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If you are returning to the UK from Portugal and need to change your Green Day 2 Arrivals test please click this link to process your refund. To make a new booking for an Amber Day 2 & 8 Arrivals test, please click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

All About ExpressTest Covid-19 Tests

We currently offer the following products:

PCR tests

1) "PCR Test Only" Test (not for travel use);
2) "PCR Fit to Fly" Test (for travel from the UK, by any means of transport, that requires a Fit to Fly certificate);
3) "PCR Test to Release" Test (use if you are arriving into England but wish to release from home quarantine after Day 5).

A PCR test is the gold standard in COVID-19 testing. It offers the most accurate results as it can detect even the smallest amount of virus. This means that a negative PCR test result provides the most reliable indication you can safely continue to work and travel.

International Arrivals Travel Test Packages

These are PCR tests, suitable for international arrivals needing to be tested Day 2 and Day 8 as part of the UK Government regulations for people arriving in the UK. ExpressTest are approved by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to provide these tests.
We offer 2 packages:
1) Amber Arrivals Test Package
This is a two test package which includes PCR tests on or before Day 2 and on or after Day 8.
2) Amber Arrivals Test Package with Test To Release
This is a three test package which includes PCR tests on or before Day 2, on or after Day 8 and a PCR Test to Release on Day 5 (or after). If you test negative with the Day 5 Test to Release then you can exit quarantine earlier than the 10 day period mandated for arrivals from amber countries.

Lateral Flow Test
Lateral flow is an established technology, adapted to detect antigens that are present when a person has COVID-19. The best-known example of a lateral flow test is the home pregnancy test kit and the lateral flow test is a similar technology.

A negative result means that active coronavirus infection was not detected at the time of the test. However, this does not guarantee that you do not have coronavirus. Lateral Flow Tests are not analysed in a laboratory like the PCR tests are.

More than one product

If you require more than one product you should make separate bookings. e.g. if you want a PCR Fit to Fly Test for departure and also an arrivals package for your return, you should make two separate bookings.
Note: not all products are available at every site due to different laboratory processes.

It is really important that you investigate thoroughly what kind of tests you need for your entire journey, including transit stops. Places you can do your research include airline websites, the government websites of the countries you are travelling to, or the UK government website which lists countries alphabetically so you can easily find them.

Entry requirements for all countries during the COVID-19 pandemic are different and changing constantly. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the necessary and correct documentation for your journey before you travel.
ExpressTest do not accept any liability should your travel provider or destination country not accept this document.

For the latest UK government foreign travel advice please visit their Foreign Travel Advice page.

For the latest UK government requirements for entering the UK please visit their Entering the UK page.

You may also wish to check with your airline.

Please allow plenty of time for these tests to be done (and the results delivered to you) before you attempt to travel. Managing this test window is your responsibility. PCR Test results are delivered by 10PM the following day, but can take up to 48hours in some cases.

Vaccinations and Travel
For foreign travel, you need to check with the airline and country you are travelling to, to find out whether vaccinations can reduce your testing requirements or quarantine periods. These are set by the destination countries themselves.
Currently for the UK, vaccinations do not affect the entry requirements to the UK.

Children and Testing
Our PCR test can be taken by children of all ages. Your child will see people wearing aprons, gloves and mask (this is to help keep everyone as safe as possible).
If you are able to sit next to your child or have them on your lap during swabbing, it will give them a sense of comfort. If you are in a drive-through centre, then you could try unbuckling your seat belt and turning around to face your child to provide re-assurance. You may wish to bring a toy to help soothe or entertain your child.
In all cases, please let us know if there's anything we could do to make it easier for you all.

All PCR Tests

Please note that we aim to deliver your PCR test results by 10pm the day AFTER your test day, however, in some cases these could take up to 48 hours, especially if your sample needs to be re-tested.

Lateral flow tests

We aim to deliver your Lateral Flow results in 30mins from your sample being taken, but please allow sufficient time especially if the test is required to check-in for your flight.

Book online via our 'Book a Test' page. You can choose your preferred testing centre, time and also pay online.

