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COVID-19 Testing for International Travel - FAQs

Buying your tests

Do you test for all the variants?

The PCR testing that we conduct will detect all variants of the Covid-19 virus.

When should I order the test kits?

We recommend that you order your test kits as soon as you know your travel itinerary.

Pre-Departure / Fit To Travel tests should be ordered at least 5 working days before you travel. This it to allow sufficient time for you to receive your kit, take your sample, return it to our laboratory, and for us to process your sample and issue your result.

Please note that courier deliveries to some remote locations may take longer, and deliveries will also take longer over Bank Holiday weekends, so take this into consideration when placing your order.

When will my kits be despatched?

  • Orders placed before 2pm Monday – Thursday will be dispatched the same day
  • Orders placed after 2pm Monday – Thursday will be dispatched the next day
  • Orders placed after 2pm on Thursday will be dispatched on Friday. Where courier delivery has been selected, orders should arrive on Monday
  • Orders placed after 2pm on Friday or on a Saturday / Sunday will be dispatched the following Monday. Where courier delivery has been selected, orders should arrive on Tuesday.

Please note that courier deliveries to some remote locations may take longer, and deliveries will also take longer over Bank Holiday weekends.

Where ‘Free delivery’ is selected, please allow 3-5 working days for your order to arrive.

Can you send test kits to countries outside of the UK?

No – test kits can only be sent to UK addresses.

Is there a discount for buying multiple tests?

If you need to buy a large number of tests, please call our Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300.

Do you offer a refund if my travel plans are cancelled?

Please see the FAQs on cancellations and refunds below.

What does the Fit To Travel certificate include?

The Fit To Travel certificate is a medical certificate signed by a UK General Medical Council (GMC) doctor that confirms your Covid-19 test is negative and that you are therefore able to travel.

Can post be delivered on a Sunday?

Neither Royal Mail nor courier companies collect or deliver on a Sunday.

There is also no delivery service to our laboratory on a Sunday, so if your test is time-sensitive, you may want to deliver your sample in person to our laboratory at: 14 Webster Court, Carina Park, Warrington, Cheshire WA5 8WD.

Do I need to be in and sign for my test kit?

You don’t need to sign for your test kit, but you will need to be in if the parcel is too big to fit through your letterbox.

For Fit To Travel testing, please order in good time, so your sample collection kits can be delivered as soon as possible.

Are you open weekends?

Our Covid laboratory operates 7 days a week.

However, samples are only delivered to us Monday – Saturday (not Sunday).

If your test is time-sensitive, you can deliver your sample in person to our laboratory at 14 Webster Court, Carina Park, Warrington, Cheshire WA5 8WD

Are you UKAS-accredited?

Yes – our laboratory is UKAS-accredited to UKAS ISO 17025, the internationally recognised standard for Testing and Calibration Laboratories.

We are one of the first labs to be UKAS-accredited specifically for Covid-19 testing.

Our most up-to-date schedule can be found at: https://www.ukas.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/2773Testing-Multiple.pdf

Are you listed on the Government website?

Yes – we are listed on GOV.UK for all travel testing requirements.

Can you come to my home address to collect the sample?

This is not a service that we offer. You will need to collect your own sample and, if it’s for a PCR test, return it back to our laboratory by Royal Mail, courier or hand delivery (if distance permits).

How soon will I get my result?

For PCR testing we will provide same-day results if the sample is received in our lab by 2pm.

For LFD testing we will provide test results within 12 hours of receiving your correctly completed online registration form and photo.

If your PCR test is time-sensitive, you may want to deliver your sample in person to our laboratory at: 14 Webster Court, Carina Park, Warrington, Cheshire WA5 8WD.

Test kit and taking the sample

What is in the PCR kit?

Each kit contains:

  • Instructions and test registration sheet
  • Throat / nasal swab contained in sterile packet
  • Plastic tube containing a small amount of liquid
  • Biohazard bag containing a white absorbent pad
  • Clear specimen transport bag
  • Pre-paid tracked return polythene envelope

What is in the LFD kit?

Each kit contains:

  • Instructions and test registration sheet
  • Nasal swab contained in sterile packet
  • Plastic tube containing a small amount of liquid
  • Cap/dropper
  • Test device

Do I need to register online?

Yes, YOU MUST register each test online. If you do not do this, you will not get your test result.

Full instructions on how to register your test are in each test kit.

What happens if I make a mistake or error on my order form or on my test registration form?

It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you complete all your details fully and accurately.

Any mistakes or errors will cause a delay to your result being issued.

There is a £25 administration fee to correct any mistakes or errors, or to amend your order in any other way.

Can I eat / drink / smoke before taking my sample?

We advise that you do not smoke, drink, eat, chew gum or brush your teeth immediately prior to collecting your sample.

What samples are required and how do you do it?

