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If you have a booking that you need to cancel following the Government changes please complete the Cancellation Form

Frequently Asked Questions

All About ExpressTest Covid-19 Tests

We offer Covid-19 tests suitable for travel, both for Departures from the UK and Arrivals as well.

We will supply a "Fit to Fly" certificate with a negative result if you choose a test called "Fit to Fly". This is the certificate you need to check in for your travel, whether you are flying or travelling by ship, boat, train or car to destinations outside of the UK.

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. A negative PCR test result provides the most reliable indication you can safely continue to work and travel.

 

Departures Tests
We offer PCR, LAMP and Antigen Lateral Flow tests with Fit to Fly certificates suitable for travel out of the UK.

PCR
PCR is the most accurate test, but takes the longest time of all due to the time it takes to process in the laboratory. We do offer a 3-hour PCR at limited locations if you need a PCR urgently.

Antigen Lateral Flow
Antigen Lateral Flow tests are the fastest to get a result but are less accurate than PCRs.

LAMP
LAMP tests are somewhere in between in terms of timing, but they are only accepted in limited areas, so it is very important that you check if it is the test you need.

Antibody
We do not currently offer Antibody Tests. (Don't confuse these with Antigen Lateral Flow which are different.)

 

Arrivals Tests
We offer a range of tests suitable for your journey to the UK. Our Arrivals Tests are 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.

Pre-departure Test (before flying to the UK)
Before you travel to the UK, if you are not fully vaccinated according to the requirements set by the UK Government, you need to get a Pre-Departure Test called a Remote Lateral Flow Test. We can send this to you before you leave home to take with you on your journey. You will be uploading your results to an app, and we will produce a Fit to Fly Certificate for a negative result.

Arrivals Testing (once arrived in the UK)
We offer arrivals tests for Day 2, Day 8 and also the Day 5 Test to Release (from isolation). These are all currently PCR tests and are also bookable as Home Tests for many locations in England, Wales and Scotland. Soon we will have a Day 2 Lateral Flow test available for fully vaccinated arrivals into England. Please check back later for updates about this product.
Whichever Arrivals test you choose, it is advisable to plan in advance of your travel dates because you need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form with your test details before travelling to the UK.

Test Packages
Multiple Arrivals tests can be packaged up together as a bundle (eg Day 2 & Day 8), but they need to be booked separately from Departures tests.

Note: not all products are available at every site due to different laboratory processes.

Departures Testing
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.

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.

Good places to start are the latest UK Government Foreign Travel Advice (for travel out of the UK) and then for your return, please check requirements for entering the UK. You may also wish to check with your airline.

Arrivals Testing
The tests you need for your arrival to the UK depend on whether you travelled to a red list country, your vaccination status if you are an adult, your country of residency and age if you are a child and which country you are arriving into (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales). You'll need to check the following pages on gov.uk:

Travel to England
Red List of Countries
Countries with Approved Proof of Vaccination

You can also visit our FAQ on Arrivals Tests for Children where you will find links to specific information for children arriving into England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

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. Please see the FAQ called "When will I get my results" for timescales.

Children and Young People
The Arrivals tests requirements for children and young people depend on age and country of residency. The devolved governments of the UK all have different Arrivals requirements, which can be found on the following pages:

England

Northern Ireland

Scotland

Wales

Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult for their test.

Younger Children
Our tests can be taken by children of all ages, if needed. 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. You may wish to have a toy handy 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.

PCR Tests
Please note that we aim to deliver your PCR test results by 10pm the day AFTER your test. (Home tests are different).

3 Hour PCR Tests
The 3 Hour PCR test results will be delivered within 3 hours of your sample being taken. (Available at selected locations by appointment: please make a booking.)

LAMP Tests
LAMP test results will be delivered 2 hours after testing. But please check that LAMP is accepted by your destination country.

Antigen Lateral Flow Tests
We aim to deliver your Lateral Flow results in 40mins from your sample being taken, but please allow sufficient time especially if the test is required to check-in for your flight.

Home Tests
Home test results will be delivered 24 hours after the sample arrives at our laboratory.

Remote Lateral Flow
The Remote Lateral Flow test results are delivered in 1 hour providing that all the information is uploaded correctly and in a readable format.