You will then be sent a Booking Confirmation email containing your Booking Reference (a number beginning CPT or SCPT) and a QR code attached. This could take up to 30 minutes to receive after you’ve made your booking. We suggest you also check your spam/junk folder for the email, as some email providers may place it there.

You must bring the QR code with you when you arrive for your test. Please also bring your valid Passport, National ID or Travel Document if you have booked 'PCR Fit to Fly' Test or 'PCR Test to Release' Test.

Can I book over the phone?
Bookings can only be made via our website and not by phone. Our website currently shows all our available slots and you will not gain access to additional slots by calling our customer care centre.

If you need more than one product
You should make separate bookings. e.g. if you want a PCR Fit to Fly Test for departure and also an arrivals package for your return, you should make two separate bookings.
Note: not all products are available at every site due to different laboratory processes.

Maximum Group Size
You can book for up to 5 people in one booking. If your group is larger than this you will need to make 2 or more bookings and arrive in 2 or more vehicles.

Don't forget to bring all of your QR codes to the appointments.

You must bring your booking email containing the QR code with you when you come for your test, to gain access to the testing centre.

Please also bring your valid Passport, National ID or Travel Document if you have booked a 'PCR Fit to Fly' Test or a 'PCR Test to Release' Test.

Any staff members claiming staff discounts must also bring their appropriate employee ID.

If you’ve paid for and made a booking, a Booking Confirmation email containing your Booking Reference (a number beginning CPT or SCPT) and a QR code attached, will be emailed and texted to you. This could take up to 30 minutes to receive, after you’ve made your booking. We suggest you also check your spam/junk folder for the email, as some email providers may place it there.

If after 30 minutes of paying for and making your booking you have not received your email in either your Inbox or your spam/junk folder, please fill in the appropriate form on our Contact Us page.

 

All About Our Test Centres

Most of our sites are open 7 days a week. Occasionally some of our non-airport sites may be closed for a day to enable other events to be held at the venues. However, the booking calendar will reflect this.

Vehicle height restrictions
All of our drive through sites have a 2.4 metre height restriction on vehicles. Unfortunately, this means that if you are driving a vehicle taller than this, for example an HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) or a lorry, you will not be able to use our drive through facilities.

Can I walk or bike to the testing centres?
You must arrive by car to our drive-through centres. This is for safety reasons.
You can walk to one of our walk-in test centres, some of which are in shopping centres or sports venues so they may have bike storage at those centres.

We currently have testing centres at Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham and Edinburgh, as well as regional testing centres across the country - please see our 'Testing centres' page to find the test centre nearest to you. 

The Heathrow drive-through facility will be moving on June 16th to the T4 Long Stay Car Park which is located close to Terminal 4 on the southern perimeter road between the Beacon Road roundabout and Terminal 4. Site address is Scylla Road, Heathrow Airport, Southern Perimeter Road, Hounslow TW6 3XL. The site can easily be found by following the signs to the ExpressTest facility or to the T4 Long Stay car park.

Walk-ins and drive-throughs

Please note that some centres are 'Drive-through', some are 'Walk-in' and some are both of these. Please check the test centre accommodates the method of transport you intend to use.

Toilets
There are no customer facilities on site.

To ensure the highest levels of safety for both our customers and our staff at our drive-through centres, we must ask that customers do not leave their vehicle whilst at our testing facilities.

Waiting rooms
After we have taken your swab you will need to return home and there are no customer waiting facilities on site.
For all PCR Tests we aim to email your result to you by 10pm the day AFTER your test, however in some cases, this could take up to 48 hours to receive.
If you are waiting for a Lateral Flow Test result, then you can make your way to the departures area, because your results will be with you within 30 minutes.

All About Departures Testing

It is really important that you investigate thoroughly what kind of tests you need for your entire journey, including transit stops. Places you can do your research include airline websites, the government websites of the countries you are travelling to, or the UK government website which lists countries alphabetically so you can easily find them.

Entry requirements for all countries during the COVID-19 pandemic are different and changing constantly. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the necessary and correct documentation for your journey before you travel.
ExpressTest do not accept any liability should your travel provider or destination country not accept this document.

