Common Questions

Have a question? We probably have the answer below.

We offer two different types of test, PCR tests and Lateral Flow tests. 

Our PCR test is the RT-PCR Thermo Fisher TaqPath test used by Public Health England in the Lighthouse Hubs and approved by the FDA. It is the gold standard COVID-19 test. 

Our Lateral Flow test is the Healgen Lateral Flow test. Again, this is approved by Public Health England, the European Commission and American Authorities. We believe this to be the best lateral flow test currently available on the market.

Quarantine and Test to Release tests are both the Thermo Fisher RT-PCR test approved by the UK Government.

All tests are supplied in accordance with Regulation 12 (safe care and treatment) of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. 

Yes, provided you have followed all their instructions on timing and test type. In particular, some countries will only accept PCR tests and not Lateral Flow tests—so if you have booked a Lateral Flow test, please make absolutely sure this will be sufficient for entry.

All our tests come with a Covid-19 results certificate containing your personal details and test results. These can be used both to fly and at border control in your destination.

We strongly urge you to check the requirements of your airline and destination, including a final check a day or so before travelling. Rules on permissable test types and requisite certificate details have been known to change at short notice.

Yes, we are an approved test provider for the Test to Release scheme which is applicable to travellers coming to the UK from an Amber List country. Please book a Test to Release test for your fifth full day in the country (or later). Your results will arrive the day after your test.

Please note, Test to Release tests do not replace the government-mandated Quarantine Tests. You will need to also buy a Day 2/8 test package. If you have come to the UK from a Red List country, you cannot take a test to leave your quarantine hotel early.

Our PCR tests are known to detect the new variant which originated in India, Covid B1.617.

We are awaiting received specific written confirmation from the manufacturer that the Healgen Lateral Flow test detects the Indian B1.617 variant, but have been told to assume variants are detected unless told otherwise.

We will bring you a kit to take a swab yourself. All you need is a clean surface and a place to wash your hands thoroughly before starting. 

The NHS has created this useful video explaining how to self-swab. We also include an easy-to-follow instruction sheet with your test.

If your test result is positive, you should remain in self-isolation and inform your healthcare provider of your positive result.

Please refer to NHS website for the latest government advice.

Please note that we are strictly forbidden to give advice regarding individual results. This is considered medical advice, and is outside the boundaries of our licence.

While the vast majority of test results are "Positive" or "Negative", a very small proportion are deemed "Inconclusive" by our PCR machinery.

"Inconclusive" means that the test has run successfully and has picked up trace material of Covid 19, but not enough to conclusively say you had the virus when the test was done. This could happen because you were on the cusp of having the virus in a detectable amount (right at the start or right at the end of infection).

For guidance on what this means for you, please speak to your GP or call the NHS Covid helpline on 119. We are not allowed to offer advice on individual results, as this is considered medical advice and is outside the scope of our licence. If you would like to book a new test, please get in touch with our team who will do their best to accommodate you as soon as possible.

While the vast majority of test results are "Positive" or "Negative", a very small proportion are deemed "Rejected" by our PCR machinery.

"Rejected" means that the test could not be successfully completed, because the sample was damaged or did not contain enough DNA material. While this is usually the result of incorrect or insufficient swabbing, there are other reasons why a person might have lower-than-usual DNA concentration in their saliva (for example, it is a known but uncommon side effect for some medications). 

Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about this result. The machines are highly sensitive, in line with government guidelines—which are intentionally quite strict, because they are trying to minimise the chance a positive case will be accidentally missed.

For guidance on what this means for you, please speak to your GP or call the NHS Covid helpline on 119. If you would like to book a new test, please get in touch with our team who will do their best to accommodate you as soon as possible.

These are scientific terms used to describe the likelihood a test result is correct.

Sensitivity is your "true positive rate". It is the proportion of "positive" samples (i.e. ones containing enough Covid-19 to be considered infected) which return "positive" results. Our PCR tests have a sensitivity rate of over 99%; our Lateral Flow tests have 96.7% sensitivity rate. Lateral Flow tests always have slightly lower sensitivity, which is why some countries will not accept them for entry. Note that no approved tests exist with 100% sensitivity.

Specificity is your "true negative rate". It is the proportion of "negative" samples (i.e. ones that do not contain enough Covid-19 to be considered infected) which return "negative" results. All of our tests have >99% specificity. No approved tests exist with 100% specificity.

There are currently no Covid tests in circulation which are 100% accurate, but ours are amongst the most accurate available.

Our PCR tests have been proven in trials to be over 99% specificity and sensitivity (i.e. the probability your result is correct is over 99%)

Our Lateral Flow tests have 99.2% specificity and 96.7%  sensitivity. This means a negative result has a 99.2% probability of being correct, and a positive result has a 96.7% probability of being correct.

We have received some queries asking if a recent vaccination might impact your test result. We are not allowed to provide any answer which is not taken directly from the Government’s official guidelines—which, at the time of writing, does not include any advice on what to expect after vaccination. If you are concerned, please speak to your GP or call the NHS Covid helpline on 119.

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What Test Do You Need?

A simple, non-jargon breakdown of what test you may need.

Tests Offered

LATERAL FLOW TEST

PCR TEST

Key Considerations

• Destination: Some countries only accept PCR tests. Please check advice from your airline and destination country.

• Transit: You may need to provide proof of an accepted negative test when transiting. Please check advice from your airline and transit country.

• Other notes: Both Lateral Flow and PCR tests come with a fit-to-fly certificate if your test is negative.

Need testing when you get back? If you book your return tests at the same time, you can save money. See our homepage for more details on available packages.

Tests Offered

DAY 2 TEST

DAY 2/DAY 8 PACKAGE

TEST TO RELEASE

Key Considerations

• Countries visited: The tests you need depend on the riskiest country you have visited in the last 10 days. You can find the latest information on the UK government's website.

Green country: You need a Day 2 test.

Amber country: You need a Day 2 / Day 8 test package. You will need to quarantine for 10 days after arriving unless you take a Test to Release test on or after day 5.

Red country: If you are permitted to enter the UK you will need to make a booking for a government “quarantine hotel”, which will include tests. You do not need to book any entry tests with CHT.

Tests Offered

LATERAL FLOW TEST

PCR TEST

Key Considerations

• Speed: Lateral Flow gets results within 3 hours; PCR within 24 hours.

• Accuracy: The PCR test is a little more accurate.

• Cost: The Lateral Flow test is cheaper.

Tests Offered

LATERAL FLOW TEST

PCR TEST

Key Considerations

• Insurance and contract requirements: Some require PCR testing.

• Other notes: Lateral Flow tests are cheaper and faster (results within 3 hours) but slightly less accurate.

If in doubt, we suggest taking a PCR test. While this is slightly more expensive than a Lateral Flow test, it is the gold standard of testing and is accepted in more situations.
We offer several discounted packages for travel in and out of the UK.