We aim to deliver your PCR test results by 10pm the day AFTER your test, and in some cases, it could take up to 48 hours to receive your results. If it is not yet 10pm UK time then please wait until this time has elapsed.

3 Hour PCR Test results take 3 hours from the time of the test until the results are ready. Please wait until 3 hours have passed before contacting us.

LAMP Test results take 2 hours from the time of the test until the results are ready. Please wait until 2 hours have passed before contacting us.

Antigen Lateral Flow results take 40 minutes. Please wait until this time has elapsed before contacting us.

Home Tests are delivered 24 hours after the sample reaches the laboratory. You will know when the sample reaches the laboratory because we will send you an email to confirm this. Please wait until this time has elapsed before contacting us.

Remote Lateral Flow results are delivered within 1 hour providing that all the information is uploaded correctly and in a readable format. Please wait until this time has elapsed before contacting us.

If it is already after this time, then please tell us by filling out this form. Our Customer Response Team work 24/7 and will prioritise your case if the deadline has already passed.

Please note that Home Test results will be delivered 24 hours after your sample has arrived at our laboratory, so please wait until this time has passed before contacting us.

We accept Mastercard/Visa/American Express/Diners Card & Maestro via our website only. We do not accept cash at our Testing Centres, or payment over the phone.

If you have been given a voucher, you can enter the voucher code on the payment page when you make your new booking.

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 for all tests associated with travel (Departures and Arrivals) in and out of the UK.

Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

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.

 

I can’t find the page to log on

The link to the log in page can be found in the header of the ExpressTest website, on your account activation e-mail and also in your booking confirmation e-mail.

I can’t remember which e-mail address I used

Whichever e-mail address you used to create an account or make the original booking with, is the email address you should use. It identifies you to us. Please check that you typed it correctly including the country identifier ending (e.g. ".co.uk" or ".com") If you continue to have problems please contact our customer services team.

I can’t remember my password

Please click the ‘forgot password’ link on the log in screen, you will then be sent a link to reset your password. Follow this link, reset your password, close your browser and re-open it, before logging again.

All About Our Test Centres

When you visit one of our centres, we will ask you to wear a mask until the moment that you are being swabbed. The swabbing practitioner will tell you when to remove your mask and put it back on afterwards.
All of our staff will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and they are PCR tested twice a week, routinely.

Safeguarding
Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian to be tested.

We currently have testing centres at Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham and Edinburgh airports, as well as regional testing centres across the country - please see our 'Directions' page to find the test centre nearest to you. (Not all tests are available at all locations.)

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

Park to Test
Our Park to Test facility is at our Heathrow Terminal 4 Drive through site. It is for Antigen Lateral Flow tests only, and allows you to park outside the door while you go in and get your test done.

It is very suitable for families and groups from the same bubble who are all getting Antigen Lateral Flow tests at the same time.

There are dedicated parking areas for coaches, minibuses and taxis at our Heathrow Park to Test centre.

Toilets
There are no customer facilities within our Testing Centres.

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 leave our Testing Centre as there are no customer waiting facilities on site.

For all PCR Tests at our testing centres, 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 3 hour PCR, a LAMP or Antigen Lateral Flow Test result, then you can make your way to the airline/transport check-in area, because your results will be with you within 3 hours (3-hr PCR), 2 hours (LAMP) or 40 minutes (Antigen Lateral Flow).

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 centres 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, bike or ride a motorcycle to the testing centres?
You must arrive in a vehicle to use our Drive through centres. This is for safety reasons. Taxis can drive you through our Drive throughs if they want to. Motorcycles are allowed at all our Drive through centres except at Birmingham Airport.

You can walk to one of our Walk through test centres, some of which are in shopping centres or sports venues so they may have bike storage at those centres.

Can I bring my dog to the Drive through test centre?
You can bring your dog. Dogs must be restrained in the vehicle as per Highway Code regulations for us to be able to test you properly. Dogs will not be allowed out in the car park area at the Drive through centre, so please plan your journey with that in mind.

Park to Test
Our Park to test facility is available at our Heathrow Drive through centre. It is for Antigen Lateral Flow tests only, and allows you to park outside the door while you go in and get your test done. It is very suitable for families and groups from the same bubble who are all getting Antigen Lateral Flow tests at the same time.