For the latest UK government foreign travel advice please visit their Foreign Travel Advice page.

For the latest UK government requirements for entering the UK please visit their Entering the UK page.

You may also wish to check with your airline.

Please allow plenty of time for these tests to be done (and the results delivered to you) before you attempt to travel. Managing this test window is your responsibility. PCR Test results are delivered by 10PM the following day, but can take up to 48hours in some cases.

Vaccinations and Travel
For foreign travel, you need to check with the airline and country you are travelling to, to find out whether vaccinations can reduce your testing requirements or quarantine periods. These are set by the destination countries themselves.
Currently for the UK, vaccinations do not affect the entry requirements to the UK.

Children and Testing
Our PCR test can be taken by children of all ages. Your child will see people wearing aprons, gloves and mask (this is to help keep everyone as safe as possible).
If you are able to sit next to your child or have them on your lap during swabbing, it will give them a sense of comfort. If you are in a drive-through centre, then you could try unbuckling your seat belt and turning around to face your child to provide re-assurance. You may wish to bring a toy to help soothe or entertain your child.
In all cases, please let us know if there's anything we could do to make it easier for you all.

The Fit to Fly certificate provides evidence that you have undertaken COVID-19 testing prior to your journey by plane, ship, car, or train. To get this certificate, you must bring your Passport, National ID or Travel Document to your appointment. If your result is negative for Covid-19 we will email your Fit to Fly certificate with your test result to the email address you have provided us with. Please ensure that your email address is spelled correctly when you register with us.

You must check with your travel provider that they will accept this documentation, before booking a test. Entry requirements for all countries during the COVID-19 pandemic are different and changing constantly. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the necessary and correct documentation for your journey before you travel.
ExpressTest do not accept any liability should your travel provider or destination country not accept this document.

For the latest UK government foreign travel advice please visit their Foreign Travel Advice page.

For the latest UK government requirements for entering the UK please visit their Entering the UK page.

Can I get an example of the Fit to Fly certificate in advance?
Unfortunately we are not able to share this. However, it will contain the following type of information: personal details, time/date of swabbing/lab testing plus the result.

All PCR Tests

Please note that we aim to deliver your PCR test results by 10pm the day AFTER your test day, however, in some cases these could take up to 48 hours, especially if your sample needs to be re-tested.

Lateral flow tests

We aim to deliver your Lateral Flow results in 30mins from your sample being taken, but please allow sufficient time especially if the test is required to check-in for your flight.

CANCELLING

More than 72 hours before appointment:
You may cancel your booking up until 72 hours (3 days) before your test appointment time. If you wish to cancel your booking, visit our Support page to find out more. You can view our cancellation policy in our Terms and Conditions.

If you have an account with us, you can log in and view your booking details and your results when they are ready.

Logging in to your account also allows you to:
- Cancel your booking (up to 72 hours before your appointment time);
- Change the date and/or time of your appointment (up until 24hrs before your booked appointment time - subject to availability);
- Edit your personal details (right up until your appointment time).

Less than 72 hours before appointment:
Requests for cancellations within 72 hours of your booked appointment time will not be permitted except for the following reasons:
1) Your flight has been cancelled by the airline within 72 hours of departure
2) The government guidelines have changed.
In either case, you should send us proof of those changes and we will offer the following options:
-rebook for an alternative date
-accept a voucher for a future test (valid for 12 months).

Vouchers are valid for an equivalent test to use at any of our testing centres within a period of 12 months from the date of your original test (subject to availability).

All bookings are non-refundable.

If you wish to cancel your booking, please visit our Support page. You can view our cancellation policy in our Terms and Conditions.

I have an account
If you have an account with us, you can log in and view your booking details and your results when they are ready.

Logging in to your account also allows you to:
- Cancel your booking (up to 72 hours before your appointment time);
- Change the date and/or time of your appointment (up until 24hrs before your booked appointment time - subject to availability);
- Edit your personal details (right up until your appointment time).

The time window you need to allow yourself to get your test done varies according to the type of test and the requirements of your destination country and/or airline. Some countries require tests to be taken closer to your departure (or arrival at destination) time. It is up to you to ensure that you meet these requirements.

