Which COVID-19 test shall I use?
If you want to know if you are currently infected with the COVID-19 virus, there are two types of tests: molecular tests and antigen testing. Molecular tests (also called PCR tests).
Molecular tests look for genetic material that comes only from the virus. The PCR tests are tested through a swab in the mouth and the nose, this test is performed by our medical healthcare professional. The PCR test is the most popular and these are usually taken by members of the public that are looking to travel out of the United Kingdom and need a fit to fly certificate.
With the antigen test these are tested by either a swab through the mouth or the nose, this test identifies protein fragments (antigens) from the virus. The technology involved is similar to a pregnancy test or a rapid strep test, with results available in minutes. Because antigen testing is quicker, less expensive, and requires less complex technology to perform than molecular testing, some experts recommend repeated antigen testing as a reasonable strategy. As with the molecular test, the false positive rate of antigen testing should be close to zero.
Vanité Clinic also offer the antibody test which can show you if you have previously been infected with COVID-19. For this test a sample of blood is taken, which will indicate if you have been infected with COVID in the past. The results are available within minutes.
What is the process to get the fit to fly certificate?
When contacting Vanité clinic in reference to the PCR COVID-19 test and the fit to fly certificate we would ask that you get in touch with the airline you are flying with and confirm the day you are departing and how many hours they accept for the fit to fly certificate to be valid for, its usually 72 or 96 hours. Once you are sure about those two things you can then call us and book an appointment, we ask that you bring your passport to the appointment so you can write your passport number on your COVID test form. Over the phone we would then recommend you book your appointment two days before you fly to ensure that you receive the certificate in time.
Once you have arrived at Vanité clinic wearing the appropriate PPE (face mask/shield), we ask you to fill out a COVID-19 test form which we will use the details to print onto your certificate. Our healthcare professional will then begin the PCR test and sent it over to our lab in London to be tested. Once the results have come back, the results usually take 2 days, we will either email you the results from the lab and the fit to fly certificate or we can print them out and you can come and collect them from our clinic if you do not have a printer accessible to you.
What is the Rapid COVID test?
The rapid COVID test will confirm if you are currently infected with the virus and will tell you within minutes. Our healthcare professional at Vanité clinic with use a smaller and more flexible swab which will enter your nostril for a matter of seconds and then will test that in our clinic using our facilities. After 15 minutes you will then get the results which will be printed onto a certificate. This test can be used for people coming back from holidays to prove, if they get a negative result, that they no longer need to isolate after 5 days. However, if you get a positive result you will have to quarantine for 14 days. Many holiday destinations e.g. The Canary Islands and Tenerife are accepting the rapid test as a fit to fly. Although we would still insist you to get the PCR for travel.
What if I test positive for COVID-19?
On the rare occasion where you will get tested for COVID-19 and the result will come back positive, we will inform you that you must quarantine for 14 days and insist that you abide by all government guidelines. As there is no current cure for COVID-19 our healthcare professional will offer you some tips on how to help ease your recovery period. Most importantly, make sure to get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, help reduce fever. Our healthcare professional may advise to keep a safe distance of six feet from others during this time, make sure that you check in with your healthcare provider if your symptoms become more severe. We also recommend reaching out to a friend or family member who may be able to help drop off supplies during your self-isolation period.
If you tested positive for COVID-19, our health care professional will talk through your test results and provide a care plan. If you’re not showing symptoms, there is a good chance that you’re already on the road to recovery. As of late, health experts have found little evidence that those infected with COVID-19 will contract it again. While you may feel fine, it’s important that you still take measures to prevent others from contracting the virus. The professional will recommend self-isolation until at least 10 days have passed since you first tested positive assuming you have not developed symptoms within that time. The decision to stop home isolation should be left to healthcare providers and local health authorities.
Please note, all healthcare providers are required to confidentially report all positive COVID-19 results to the Department of Health. They may reach out to learn more about any recent travel or close contacts to assist in containing the spread of the virus.
Written by Mya Smith