Arriving in a coach/minibus or taxi for Park to Test
Coaches/mini vans can park in dedicated area while you walk into the testing area and then back to your vehicle.
If you are arriving by taxi, the taxi waits in the dedicated taxi parking area while you go inside and get your test done.

All About Departures Testing

Departures Testing
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.

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.

Good places to start are the latest UK Government Foreign Travel Advice (for travel out of the UK) and then for your return, please check requirements for entering the UK. You may also wish to check with your airline.

Arrivals Testing
The tests you need for your arrival to the UK depend on whether you travelled to a red list country, your vaccination status if you are an adult, your country of residency and age if you are a child and which country you are arriving into (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales). You'll need to check the following pages on gov.uk:

Travel to England
Red List of Countries
Countries with Approved Proof of Vaccination

You can also visit our FAQ on Arrivals Tests for Children where you will find links to specific information for children arriving into England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

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. Please see the FAQ called "When will I get my results" for timescales.

Children and Young People
The Arrivals tests requirements for children and young people depend on age and country of residency. The devolved governments of the UK all have different Arrivals requirements, which can be found on the following pages:

England

Northern Ireland

Scotland

Wales

Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult for their test.

Younger Children
Our tests can be taken by children of all ages, if needed. 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. You may wish to have a toy handy 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 (or if you have an account, this will be available in your account). 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.

Do your Fit to Fly certificates have a QR code?

Our Fit to Fly certificates do not contain a QR code. Most countries / travel destinations do not require this but if you have checked the specific requirements for your travel destination and it is required please contact our customer services team by completing the following form 

 

PCR Tests
Please note that we aim to deliver your PCR test results by 10pm the day AFTER your test. (Home tests are different).

3 Hour PCR Tests
The 3 Hour PCR test results will be delivered within 3 hours of your sample being taken. (Available at selected locations by appointment: please make a booking.)

LAMP Tests
LAMP test results will be delivered 2 hours after testing. But please check that LAMP is accepted by your destination country.

Antigen Lateral Flow Tests
We aim to deliver your Lateral Flow results in 40mins from your sample being taken, but please allow sufficient time especially if the test is required to check-in for your flight.

Home Tests
Home test results will be delivered 24 hours after the sample arrives at our laboratory.

Remote Lateral Flow
The Remote Lateral Flow test results are delivered in 1 hour providing that all the information is uploaded correctly and in a readable format.

AMENDING AND RESCHEDULING

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

You cannot amend your test type or test location; you would need to cancel your test and re-book a new one.

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 Departures booking 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 by visiting our Booking Amendment page
-accept a voucher for a future test by visiting our Cancellation page and then booking a new 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.

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).

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.

Express Test is a DHSC (Department of Health & Social Care) listed private provider of COVID-19 screening services and part of Cignpost Diagnostics.

Cignpost Diagnostics has been formally assessed by UKAS for ISO15189 for quality of integrity, impartiality and competence; and ISO22870 for Point of Care Testing and has received formal confirmation that all findings have been cleared with a schedule of accreditation issued. We are awaiting the final approval of stage 3 accreditation from UKAS (Ref: 22104). UKAS has confirmed that Cignpost Diagnostics is to remain on the DHSC approved list of providers and can continue to operate. Our UKAS schedule can be viewed here: https://www.ukas.com/wp-content/uploads/schedule_uploads/972094/22104-Medical-Multiple.pdf

We will provide an update in our UKAS FAQ, once this has happened and we can then provide Fit to Fly certificates for customers travelling to Jersey.

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 from our testing centres by 10pm the day AFTER your test.

On The Day Tests
3 hour PCR Tests, LAMP tests and Antigen Lateral Flow tests can be taken on the day. If the result is negative, you could potentially travel on the same day, but you need to check that a 3 hour PCR, LAMP or Antigen Lateral Flow test is the correct one for your destination and airline, and leave enough time to get this done.

Remote Lateral Flow
The Remote Lateral Flow test results are delivered within 1 hour providing that all the information is uploaded correctly and in a readable format. Please allow sufficient time for the upload, assessment and reply to be sent across global data networks and WIFI.

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.

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) "3-Hour PCR Fit to Fly" Test (for travel from the UK, by any means of transport) - this is a fast version of our standard PCR Fit to Fly with results within 3 hours of your test, this is only available at Heathrow Terminal 5.
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.