PCR Tests

We recommend that you undertake a test 72 hours before your flight departure to allow sufficient time for your test results to be processed. However, you must check this with your travel provider and ensure that this is appropriate given the regulations in your destination country. Some countries require tests to be taken closer to your departure time. It is up to you to ensure that you meet these requirements.

Please also note that we aim to deliver your PCR test results by 10pm the day AFTER your test day, however, in some cases these could take up to 48 hours especially if your sample needs to be re-tested.

Please ensure you allow sufficient time when you book a time for your test while taking into account these delivery times to ensure you receive your results when you need them - especially if required to check-in for a flight.

Lateral Flow Tests

We aim to deliver your Lateral Flow results in 30mins from your sample being taken, but please allow sufficient time especially if required for check-in for your flight.

We currently offer the following products:

PCR Tests
1) "PCR Test Only" Test (not for travel use);
2) "PCR Fit to Fly" Test (for travel from the UK, by any means of transport, that requires a Fit to Fly certificate);
3) "PCR Test to Release" Test (use if you are arriving into England but wish to release from home quarantine after Day 5).

A PCR test is the gold standard in COVID-19 testing. It offers the most accurate results as it can detect even the smallest amount of virus. This means that a negative PCR test result provides the most reliable indication you can safely continue to work and travel.

Lateral Flow Test
Lateral flow is an established technology, adapted to detect antigens that are present when a person has COVID-19. The best-known example of a lateral flow test is the home pregnancy test kit and the lateral flow test is a similar technology.

A negative result means that active coronavirus infection was not detected at the time of the test. However, this does not guarantee that you do not have coronavirus. Lateral Flow Tests are not analysed in a laboratory like the PCR tests are.

If you require more than one product you should make separate bookings. e.g. if you want a PCR Fit to Fly Test for departure and also an arrivals package for your return, you should make two separate bookings.
Note: not all products are available at every site due to different laboratory processes.

AMENDING AND RESCHEDULING

More than 72 hours before appointment
You can amend your booking up to 72 hours prior to your booking slot time. If you wish to do this, please visit our Booking Amendment page.

If you have an account with us, you can log in and view your booking details and your results when they are ready.

Logging in to your account also allows you to:
- Cancel your booking (up to 72 hours before your appointment time);
- Change the date and/or time of your appointment (up until 24hrs before your booked appointment time - subject to availability);
- Edit your personal details (right up until your appointment time).

Less than 72 hours before appointment
Requests for changes within 72 hours of your booked appointment time will not be permitted except for the following reasons:

1) Your flight has been cancelled by the airline within 72 hours of departure
2) The government guidelines have changed.
In either case, you should send us proof of those changes and we will offer the following options:
-rebook for an alternative date
-accept a voucher for a future test.

Vouchers are valid for an equivalent test to use at any of our testing centres within a period of 12 months from the date of your original test (subject to availability).

All bookings are non-refundable.

If you wish to do this, please visit our Booking Amendment page.

Can I add someone to my booking?
No, unfortunately once a booking is made, it cannot be amended to add another person. However, you can create a new booking for the extra members of your party. Make sure that you bring both QR codes to your appointment.

 

Unfortunately, we are currently unable to issue Fit to Fly certificates for customers travelling to Jersey due to local government requirements. If you have already booked a test with us for travel to this destination, please contact us and we will assist with amending your booking.
We have been formally assessed by UKAS for ISO15189 and ISO22870 and expect the official accreditation to be in place by the end of June. We will provide an update here, once this has happened and we can then provide Fit to Fly certificates for customers travelling to Jersey.

All About Arrivals Testing

Arrivals testing is required for all passengers arriving into England unless you are exempt. It you are arriving from a Red List country, then you are not eligible for our service, because you must use the UK Government's 'managed quarantine' service.
Our Arrivals tests are PCR tests, suitable for international arrivals needing to be tested on Day 2 and Day 8 as part of the UK Government regulations for people arriving in the UK. ExpressTest are approved by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to provide these tests.

