A fit to fly rapid antigen test certifies that a person traveling abroad does not have COVID-19 and is, therefore, safe to travel. Aside from a precautionary measure, the test is also a requirement for certain countries before a person is granted entry into their territory. Countries requiring a negative COVID-19 test include the USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, UAE, Iceland, Canada, and more.
To get a pre-departure rapid antigen test for leaving the UK, the traveller must book the test through a test centre’s online portal. Individuals can choose to do a self-test or to go directly to a testing centre. After completing the booking and payment process, the test provider will email the booking reference number in case the individual needs it for their online passenger locator form.
If the traveller booked for a self-test, the provider would deliver the test kit to the indicated address via the Royal Mail, typically a day after booking. Using the QR code in the test kit, read and follow the instructions on how to properly carry out the test.
Although test kits will vary slightly depending on the model, kits generally contain a swab, extraction tube holder, extraction tube, extraction buffer sachet, test strip, and a waste bag. Prior to doing a test, the individual must first sanitize their hands and the area to place the test kit on.
The first step is to open the extraction buffer sachet and pour the fluid into the extraction tube. Next, close the cap and set the tube aside first, placing it in the extraction tube holder. Open the packet holding the swab, making sure not to touch the soft part of the swab. Then take the swab sample carefully, so as not to let the swab touch the tongue, teeth, or face.
To process the sample, take the extraction tube once again and place the tip of the swab in the tube to drench it in the fluid. After whisking it thoroughly, close the nozzle cap, and squeeze the extraction tube to place two drops of the fluid on the specimen well marked “S.” Wait for a few minutes to see the results. One line next to “C” indicates a negative result, two lines imply positive results, while one line next to “T” indicates an invalid test.
Once results are revealed, upload the evidence of the test results in the centre’s online portal. The traveller will then receive the doctor-signed test result certificate via email and text. Results are typically sent within the hour of uploading the photo or up to 6 hours in extreme cases.
Once received, the traveller can then show the email or the certificate at the airport and destination country. Some countries and airlines accept only a fit-to-fly certificate from a recognized testing provider. Therefore, individuals planning on going abroad must book a test from a trustworthy and accredited test centre.
Harley Medic International is a government-approved testing provider and an expert in COVID-19 testing. They have many locations across the UK, ensuring that a testing centre is near you. Getting a test is as easy as booking online and finding their closest clinic. Visit their website harleymedic.co.uk to learn more.