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

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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. 

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.