We currently offer the following products:

Green List Arrivals: Mandatory Day 2 PCR Test
Amber List Arrivals: Mandatory Day 2 and Day 8 PCR Tests
England Arrivals Only - an optional Day 5 PCR Test to Release (from home quarantine) Not available in Scotland, Wales or NI.

International Arrivals Travel Test Packages
We offer 2 packages:
1) Amber Arrivals Test Package
This is a two test package which includes PCR tests on or before Day 2 and on or after Day 8.
2) Amber Arrivals Test Package with Test To Release (England Arrivals only)
This is a three test package which includes PCR tests on or before Day 2, on or after Day 8 and a PCR Test to Release on Day 5 (or after). If you test negative with the Day 5 PCR Test to Release then you can exit quarantine earlier than the 10 day period mandated for arrivals from amber countries.

Can I book them separately?
The PCR Test to Release test can be booked separately to the Amber Arrivals Test Package. The Amber Arrivals Test Package is a compulsory government requirement and cannot be booked separately, and the PCR Test to Release test on Day 5 is optional, but for England Arrivals only.

Home test kits
We are looking to launch this product in Summer 2021. Please check our website regularly to stay informed.

You can find the reference to use on your Passenger Locator Form, on your Order Confirmation email, from noreply@expresstest.co.uk. The reference is called an Individual Booking Reference.

You may find that it has a hyphen in it e.g. EXPRE-1234567. If it does, please remove the hyphen when entering in the Passenger Locator Form like this: EXPRE1234567.

Yes, the PCR Test to Release Test can be booked separately to the Amber Arrivals Test Package. The Amber Arrivals Test Package is a compulsory government requirement for travellers arriving from countries on the Amber List, but the PCR Test to Release test on Day 5 is optional.

Arrivals Tests and Packages
You may only cancel arrivals packages for the following reasons:
1) Your flight has been cancelled by the airline
2) The government guidelines have changed.
In either case, you should send us proof of those changes and we will offer the following options:
-rebook for an alternative date
-accept a voucher for a future test
You cannot cancel individual tests within your package.

My arrival date has changed
If your date of arrival has changed, you will need to cancel and re-book your new package. To cancel/amend your booking, visit our Support page to find out more.

Testing positive on Day 2 of the Amber Arrivals Test Package
We will automatically cancel your Day 8 Test from your Amber Arrivals Test Package (and your PCR Test to Release Test as well, if you have booked the Amber Arrivals Test Package with Test To Release) in line with UK Government legislation. 

Testing positive on Day 5 of the Amber Arrivals Test Package with Test to Release
We will automatically cancel your Day 8 Test from your Amber Arrivals Test Package with Test to Release. However if you booked your PCR Test to Release separately from your Amber Arrivals Test Package then your Day 8 test will not be cancelled.

In the event of a positive result, you need to self-isolate for a period of ten days from the date of your positive test. You may wish to contact the NHS for further guidance on self-isolation or call them on 111.

You will not receive a refund for the cancelled tests as positive samples require additional processing to check for variants of COVID-19.

We look to launch this product in Summer 2021. Please check our website regularly to stay informed.

All About The Science

PCR Test
A PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test is an antigen test and is used to detect a virus’ genetic material (DNA/RNA) from a throat and/or nasal swab. This type of test is very accurate and is considered to be the gold standard in COVID-19 testing.

Lateral Flow Test
Lateral flow is an established technology, adapted to detect antigens that are present when a person has COVID-19. The best-known example of a lateral flow test is the home pregnancy test kit and the lateral flow test is a similar technology.

The test kit is a hand-held device with an absorbent pad at one end and a reading window at the other. Inside the device is a strip of test paper that changes colour in the presence of COVID-19 antigens.

A negative result means that active coronavirus infection was not detected at the time of the test. However, this does not guarantee that you do not have coronavirus. Lateral Flow Tests are not analysed in a laboratory like the PCR tests are.