LAMP Test
LAMP is a different type of COVID-19 test from PCR and Lateral Flow. It is less sensitive and accurate than PCR but more sensitive and accurate than a Lateral flow test.

Only a handful of countries accept this as a test to enter their country so it’s important the customer checks the suitability of this test before booking.

Antigen Lateral Flow / Remote 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 test for your return, you should make two separate bookings.
Note: not all products are available at every site due to different laboratory processes.

If your booking references begins CPTXXXXXXX

  • You will receive an e-mail to the e-mail address you used when booking which will contain your results

If your booking references begins SCPTXXXXXXXXXX

  • If you are the person who made the booking you will have created an account. To view and download your result, you will need to log in to your account
  • If you are not the person who made the booking:
    • If the person who made your booking used their contact details, they will be able to log in to their account and view/download your result
    • If the person who made your booking used your e-mail address (you would have received your QR code directly from ExpressTest if this was the case), you will be sent an e-mail with link, clicking on this link will take you to a page where you need to enter your Date of Birth and the telephone number the booker used for you. You will then be able to view and download your results

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).

All About Arrivals Testing

Arrivals testing is required for all passengers arriving into England/Wales unless you are exempt. If 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 International Arrivals Travel Tests:

Fully Vaccinated Arrivals: Mandatory Day 2 PCR (Day 2 Antigen Lateral Flow Test is coming soon)
Non Fully Vaccinated Package: Day 2 plus Day 8 PCR Test Package
Non Fully Vaccinated Package with Test to Release: Day 2 plus Day 8 PCR Test Package with optional Day 5 Test to Release from quarantine (England only).

Arrivals Packages may be taken as Home Tests in England and are coming soon to Scotland and Wales. Please select a Home Test Kit when you order for an England Arrival, but note that the timescales may differ as the Home Test results take 24 hours from the time the sample arrives at the laboratory.

When to take the tests?
The Day 2 test can be taken on or before Day 2, this means that you can book it for the day that you arrive in the UK, and even before you leave the airport if you would like to.

The Day 8 test can be taken on or after Day 8, this means you can book this test at a location nearer to your home or work, or wherever is convenient to you.

Can I book them separately?
The PCR Test to Release test can be booked separately to the Arrivals Test Package.

Vaccinations and Arrivals Tests
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.

As of 4 Oct 21, International Arrivals tests differ by each individual UK Government. when you tell us (in your booking request) whether you are arriving into England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, we will offer you the relevant tests for your arrivals journey.

Fully Vaccinated / Not fully vaccinated
Fully vaccinated means you have been vaccinated either:

The rules for fully vaccinated people will also apply for under 18's who are resident in the UK or one of the listed countries or territories with approved vaccination programmes.

You must have completed the course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you travel and be able to prove that you have been fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) with a document (digital or paper-based) from a national or state-level public health body. If your document from a public health body does not include all of these, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules. If not, you may be denied travel.

Arrivals Tests for fully-vaccinated
The arrivals test for fully-vaccinated arrivals to the UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales) is a PCR test that must be taken on or before Day 2.

Arrivals Package for non fully-vaccinated
The arrivals package is suitable for non fully vaccinated arrivals to any of the UK Nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales)

This is a 2- test package which includes PCR tests on or before Day 2 and on or after Day 8. 

Arrivals Package for non fully-vaccinated including Test to Release
The Test to release test is only suitable for non fully-vaccinated arrivals into England, and can be packed with Test to Release for arrivals to England only.

This is a 3-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 non red list countries who haven't been fully vaccinated.

When you are ready to return to the UK, you will need to fill out a UK Government Passenger Locator Form.
You must fill in and submit a UK Passenger Locator Form, 48 hours prior to your arrival into your first point of entry into the UK, that includes:

- details of your journey
- contact details
- the address where you will isolate
- booking references for testing

You will need your Passenger Locator Reference number that begins EXPRE as your booking reference to fill in this form. This number can be found in your Order Confirmation email.

Moved onto Red List
You need to book yourself in to a managed quarantine hotel as part of the government's Red List Arrivals guidelines. If you already have tests booked, you will need to cancel those, as your new arrangements will include testing as part of the Managed Quarantine arrangements.

