Frequently Asked Questions

Common Travel Test Questions

Q. What is a PCR test?

A. A PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is a swab test conducted, taking a sample from your nose and/or throat. The swab is then safely packaged and taken away to a laboratory and analysed for active traces of SARS-CoV-19. This normally takes between 12-24 hours.

Q. How accurate are PCR tests? 

A. A PCR test is considered ‘The ‘Gold Standard’ test and provides the most accurate results. All our PCR Travel Tests are recognised for all airline travel and government legislation.

Q. How long will it take for me to get my results?

A.  Once you have received your test,  taken the sample and activated online, you can send your test kit for analysis with a pre paid postage bag which is provided in your kit . Once the sample has arrived, the laboratory has approximately a 24 hour turnaround on results which will be automatically emailed to you. Times may vary depending on current demand. 

Q. All my tests look the same, which one do I use?

A. The tests are all identical, so you can use any of the tests you have bought for your Fit to Fly certification, Day 2, 5 or 8. It is only when activating your test that it becomes unique.

Q. We have several people flying, which test shall we use for each person?

A. All travel tests are identical so can be used for anybody in your party. It is only when you swab and activate your test that you assign it to a particular person.

Q. Do I have to activate my test as soon as it arrives?

A. You only activate the test on the day you need to swab, whether this be for your departure flight or upon your return to the UK.

Q. Do I need to take my Day 2, 5 or 8 tests abroad?

A. No. You will only need these when swabbing upon your arrival in the the UK. However you will need to use your unique booking reference code when filling out your passenger locator form. 

Q. I've sealed my postage box before activating, what can I do?

A. Carefully reopen the box to access your barcode and pin, activate on the website and reseal for postage.

Q. Where can I find my Booking Reference Number?

A. When you purchased your tests, you recieved two confirmation emails. One with your activation instructions and another with your passenger details and assigned Booking Reference Number. 

Q. How?

A. The lateral flow test is less accurate than a PCR test. However, its fast return of results are useful for asymptomatic testing and can help minimise the spread of transmission in workforces and event gatherings. 

Q. How accurate are lateral flow tests?

A. The lateral flow test is less accurate than a PCR test. However, its fast return of results are useful for asymptomatic testing and can help minimise the spread of transmission in workforces and event gatherings. 

Q. Is it mandatory for my employee’s to undertake routine lateral flow testing?

A. There is currently no UK legislation that makes routine testing mandatory for employees. However the benefits of testing should be fully explained to your workforce for best compliance. 

Q. What is a lateral flow test?

A. A LFT (Lateral Flow Test) also swabs one or both of your nostrils. However the swab does not need to be taken away to a laboratory for the results to be analysed. The test can be carried out on-site and results should be retuned with 10-30 minutes. 

Q. How accurate are lateral flow tests?

A. The lateral flow test is less accurate than a PCR test. However, its fast return of results are useful for asymptomatic testing and can help minimise the spread of transmission in workforces and event gatherings. 

Q. How will the results of my own/ my employees tests become available?

A. All results will be disclosed to your employee’s via email or text.  The results will also be submitted to Public Health England and subsequently the Track and Trace system will also be updated. 

Q. What happens if I or one of my employees receive a positive result?

A. In the case of positive lateral flow result, your employee will be alerted immediately. Under UK legislation they will then be required to self-isolate straight away. As part of our bespoke ‘Screen and Be Safe’ packages we will arrange a PCR test to be taken at your employee’s house the same day. 

Q. How does Sterling Testing ensure that the data it uses is secure?

A. We adhere to ISO-27001 guidelines as well as always using a secure network. We are also GDPR compliant  safeguard sensitive data.

Q. What is a thermal camera and can it be used to reduce transmission?

A. A thermal camera is a specialist piece of equipment that can be used to monitor the temperature of service-users walking within the frame. This can be operated in conjunction with a forehead thermometer to monitor admissions who may be experiencing a high temperature or fever which is a common symptom of Covid-19.

Q. Can you guarantee a time frame for my PCR result?

A. Our partnered laboratories aim to have test results available between 12-24 hours. 

Q. What is Test to Release? 

A. Test to release is a government scheme designed to shorten the length of time you need to self-isolate after international travel. The earliest you can take a test is 5 days after you arrive in England. For example, if you arrive on a Monday, you can take a test from the following Saturday. If the test is negative you can stop self-isolating as soon as you get the result. If the test is positive you need to self-isolate for another 10 days. Count the 10 days starting from the day you took the test, or from when you first had symptoms if that is earlier.

Q. Is it a legal requirement to isolate?

A. Yes. If you do not isolate you may be fined up to £10,000. If you do not pay on time you may be prosecuted. 

However, there are a few exemptions, for example if you work as a flight attendant. 

You can see the full list of exemptions here:- 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules

Q. Do I have to take part in the scheme? 

A. No, you can choose to isolate for the full ten days. 

 

Q. How can I get in touch?