ExpressTest use the VERI-Q COVID-19 Antigen Lateral Flow Rapid Test. The sensitivity and specificity rates for this test are:
Diagnostic Sensitivity: 97.3 % (95% CI: 86.2 % -99.9 %)
Diagnostic Specificity: 100 % (95% CI: 97.26 % -100 %)
Positive predictive value (PPV): 100 %
Negative predictive value (NPV): 99.3 % (95% CI: 95.1 % -99.9 %)

Test to Release Test (TTR)
If you arrive in England from a country on the amber list, you need to take two arrivals tests and quarantine at the place you are staying for ten days. You may be able to end this quarantine early through the ‘Test to Release’ scheme.
Note: Requirements may differ in Wales and it is not available currently in Scotland.

The scheme is an option available to anyone arriving in England from amber list countries. The earliest you can take a test is 5 days after you arrive. For example, if you arrive on a Monday, you can take a test from the following Saturday.
As soon as you receive a negative result, you can stop quarantining (but you would still need to take your Day 8 Arrivals test).

You cannot use the Test to Release scheme if you’ve been in or through a country on the red list in the 10 days before your arrival.
Our PCR Test to Release Test is bookable as part of our Amber Arrivals Test Package either as a bundle, or separately if you want to decide later.

For more information visit the government website.

An antibody test detects if you have already had the virus by checking for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies in your immune system. An antigen test only detects the virus that is currently in your body. As part of our ExpressTest service, we offer antigen Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests and antigen Lateral Flow tests which detect presence of virus.

It is a quick test and doesn't hurt but can be uncomfortable.

In the event of a positive result, you need to self-isolate for a period of ten days from the date of your positive test. You may wish to contact the NHS for further guidance on self-isolation or call them on 111.

We will notify the UK Public Health authority and NHS Test and Trace, and they will contact you with further information about your positive result.

You will not receive a refund for the cancelled tests as positive samples require additional processing to check for variants of COVID-19.

A PCR test is the gold standard in COVID-19 testing and is the test used by the NHS. It offers the most accurate results as it can detect even the smallest amount of virus. This means that a negative PCR test result provides the most reliable indication you can safely continue to work and travel.

Lateral flow is an established technology, adapted to detect antigens that are present when a person has COVID-19. The best-known example of a lateral flow test is the home pregnancy test kit.

The test kit is a hand-held device with an absorbent pad at one end and a reading window at the other. Inside the device is a strip of test paper that changes colour in the presence of COVID-19 antigens.

A negative result means that active coronavirus infection was not detected, at the time of the test. However, this does not guarantee that you do not have coronavirus. It is not analysed in a laboratory, like the PCR tests are.

Yes, our tests have been specifically designed to focus on highly conserved regions of the viral RNA. The variations or mutations do not impact the sensitivity or specificity of our tests. As always, we will continue to monitor the science to provide a highly effective and accurate test result.

Our screening practitioners have all undergone rigorous medical training in how to administer and process swabbing.

No. None of the recently authorized and recommended vaccines in the UK can cause you to test positive on viral tests (like our PCR test), which are used to see if you have a current infection.​

Everything Else

ExpressTest use Cignpost Diagnostics’ laboratories and doctors who are regulated and compliant with the requisite regulations and insurance to administer and process testing.

ExpressTest is a DHSC (Department of Health and Social Care) listed private provider of Covid-19 screening services.

We have accredited data partners, RFIDentikit LTD and Absurd LTD, who will safely store your data in line with GDPR and other data laws.

Cignpost Diagnostics Limited is a data controller, RFIDentikit LTD and Absurd LTD are our data processors. Please see our Fair Processing Notice for further details.

You can contact us via our 'Contact Us' page on the website. 

Express Test is a DHSC (Department of Health & Social Care) listed private provider of COVID-19 screening services. We have submitted our application to UKAS for ISO 15189 certification (Ref: 22104). We comply with all the government regulations with respect to submitting results to the relevant Public Health Authority. You must check with your destination country whether a government listed lab is accepted.

Authorised requests for information can be requested via police.contact@cignpostdiagnostics.com.

Why Choose Us?

Our first concern is for our customer’s safety and welfare. This is why all our tests conform to the highest safety standards and use the latest gold Standard technology to provide you with accurate results and peace of mind.

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