Moved off the Red List (and I am fully vaccinated)
If you are fully vaccinated, you don't need to quarantine any more, and only need to take the Day 2 test. If you already have a Red List Quarantine booked, you need to cancel it and make a new booking for your Day 2 PCR test.

Moved off the Red List (and I a not fully vaccinated)
You will now need to self-isolate for 10 days after arrival at the place you are staying. You will need to take your Day 2 PCR and Day 8 PCR test which you need to book ahead for.

You can also opt to purchase a Day 5 PCR Test to Release if you wish to try to leave your quarantine early, but only if you are arriving into England.

More information can be found on our pages about Travel Testing: All You Need to Know.

Yes, the PCR Test to Release test can be booked separately to the Arrivals Test Package. The Arrivals Test Package remains a compulsory government requirement for travellers who are not fully vaccinated, arriving from countries not on the Red List, but the PCR Test to Release test on Day 5 is optional.

AMENDING, RESCHEDULING AND CANCELLING

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 (valid for 12 months)

If you wish to do this, please visit our Cancellation page and then book a new test. You can view our cancellation policy in our Terms and Conditions.

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).

Cancelling individual tests in a package
You cannot cancel individual tests within your package. You need to cancel the whole package and rebook a new one. Remember to fill out a new Passenger Locator Form with your new booking details as well.

Cancelling Home Test kits
Home tests must be cancelled a minimum of 4 full days prior to test day. Once the item has been dispatched to you, you will be notified by email and from this point onwards it cannot be cancelled.

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

Changing the test location for an Arrivals package
If you need to change the location for any of your arrivals tests, you need to cancel the whole package and rebook a new one.

Remember to fill out a new Passenger Locator Form with your new booking details if you have had to re-book an Arrivals test.

You can find the reference to use on your Passenger Locator Form, on your Order Confirmation email that was sent from noreply@expresstest.co.uk. The reference is called a passenger locator reference and begins EXPRE or EXPRS.

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.

The UK government passenger locator form asks for "Your test booking reference".

The answer is: the passenger locator reference that begins EXPRE or EXPRS (without the hyphen), and you need to enter this number on the form.

If you have an account with us, you can log in and access your passenger locator reference in your 'my bookings' section.

 

Testing positive on the Day 2 Test of the Arrivals Test Package
You must isolate for 10 days from the date of the positive test. We will automatically cancel your Day 8 Test from your Arrivals Test Package (and your PCR Test to Release test as well, if you have booked the 3 Test Package).

Testing positive on the Day 5 Test to Release
You must isolate for 10 days from the date of the positive test. We will automatically cancel your Day 8 Test from your Arrivals Test Package for you, unless you booked your PCR Test to Release separately from your Arrivals Test Package in which case your Day 8 test will not be cancelled (and you will not need to attend).

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 any cancelled arrivals tests as positive samples require additional processing to check for variants of COVID-19.

Home Testing Kits

Our Home Test kits are only suitable for Day 2 Arrivals Tests for *fully vaccinated passengers travelling to England, as an alternative to attending one of our test centres.

*Fully vaccinated from specific countries as per UK Government guidelines.

They are only suitable for arrivals into England, for mainland addresses.

Please check the date you booked for your Home Test, we aim to deliver the test kit to you two days before your test date. This may vary slightly as there are no deliveries Sunday or Monday, in which case it will be dispatched on the nearest day either side. You will also have received your tracking ID in your dispatch email which can be used to locate your test kit. 

We will ask you if you have checked these items when you contact us.

No you are not able to return your Home Test via a post box. It must be handed to the Yodel courier who comes to collect it from the address you gave us in your booking.

Please check with Yodel if you are unsure if they can reach your postcode area.

You must take your Home Test on the day you booked, and prior to your collection time. Remember that the first collection could be from 07:00am, so it needs to be ready in case you're the first collection that day.

Please check your email junk/spam folders for your messages. If your email address that you gave us at the time of booking is incorrect then you can tell us, however you will only receive SMS text notifications if you change your email address after booking Home Tests.

I have not received the dispatch notification

Please check the date you booked for your test. Your kit will be dispatched to you three days before your chosen test day. If it is now two days until your Home Test day then please contact us.

