Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tests
There are now a number of different tests for coronavirus. We currently provide PCR swab tests and antibody tests. We do not provide antigen or TMA testing.
WE CANNOT CURRENTLY PERFORM THE GOVERNMENT MANDATORY DAY 2 & 8 TESTING BUT ARE WORKING ON THIS WITH OUR LABORATORY. WE THEREFORE HOPE TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THIS SERVICE SHORTLY. WE WILL UPDATE THIS PAGE WHEN THIS IS AVAILABLE.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
PCR Swab Test
About the Test
This is the test to check if you currently have the disease. A swab is taken from your nose and back of your mouth. If the virus is present in these areas at that time your test will be positive. If the test is positive it is highly likely you currently have coronavirus, or have had it recently. In this case you should isolate at home as per current government advice. If the test is negative, you may not have coronavirus. However, there are a lot of false negative results from this test as you can have coronavirus and the virus not be present in the nose and mouth at the time you take the test. It can also be negative if the test is incorrectly taken.
Testing for Travel
Some countries are asking for coronavirus swabs to be taken prior to or on entry. This is most often within 72 hours, but can be as little as 24 hours or up to a week or more before entry in some cases. A full list of the current recommendations, including whether the UK government advise travel to a particular country can be found on the Foreign and Commonweath Office website:
You should also review the latest advice for coronavirus and travel on the fit for travel website to keep yourself safe on your travels. You can find this information by clicking on the link below:
Test to Release
We are now on the Government's approved list for Test to Release for returning travellers. The purpose of this test is to shorten your isolation period from 10 days. We are able to test you from your 5th full day of self isolation. For example, if you returned to the UK at sometime on a Sunday (day 0), we would be able to perform your test on or after the following Friday (day 5). Results are usually back the next day. Therefore the earliest you would get a result for this test is on your 6th full day of self isolation.
Testing from North Devon Travel Clinic
If you do require a PCR test North Devon Travel Clinic are able to help with this. The turnaround time of our test is 12-24 hours from receipt at the laboratory (which is the day after the test is taken). We can perform tests 7 days a week with results expected the following day, usually before midday. There are very few travel itineraries that we cannot now meet. Please contact us for more information.
As of 11th March our tests will be couriered to the laboratory at 2pm. Tests taken after this time will not be couriered until the next day. However, we can now perform tests 7 days a week including bank holidays with results expected the following day.
Our testing is currently performed either via video consultation, so can easily be performed for clients outside of our local area as long as we have time to post the testing kit to you, or in the clinic if you are very anxious about doing the test yourself or need the test to be taken by a clinician for your destination.
Please be aware that we are not able to accept liability for delays to travel plans due to results not being made available by the laboratory within the required time. We also expect all travellers to be aware of the time window for their test and book their appointment within this time frame. We will also not accept liability for any tests that are booked outside of your testing window if you book online or chose to book a test outside of your testing window after speaking to an advisor. We will, however, discuss all our available testing options and advise you if we do not think we can provide you with a result in time.
Price, which includes your swab testing kit, a consultation to take the swab, postage/courier of your specimen, and a certificate to confirm a negative test result.
Turnaround time 12-24 hour (lab turnaround time) £130 Telehealth or £145 In Clinic
Turnaround time Up to 72 hours (lab turnaround time) £110 Telehealth or £125 In Clinic
You also need to factor in transport time for the specimen to get to the lab on top of the laboratory turnaround time.
If you require a "fit to fly" medical with a doctor and certificate there will be an extra charge of £35 and may require an additional consultation.
About the Test
Antibodies are what your body produces if you have had coronavirus. They take 2-3 weeks to develop after you have had the infection. There are currently a variety of antibody tests available. Some of these are taken by a finger prick test and some by a blood test taken from your arm. The blood test is currently the more accurate test, but have to be sent to a laboratory for analysis. The finger prick test is done on site at gives a result in 15 minutes.
What Do the Results Mean?
If you have a positive test this means you most likely have had coronavirus at some point and your body has produced antibodies to it. Currently this is all the test means. It does not mean you are immune to the virus or that you can relax your approach to social distancing. As science understands the disease better this may change in time but currently you still must follow the government advice regarding social distancing even if you have a positive test.
If you have a negative test this either means you have not had coronavirus, or it could mean that you have, but you either have not produced antibodies or the levels of these are too low to detect at the time of the test. It is unclear how soon antibody levels diminish after the infection, but it is thought that it could possibly be as early as 2 months later. Coronavirus is also thought to provoke different parts of the immune system and in some people, this may mean you do not produce antibodies at all.
Therefore, with regards to antibody testing at this current time, although you may find the result interesting it cannot currently change adherence to social distancing. Therefore, stay safe, keep social distancing and wash your hands!
Testing at North Devon Travel Clinic
North Devon Travel Clinic is now able to offer you this test, but we would ask you to consider the above information first. Please contact us if you would like more information about this test.
Blood Test £45
Rapid Fingerprick Test £35