Frequently asked questions

What is the antibody test for COVID-19?


Antibody tests are used to detect antibodies to the COVID-19 virus to see if it’s likely that you have had the virus before.

The test works by taking a blood sample and testing for the presence of antibodies to see if you have developed an immune response to the virus.

Antibody tests differ to virus swab tests, which test to see if you currently have the virus. An antibody test cannot test if you currently have the virus.

There is no strong evidence yet to suggest that those who have had the virus develop long-lasting immunity that would prevent them from getting the virus again.




When should one go get a COVID-19 test?


If you develop any of the following symptoms: a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), you should arrange to have a PCR test for COVID-19.




How are COVID-19 tests carried out?


Tests in the UK are carried out through a number of different routes:

Pillar 1: swab testing in Public Health England (PHE) labs and NHS hospitals for those with a clinical need, and health and care workers

Pillar 2: swab testing for the wider population, as set out in government guidance

Pillar 3: serology testing to show if people have antibodies from having had COVID-19

Pillar 4: blood and swab testing for national surveillance supported by PHE, the Office for

National Statistics (ONS), and research, academic, and scientific partners to learn more about the prevalence and spread of the virus and for other testing research purposes, such as the accuracy and ease of use of home testing.




Is a COVID-19 test required before traveling abroad?


All travellers over the age of 11 must undertake a test for COVID-19 within 72 hours before departure for Réunion. The test is obligatory and the traveller must show proof of a negative result before embarking.

Travellers must also provide a self -certified document affirming that they have no COVID symptoms and that to their knowledge they have not been in contact with any person confirmed positive within the last 14 days.

Airlines will refuse boarding to anyone who does not produce both proof of a negative result and the self-certified document.




What is the purpose of COVID-19 antibody tests?


Antibody tests are used to detect antibodies to the COVID-19 virus to see if it’s likely that you have had the virus before.

The test works by taking a blood sample and testing for the presence of antibodies to see if you have developed an immune response to the virus.

Antibody tests differ to virus swab tests, which test to see if you currently have the virus. An antibody test cannot test if you currently have the virus.




What is the incubation period of the coronavirus disease?


The incubation period of COVID-19, which is the time between exposure to the virus and symptom onset, is on average 5-6 days, but can be as long as 14 days. Thus, quarantine should be in place for 14 days from the last exposure to a confirmed case.




How do COVID-19 swab tests work?


These tests look for the genetic code (RNA) of the virus. The test involves taking a swab of the throat and nose. The test will confirm if an individual who is showing symptoms of the virus currently has it. It will not confirm whether they have had it and have now recovered.




Has the virus causing Covid 19 mutated?


The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, has been mutating as it spreads, just like other viruses. Many of the mutations do nothing, and some might even impede the virus's quest to replicate and spread.




Is the COVID-19 antibody test different from the virus swab test?


Antibody tests differ to virus swab tests, which test to see if you currently have the virus. An antibody test cannot test if you currently have the virus. There is no strong evidence yet to suggest that those who have had the virus develop long-lasting immunity that would prevent them from getting the virus again.




What is the purpose of COVID-19 antibody tests?


Antibody tests are used to detect antibodies to the COVID-19 virus to see if it’s likely that you have had the virus before.

The test works by taking a blood sample and testing for the presence of antibodies to see if you have developed an immune response to the virus.

Antibody tests differ to virus swab tests, which test to see if you currently have the virus. An antibody test cannot test if you currently have the virus.




What does a positive COVID-19 antibody test mean?


A positive result means the test did detect COVID-19 coronavirus antibodies so it is likely you've had coronavirus before (even if you can't recall having symptoms). It is not possible to say when. It does not mean you are guaranteed to be immune (protected) from further infection.

You might get the virus again. It does not mean you cannot spread the virus to others. Negative antibody test result A negative result means the test did not detect COVID-19 coronavirus antibodies so it is unlikely you've had the coronavirus before.




When should I purchase my home testing kit?


Please order your kit as soon as you can to minimise the risk of postage delay. Home test kits can be stored for up to a year. Please confirm your specific requirements with your airline and/or the embassy for your travel destination to confirm our service is right for you.

If your sample window requires your test to be taken over the weekend, our home testing service is not suitable due to weekend postage delays. Please book into one of our London-based clinics.




How long will it take to process my results?


Results are generally returned within 24 hours from the time the sample is received by the lab. Given the level pressure currently on the testing system, this is not something we are able to guarantee, and those using our service must understand the risk of occasional delay.

If testing in-clinic, we are seeing the majority of results returned at around the 24 hour mark – this is a guideline, not a guarantee.

If using a home testing kit, please note that the service operates at a limited capacity over the weekend and this could impact your turnaround time by a further 24 hours. The laboratory cannot receive Royal Mail deliveries on a Saturday, so if testing on a Friday, we advise using our home collection courier service. The lab is closed on Sunday.

If your sample window requires that your test is taken or processed Friday – Sunday, our home testing service is not suitable for you. You must come into one of our London-based clinics.




If I purchase a kit online, when will I receive it?


If you place your order prior to 12pm Monday – Friday, your order will be dispatched the same day and should generally be delivered to you the following day.

Orders placed after 12pm on Friday or over the weekend will be dispatched on Monday and should generally be delivered to you on Tuesday.

Please note – we are seeing some postage delays. We advise ordering your kit as soon as possible. Pharmesthetics Ltd will not be liable for any outcomes as a result of postage delays.




Is there any preparation required before coming to my appointment?


Yes. It is essential that 30 minutes before your appointment you do not smoke, drink, eat, chew gum or brush your teeth as not to contaminate the test sample. Non-compliance with this advice can render your test result inconclusive.

Please also ensure you have a form of identification with you when attending your appointment.




My flight was cancelled / changed. Is my test still valid?


If your flight has been changed or cancelled and your testing period now falls outside of your stipulated timeframe, your results will now be invalid unless advised otherwise by your airline or the embassy for your travel destination. Pharmesthetics Ltd CAN NOT under any circumstances amend the dates or times on your Border Entry Report and you will therefore need to book in and pay to have your test retaken to adhere to the time frame of your new flight.

If your kit is unused and no longer required due to travel cancellations or changes, you are able to return the kit to us. Please see above for the return process.




What does an unclear or inconclusive result mean?


A small number of tests may come back unclear or inconclusive. This simply means it was not possible to say if you had the virus when the test was done. There are a number of reasons why this might happen and it unfortunately means you will need to be tested again. We will not charge you for an inconclusive or unclear result – we will either refund you in full, send you a new test kit or book you into one of our clinics.

NB: ………. will not be liable for losses incurred as a result of an unclear or inconclusive test.




How do I post my test?


Royal Mail Priority Post Box – you will receive a postage label in your kit. Where possible, please post prior to 12pm (or the latest pickup time for your local priority post box) to ensure it arrives at the lab within 24 hours. Pharmesthetics Ltd will not be liable for any outcomes as result of postage delays.




Will you be offering the Covid-19 vaccine?


Initially the vaccine will only be available through the public health system. We expect that this will change in the second quarter of 2021 and we fully expect to be able to provide it for patients but do not have a timeline on when this will be.





Same Day Clinic

London Medical School

208 Upper Richmond Road 

Putney 

SW15 6TD

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© 2021 by Same Day Clinic part of Pharmesthetics Ltd