I have not received the Yodel notification

You should hear from Yodel on your test day between 06:30-13:00. If it is already after 1pm on your test day then please contact us.

I have not received the "Test Arrived at Lab" notification

Your test should arrive at our lab the day after your Home Test kit was collected by Yodel. You can use your Tracking ID to locate it. If it is after 14:00 the day after your Home Test, then please contact us.

I have not received my results

Your results will be sent by email within 24 hours of the Home Test kit arriving at our laboratory. If it is after 24 hours then please contact us and we will check the timings for you.

Any Home Test cancellations must be made at least 4 full days before your test date. Home Tests cannot be cancelled after the Home Test kit has been dispatched to you. You will know that the kit has been dispatched because you will receive an email

Please read our Terms and Conditions.

We aim to despatch your Home Test kit three days before your chosen test day, to arrive two days before your chosen test day (unless that falls on a Sunday or Monday, when it will arrive on the Saturday or Tuesday either side).

On the day of your Home Test, our courier, Yodel, will email you between 06:30 and 13:00 to confirm the 2 hour collection window. The first collection is from 07:00 and the last collection is at 21:00 If you don’t open the email, they will also send you an SMS text message.

These communications will go to the email/phone number you provided in the booking.

Please ensure your Home Tests are already packaged up for the courier when they arrive at your address. Make sure you will not miss your collection by Yodel, as you may have to book a new test.

You must plan to be at home for the whole day until your sample collection time provided by Yodel. If you miss the courier, unfortunately your Home Test cannot be processed.

If you would like to change your delivery address, this can only be done prior to the Home Test kit being dispatched. If it has not been dispatched then you need to cancel your Home Test and book a new one. If it has already been dispatched, then unfortunately it is too late to change the address.

We are unable to offer collections on a weekend or a bank holiday therefore these dates are not available as choices for Home Test days.

If you need a weekend (or bank holiday) test, you can book at any of our test centres that offer Arrivals tests, subject to availability.

Here are some helpful steps:
Entering the customer reference number
When you're asked to fill in the "customer reference" field on the activation form, make sure you are entering the booking reference number beginning "CPT" for that specific test (on that day) only.
Entering the barcode number
Make sure you type in the barcode on the Home Test kit box you recently had delivered.
Still finding it difficult? 
Then make sure you complete the customer card (credit card sized card in your pack) with the number beginning "CPT" and date of test. 

Remote Lateral Flow Tests
These tests can be pre-ordered prior to travel, in order to be used before your intended return journey to the UK. It is a requirement that you download the app in order to submit your own results for assessment. Results are delivered in 1 hour providing that all the information is uploaded correctly and in a readable format.

All About The Science

PCR Test
PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is considered to be the gold standard for Covid-19 testing. PCR offers the most reliable results as it can detect small quantities of Covid-19 genetic material (RNA) in a sample. The test requires a sample that is normally collected from the nose and/or throat. Once the sample reaches the lab, a series of chemicals are added to it. If the virus is present a reaction occurs whereby many copies of the genetic material are created, allowing for detection and analysis by scientists. This allows for the confirmation of whether or not the virus is present, and if someone is currently infected.

LAMP Test
A LAMP (Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification) test is analysed in a laboratory like the PCR test is, but the test is less accurate and sensitive. Therefore, it may give a negative result to people who have a small amount of virus present. A negative LAMP test provides you with some confidence, but not as much as a PCR test.

The RT-LAMP SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RNA detection is by oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swab, which means it involves samples from the throat and nose. Processing the sample occurs at a laboratory managed by Prenetics using the Oxsed RAViD Direct SARS-CoV-2 assay.

LAMP is a different type of COVID-19 test from PCR and Lateral Flow. It is less sensitive and accurate than PCR but more sensitive and accurate than a Lateral flow test.
Only a handful of countries accept this as a test to enter their country so it’s important that you check the suitability of this test before booking.
Results should be ready 2hrs (120mins) after your test, however we advise you to leave 4hrs between testing and your flight in case you allow for any re-testing.

(Antigen) Lateral Flow Test
An Antigen lateral flow test is a quick and simple method to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but may still be spreading the virus. A lateral flow test allows for the detection of “antigens” produced by the Covid-19 virus. With a lateral flow test samples are analyzed on the spot with a small device (like a home pregnancy test kit) that gives a result in 40 minutes. Antigen lateral flow tests can be carried out at home, with no need for further processing by a lab. If the result from the Antigen Lateral flow test is positive then a PCR test must be carried out.

