Frequently Asked Questions
How do I return my sample?
For General Testing
Royal Mail: Every test kit includes labels to return the sample using the Royal Mail Tracked Returns COVID-19 service. Samples may be returned using any of the 32,000 convenient Royal Mail Priority Postboxes, as shown on the Royal Mail services near you page. Just check “Show my nearest priority postboxes” when you search.
Royal Mail aims to deliver the sample within 48 hours of posting. Typically we see that 45% are delivered next working day, 40% the day after that, and 15% take between 3 and 5 days.
Can I buy this test for someone else?
Yes. The product is designed so that it may be bought and shipped by a different person to the person that uses it.
The product must be activated when it is used, and the name and personal information that appears on the certificate is the name of the person that activated it.
Whose name appears on the certificate?
The name of the person who activates the kit appears on the certificate, not the person who bought or received it.
The Order Code that is generated on sale may be used as the Booking Reference on the UK Passenger Locator form for Test to Release or other travel programs.
How long does it take to get my result?
Typically samples delivered to the laboratory before 1pm are resulted by 5pm. Our service level agreement with the laboratory is for all samples to be tested within 24 hrs.
The results are immediately emailed to the email address of the account where you activate your kit.
How does a RT PCR test work?
PCR is a widely used laboratory method that stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction. This test will selectively extract, amplify and identify the viral RNA sequence that corresponds to the virus.
This type of test is particularly sensitive and is the current reference method for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infections as the process finds the specific genetic code relating to the virus and amplifies it by copying it each cycle, where the number of copies double each cycle. The PCR protocol in use utilises 40 cycles in the process, so even a very low viral load in the sample can be detected.
The virus that is amplified in this way is not dangerous as it is inactivated during the preparation process so that only the genetic code is amplified, not the complete virus with its shell structure intact.
What does this test tell me?
This test will tell you whether or not you are currently carrying SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, regardless of whether you are displaying symptoms. This test is sensitive enough to detect both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. If found positive, you should immediately follow the current best practise guidance provided by the NHS, which we will provided to you with your results.
Those testing positive must self-isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms, or for asymptomatic individuals from 10 days of the date of your test.
How accurate is this test?
This test is highly accurate at detecting both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, using saliva as the specimen type. The accuracy of the test is made up of the sensitivity and specificity of the PCR process, combined with the viral load collected in the saliva sample tube and extracted by the RNA extraction step.
A key benefit of this test for “self-test” patients, where the sample is not collected by a healthcare professional, is that saliva provides a more consistent and representative viral load as the sample is less subject to how well swabbing is performed.
The Nonacus PCR technology was validated and found to have a limit of detection of 2.39 Log10 or 250 copies/mL which is capable of detecting viral load categorised as low in the Yale research with considerable margin.
The Nonacus manufactured reagents are CE-IVD marked for both saliva and swab sample types, and were found to have sensitivity of 98.4% (95% CI 95.34 – 99.45) and specificity of 98.9% (95% CI 97.70 – 99.65) in validation work Department of Health and Social Care in validation work carried out in December 2020.
Who is the test manufacturer, and what is the PCR protocol and limit of detection?
This test uses the UK manufactured Nonacus reagents which show this test to be accurate with a RT-PCR limit of detection of 250 viral copies per mL for the N gene target.
The test targets genes in the nucleocapsid gene of SARS-CoV-2, and includes a human control to ensure that the RNA extraction process worked correctly.
Further information from the manufacturer for the RNA extraction process, and PCR protocol is available here.
What will happen if I test positive?
We will provide you with guidance based on “what your test result means” on the NHS website. In addition, we have a duty to report any positive results to the Test & Trace program. Please see our FAQ “What happens to my personal data including my saliva sample” on the data that will be shared in this instance.
Can I use this service for Fit to Fly and Test to Release?
Yes, this service is designed for Fit to Fly. The key features are:
- Gold standard PCR test, validated by Department of Health and Social Care
- Nose and throat swab sample
- Certificate including passport number, name, date of birth included with the test
What’s involved in taking the sample?
You are required to take a throat and nose swab sample. The swab is used to carefully rub the sides of your throat, and inserted approximately 2.5cm into your nose. The swab is then inserted into a sample tube and sent to the laboratory for testing.
How long do I have to use the saliva PCR kit?
You have two months from purchase to use your kit, after which time the kit is invalid.
Do I get a certificate with my result?
We issue a doctors report alongside your result. The report will show your name, the laboratory’s name including UKAS number, doctors signature and GMC number, date the sample was taken, date the sample was processed and your result. This testing is overseen by the clinical advisory team at the laboratory.
This report is not intended to be a fit to fly or test to release certificate, but is a doctor’s report confirming the result of your test as part our offer.
Can more than one person use the swab test?
This is not allowed.
Does this test check for past COVID-19 infection?
No, this test checks for current infections only though will typically return a positive result for up to 25 days post infection. In order to find out whether you have been exposed to COVID-19 in the longer past and have developed antibodies, you can take a anti body test.">
What happens to my personal data including my swab sample?
Privacy is everything to Covid19 Checking. To understand our stance please refer to our privacy notice.
Positive tests will be reported by our partner lab to Public Health England in accordance with UK regulations.
We will delete your data at the end of the pandemic subject to regulatory data retention requirements
If you are offered this test by your employer, then your result will be shared in accordance with the Employee Privacy Notice.
How do I get in touch with Covid19 Checking if I have any questions?
For customer support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org Monday-Friday 9am-7pm.
Warnings and precautions
Keep sample collection kit out of reach of children
Do not drink the fluid in the sample tube
Wash with water if the liquid in the sample tube comes in contact with eyes or skin. Do not ingest. Please refer to http://www.t4g.uk/ifu for the manufacturers safety data sheets.
If the liquid or sample spills clean it using soapy water, without bleach.
The collected specimen is potentially infectious and should be handled carefully, including washing hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds.
Small cap is a choking hazard.