providers here.

Private doctors in the Cotswolds, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire

If you live in the Cotswolds, Warwickshire, Worcestershire or parts of Oxfordshire our private doctors can discuss home visits to arrange doctor-led swabs if this is a preference.

If you’re looking for a Private GP in these areas, we’d love to help. With extensive experience in a range of different specialisms, we can care holistically for your whole family.

Here are just a few benefits of becoming a member:

  • Get your own dedicated private GP
  • Get GP appointments to suit your schedule
  • Home visits
  • No more time limits on appointments
  • Get next-day results
  • Fast-tracked Covid test results

Find out more about our private doctor memberships here, or give us a call on 0333 050 7338.

What is the rapid COVID antigen test?

The new rapid COVID test is a new test which looks for antigens for COVID-19. Antigens are portions of the virus that induce an immune response in your body. COVID antigen tests are being referred to as a ‘lateral flow test’. In the news recently the rapid tests are undergoing trials in Liverpool and some airports.

How does it work?

The COVID rapid antigen test is performed via a nasopharyngeal swab. We swab in the nostril to the back of the nasal cavity – a bit like the current COVID (PCR) swabs we currently undertake with our patients.  The swab is then mixed with a special solution and placed on a cassette and it takes just 15 minutes to show a result.

The accuracy of these results:

Sensitivity: 100%

Specificity: 96%

Accuracy 98%

The COVID rapid antigen tests have been studied in large studies in Europe, and followed up with PCR swabs ensuring their accuracy. If patients show a positive result its recommended to have a follow up with a PCR test to confirm the result. We always recommend our members to have a swab if they have symptoms. 

The data for the tests looks very reassuring. Currently several manufacturers can produce the kit, but right now they haven’t been approved by Public Health England.

What could the rapid antigen tests be used for?

  • Members and their households. Please discuss this on a case by case basis with your dedicated GP. 
  • Corporate testing

The rapid antigen tests may come in useful as a quick in-house test to help businesses begin to get back to normal. The tests will still need to be administered by a health care professional or a member of the Linbury Doctors team.

If corporate testing is sis of interest as a business need or for household testing, please contact your personal doctor. info@linburydoctors.co.uk 

What the rapid antigen cannot be used for: 

Travel: The rapid test isn’t the right test to obtain a travel certificate. If you do need a travel certificate, the PCR swab is the test you need.

Prior to hospital procedures

If you need a COVID test before you attend a hospital procedure, a PCR swab is the test you need.

Contact with positive cases and reduction of isolation times

If your rapid test has a negative result, you should still self-isolate if you’ve been asked to do so. Any advice made by Public Health England still needs to be followed.

WATCH OUT FOR….You may find some places offering these new rapid antigen tests for a low price. Always make sure any rapid tests you have are CE approved and are given by a registered healthcare professional.

CALL YOUR PERSONAL GP TO DISCUSS- We are always happy to chat to you… 

At Linbury Doctors we are now able to offer the rapid COVID antigen test. Our members can have the rapid antigen test as an addition to our same day PHE approved PCR swabs. We do still recommend that you have the PCR swab after a rapid test. We are happy to discuss this on a case by case basis. 

However we still recommend following Government guidelines.