A negative result does not guarantee that you do not have coronavirus (due to the viral load being below the level of detection). Antigen lateral flow tests are not analysed in a laboratory like the PCR and LAMP tests are.

ExpressTest use the Roche Biosensor Nasal COVID-19 Antigen Lateral Flow Rapid Test. The sensitivity and specificity rates for this test are:
Diagnostic Sensitivity: 96.52 % (95% CI: 91.33 % -99.04 %)
Diagnostic Specificity: 99.68 % (95% CI: 98.22 % -99.99 %)
Positive predictive value (PPV): 97.5 %
Negative predictive value (NPV): 98.3 % (95% CI: 94.0 % -99.5 %)

Test to Release Test (TTR)

Currently, if you have travelled to a country/territory not on the Red list in the 10 days prior to arriving into England, and do not qualify for the fully vaccinated exemption, you must quarantine for 10 days on arrival. Note: TTR is not available currently in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Test to Release is a voluntary scheme that allows you to pay for a private COVID-19 PCR test on day 5. If the result is negative (and the result of the Day 2 test result was negative), then your quarantine can end. The test can’t be taken until 5 days after your arrival into England. It is still compulsory to take a PCR test on or after day 8 unless you qualify for the fully vaccinated exemption.

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 Test to Release Test is bookable as part of our Arrivals Test Package either as a bundle, or separately if you want to decide later.

For more information visit the UK Government website.

PCR detects the presence of viral RNA and the Antigen Lateral flow detects the presence of viral proteins or antigens.

NB: Not all PCR tests are equivalent. The DHSC requirements for Day 2 arrival PCR test are different from other PCR tests such as PCR Fit to Fly. PCR is a methodology that uses assay reagents which can have very different performance characteristics such as sensitivity, specificity or limit of detection. It could target one or multiple genes for example. It might also need different buffer (liquid) used for the sample collection (when customers are swabbed) to ensure that all the tests required by DHSC (such as sequencing for the identification of variants of concern for positive Day 2 samples) can be carried out.

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 Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) antigen tests and Antigen Lateral Flow tests which detect presence of virus.

Our swabbing practitioners have all undergone training in how to administer and process swabbing and are monitored by senior swabbing practitioners.

No. None of the recently authorised 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.​

The likelihood is that you may still need to get tested, depending on the country you are travelling to or from, and the airline/transport company's testing requirements. (Other countries have different regulations in relation to vaccines and travel, so it is advisable you check with both your airline and your destination country's advice.)

Fully vaccinated means a full 14 days have passed since the final dose of COVID-19 vaccine was given.

Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so you should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection. Some people may still carry COVID-19 despite having had a vaccination, and potentially pass it to someone who is not yet fully vaccinated. 

Yes, our PCR 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.

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

Because you have tested positive for COVID-19, this means that you have the virus. You should leave the testing centre straight away and return to the place you are staying, without delay. 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.

Notification to UK Public Health Authorities is as follows:

Public Health England (PHE)
In England, we are obliged by law to notify your positive test result and personal details to the relevant health authority. They may contact you via their Track & Trace contact tracing programme.

Public Health Scotland (PHS)
In Scotland, you should take an NHS PCR test to confirm the positive lateral flow result. The NHS PCR result will be reported into PHS and they may contact you via their Test and Protect contact tracing programme.

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

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 3rd party data partners, who will safely store your data in line with GDPR and other data laws.

Cignpost Diagnostics Limited is a data controller, and our data processors are 3rd party providers. Please see our Fair Processing Notice and Privacy Policy 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 and part of Cignpost Diagnostics.

Cignpost Diagnostics has been formally assessed by UKAS for ISO15189 for quality of integrity, impartiality and competence; and ISO22870 for Point of Care Testing and has received formal confirmation that all findings have been cleared with a schedule of accreditation issued. We are awaiting the final approval of stage 3 accreditation from UKAS (Ref: 22104). UKAS has confirmed that Cignpost Diagnostics is to remain on the DHSC approved list of providers, can continue to operate and have published our UKAS Schedule.

We comply with all the UK 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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