Each test requires you to take throat and / or nose swab samples using the swab provided in the test kit.

Full instructions on how to take your sample are included in each test kit.

What happens if I send you an inadequate or blank sample for my PCR test?

Our laboratory will detect if you have sent us an inadequate or blank sample. In these circumstances, you are required by law to take another test so that we can obtain a viable result. You will be liable for the cost of this additional test and you will not be eligible for a refund for the original test.

It is therefore very important that you collect and send us a full and proper sample. Full instructions on how to do this are included in each test kit.

What happens if I get an inconclusive result?

In the event of an inconclusive result, we will dispatch another sample collection kit and you will be invited to collect another sample free of charge.

Do I need to test my children?

Fit To Travel test:

  • Please check the entry requirements and restrictions for the country you intend to travel to determine whether or not a Fit To Travel certificate is needed for children travelling to that country.
  • Visit the government website for full details of all international requirements and restrictions: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Returning samples for PCR tests

How do I return the samples back to you?

Your kit contains a pre-paid and tracked Royal Mail 24 polythene envelope.

You should post this back using one of Royal Mail’s designated Covid-19 priority post boxes.

Follow this link to find your nearest priority post box: www.royalmail.com/services-near-you.

Please note that AlphaBiolabs cannot be held responsible for any delays or disruptions to Royal Mail’s postal service when returning your samples.

If you want to guarantee AlphaBiolabs’ receipt of your samples, you can deliver them in person to our laboratory at: 14 Webster Court, Carina Park, Warrington, Cheshire WA5 8WD.

Can I send my samples back by courier and how much does that cost?

If you prefer to send your samples back by courier, you will need to arrange and pay for this yourself. The price will depend on the courier and the service you choose.

If you want to guarantee AlphaBiolabs’ receipt of your samples, you may want to deliver them in person to our premises located at 14 Webster Court, Carina Park, Warrington, Cheshire WA5 8WD.

Are you open at the weekend?

Our Covid laboratory operates 7 days a week.

However, samples are only delivered to us Monday – Saturday (not Sunday).

If your test is time-sensitive, you can deliver your sample in person to our laboratory at 14 Webster Court, Carina Park, Warrington, Cheshire WA5 8WD.

Getting your test results

When will I get the results?

For PCR testing we will provide same-day results if the sample is received in our lab by 2pm.

For LFD testing we will provide test results within 12 hours of receiving your correctly completed online registration form and photo.

If your PCR test is time-sensitive, you may want to deliver your sample in person to our laboratory at: 14 Webster Court, Carina Park, Warrington, Cheshire WA5 8WD.

How do I get my results?

Your result will be emailed to the email address you provide when you register your test online.

Where we have your mobile number, we will also send you a text notification of your result.

Who sends the result to the authorities? What do I do with the certificate?

Due to a Covid-19 infection being a notifiable disease, we report all positive results to PHE within 24 hours.

Fit To Travel test:

  • You must keep the result of your test and any Fit To Travel certificate that is issued.
  • You will need to show these to the relevant authorities when leaving the UK and upon arrival in your destination country.

What happens if I get an inconclusive result?

In the event of an inconclusive result, we will dispatch another sample collection kit and you will be invited to collect another sample free of charge.

Refunds

What happens if I order the wrong test or no longer need the test?

If you notify us before we dispatch your kit, we will provide a full refund.

If we have already dispatched your kit(s) there is a £20 administration fee payable per PCR kit and a £10 administration fee payable per LFD kit. This administration fee covers the cost of the kit and all consumables, assembling the kit, dealing with your enquiry, packing and dispatching your kit, as well as any postage fees that we may have incurred.

What happens if I make a mistake or error on my order form or on my test registration form?

It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you complete all your details fully and accurately.

Any mistakes or errors will cause a delay to your result being issued.

There is a £25 administration fee to correct any mistakes or errors, or to amend your order in any other way.

My result was inconclusive. Do I have to purchase another test or is it free of charge?

We will provide you with an additional test free of charge.

Where are your PCR testing centres?

AlphaBiolabs undertakes all Covid-19 testing at our custom-built UK laboratory to ensure the highest standards of sample handling and testing.

Can I have a discount for large orders?

If you have a requirement for a large amount of testing, please call our Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300.

What are the guidelines for England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales?

Please see the relevant government websites for full details:

Do you have any discount codes?

We do not offer any discount codes for Covid-19 testing. If you have found a discount code on another site, it will unfortunately be fake. As a UKAS-accredited and government-listed laboratory we focus on the quality, reliability and accuracy of our service.

You can view our range of Covid-19 tests for international travel here.

Alternatively you can call our Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300 or email covid@alphabiolabs.com.

Order a coronavirus test

AlphaBiolabs offers a range of COVID-19 testing options for private individuals and businesses