Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory tract infection caused by a new coronavirus – Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) - which was first recognised in China in December 2019.
Here at Best Health Clinics we can carry out two types of COVID 19 Tests. Both tests are sent to a London based laboratory (UKAS registered) and are approved by Public Health England.
COVID-19 PCR test for flying & international travel
This is if you require a COVID-19 test to see if you are infected with the virus or not. Often required for flying abroad and includes a certificate to prove negative results.
COVID-19 antibody test
This test is to show if you have previously had COVID-19 and detects antibodies in your blood. It is not suitable for flying.
Fitness to Travel Certificate
(fit to fly)
A number on countries and airlines now require passengers to prove evidence of a recent COVID-19 negative result prior to flying, with a certificate. At BHC we can provide COVID-19 PCR tests via nasopharyngeal and throat swabs and results are given within 72 hours. The test has a sensitivity of 98% and specificity of 100%. This test is very accurate at detecting SARS-CoV-2 and is currently accepted as border entry in all countries. Ideally the test should be taken three to five days before departure of the flight, but you should check the requirements of each individual airline. The test should be taken at the earliest time frame possible as results can get occasionally delayed and we cannot take responsibility for any travel disruption as a result of delayed results.
All results will include a copy of the lab report and COVID 19 negative fit to fly certificate for international travel signed by our clinical team.
The timing of receiving your results can vary between 48-72 hours. Generally the majority of results come back within 48 hours however capacity at the lab and sample re-runs can mean the results may take slightly longer. We are not liable for any other costs should your results be delayed.
Frequently asked questions :
What does the PCR swab involve?
The swab testing involves using a long swab to take a sample from the nose and throat. This sample is then sent to the lab to see any SARS-CoV-2 can be detected. The PCR test looks for the virus’s RNA and is very accurate.
How is the swab taken?
How do I book a test?
Please call reception on 01708 477 577 or email email@example.com to book an appointment. Please bring photo-proof of ID along to your appointment to validate your certificate.
How soon should I be tested?
This depends on your airline and country of travel. We would recommend have the test done three to five days before departure. The turnaround time for the results is usually 72 hours (longer if you self-swab and post the sample), so please leave yourself plenty of time as occasionally results can get delayed. It is your responsibility to ensure you leave enough time to get tested and for the results to return.
How will I receive my results?
You will receive your results and COVID-19 negative certificate (fitness to fly) by email to provide the fastest possible turnaround times. The certificate is on our clinics letter headed paper. If your require a paper or stamped copy this can be arranged at no extra cost, but please note it may increase the turn-around time. or The lab is open seven days a week so turn-around times also include the weekend.
Does the price include a certificate?
A certificate as well as the copy of the lab results will be emailed to you. If you would like your passport number or additional information on the certificate please let us know in advance.
What if I develop symptoms of COVID-19 after a negative result?
As with all viral PCR tests, passengers with very low viral loads are less likely to be detected. A 'Not detected' results do not mean you are not infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 after negative result, you should self- isolate as per the current NHS advice and have a new test performed 24-48 hours later. Airlines have the right to refuse travel to anyone they believe is not fit to fly so if staff suspect you have symptoms such as a fever or new persistent cough you may not be allowed to fly.
COVID-19 antibody test
COVID-19 antibody test can detect if you have had an infection in the past. It should be performed 14 days or more following exposure or onset of symptoms. You must ensure all your symptoms have cleared up before you book the test.
This blood test undertaken at our clinic and a sample is sent to the lab in London. The results are available in one to two days time. The test is approved by Public Health England and is very accurate.
What does the COVID-19 antibody result mean?
A positive result means you have had COVID-19 in the past, although we cannot tell when. As this is a new virus it is not known if a positive results means you have immunity and you will be protected fully or partially from future infection, or how long the immunity will last.
If you have a negative result this could mean you have not had the infection, had a mild infection or your body had not produced antibodies at the time of testing.
Who can have this test?
This test is suitable for anyone who want to find out if they could have been infected with the virus, either because they had symptoms or they are worried they may have had an asymptomatic infection. It can also be used by employers looking to bring their staff back to work and they want to see who has had the COVID-19 already.
How do I book the COVID-19 antibody blood test?