FAQ’s – CityDoc’s Covid-19 Testing Services

At CityDoc we hold no higher priority than ensuring the best level of care to our Patients. For over 15 years CityDoc has helped hundreds of thousands of patients meet their travel needs through our extensive travel vaccination service. Now, amongst the forefront of testing options in the UK, we are able to uphold this service on a greater scale by supporting our nation in the fight against the Covid-19 global pandemic. 

As a private medical provider, CityDoc only works with the top private laboratories across the UK in our aim to provide our patients with results in an average turnaround time of 48-72 hours. However, due to the pandemic our laboratories are currently extremely overwhelmed and as a result of this, CityDoc can not make guarantees regarding timeframes. 

All persons wishing to use CityDoc’s Covid-19 testing services must use their own judgement to assess the suitability of this test and any possibility of associated risk. Due to the ever-changing and unpredictable circumstances surrounding the pandemic, any travel or work arrangements made at this time are at the sole risk of the consumer and CityDoc can not be liable for any errors, delays or changes brought forward as a result of government guidance, travel disruptions or any other unforeseen risk to this effect. 

General FAQ’s

Which tests do you provide?

We provide COVID-19 RT-PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing using either the swab or the saliva test method. This testing will determine whether you were actively positive or negative for SARS-CoV-2 at the time of testing.

What is the accreditation of your tests?

All of our tests are ISO and CQC accredited.

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 destination has specific entry requirements outside of a COVID-19 RT-PCR Test, please let us know and we will aim to provide this.
We are on the list of Government Approved providers for general COVID-19 testing, outbound travel, test to release, day 2 and day 8 testing.

How do I book an appointment?

Please book online here: https://www.citydoc.org.uk/make-an-appointment/

During periods of high traffic, the booking portal can take some time to load. Your patience is appreciated.

You will be charged a £50 non-refundable reservation fee when booking online. This will be deducted from the cost of your appointment in the clinic. Your reservation fee can not be refunded under any circumstances including, but not exclusive to, flight cancellations, changes in travel plans, changes in government guidance and booking errors.

If you need to amend the date or time of your appointment you will need to email [email protected] no less than 48 hours prior to your appointment. In these circumstances your reservation fee will be carried over to your new booking.

When should I purchase my home testing kit?

Please order your testing kit as soon as you can, this will reduce the risk of any delays affecting your order.

If you are ordering a Day 2/ Day 2 and 8 testing kit then you must place your order a minimum of 48 hours before arriving in the UK.

Please note we do not currently ship on weekends and orders placed after 12 midday are shipped the following day. This means if you order after midday on a Friday your order will not be dispatched until the following Monday.

How long will it take to process my results?

It will take 24 hours from sending your kit to reach the lab and once received at the lab a further 24 – 48 hours to process the result. Given the level of 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.

Does the home testing service operate in my area?

If you are based in Ireland/Northern Ireland, Scotland or the Channel Islands please note that we can/do dispatch to these areas, but we are seeing delays in both getting kits delivered to you as well as on to the laboratory. If you are working with a 72 hour window or similar, we would advise against this service.

Which clinics do you offer Covid testing in?
  • Central London – Moorgate Flagship Clinic
  • London Bridge Clinic
  • Canary Wharf Clinic (Temporarily closed)
Are the tests suitable for travel?

As part of our PCR testing service, we will provide you with a results certificate which is sufficient documentation for travelling in most cases. This is outlined through the travel guide provided by the Foreign office www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus. Travel requirements in the current climate are ever-changing so please do confirm what is required for your travel in advance with either your airline or the Embassy for your travel destination.
It is your responsibility to understand your specific requirements and ensure that our service is suitable for you. We cannot advise on what is required for any particular journey.

Which test do I need?

You will need to find out the specific details of which test you require from the embassy of the country you are travelling to or the airline you are travelling with. These requirements often change so it is your responsibility to understand your specific requirements and ensure that our service is suitable for you.

When should I take my test?

Each travel destination and airline will require you to take and gain the results of your test within a specific time frame. Please check when your required timeframe starts and ends with your airline and/or the embassy of your travel destination before booking. It is your responsibility when booking for travel purposes to choose a suitable appointment or test date in correspondence with their specific requirements.

We would always advise taking your test as early as possible.

If you are completing a Day 2/Day 2 and 8/ Test to Release (Day 5) you will need to complete your test on specific dates based on your arrival date. Your arrival date is classed as day 0.

Please note, if you are using one of our home kits, you must register your kit when you take the test. If you do not, the lab will be unable to match your sample to a registered account. The time/date on your results certificate will be the time the test was registered. If you register sooner, your result may be outside of your required window. ‘

How do I post my test?

Using the Royal Mail Track 24 label provided, please post your test kit via a Royal Mail Priority Post Box.
To locate your nearest Priority Post Box please visit: https://www.royalmail.com/priority-postboxes
Please ensure you have taken note of your Royal Mail tracking number before posting your sample

Can I include my passport number in my results certificate?

Clinic: Yes – please ensure you ask the receptionist filling out your registration form to include this information.

Home testing: Yes – please add your passport number in the relevant field when registering online.

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.

Can you test children?

Our PCR swab tests are only suitable for anyone 6 months old or older. If using a home testing kit, we advise only swabbing the sides of the cheeks for babies and toddlers.

Our PCR saliva tests require a significant amount of saliva to be produced. It is up to the parent/caregivers’ judgement as to whether this is appropriate for their child.

Whether your child actually requires the testing is something you would need to query with your airline or the embassy for your travel destination.

Anyone under 18 testing must have a parent or guardian present when visiting our clinics.

What do the accuracy rates for covid-19 testing mean?

Trials from our accredited UK laboratory have established a 99% accuracy rate for the PCR test we use. This means that if we test 100 people with an active infection, we can expect to get 99 positive results. So the test identifies 99% of people with an active covid-19 infection. Our test is sensitive to fewer than 100 copies of the target viral RNA, making it a highly accurate test.

When and how do I get my results?

Clinic testing: results will be emailed to you directly. Please take extra care when filling out the registration form to ensure your email address is entered correctly.

Home Testing: You will receive an email alerting you to an update in your testing portal. Please follow the link to access your results certificate, which can be downloaded from the portal.

We aim to get your results to you within 48-72 hours from the time the sample is received by the lab, however, we can not guarantee a specific timeline due to unforeseen circumstances arising in the current climate.

What should I do if my covid-19 PCR test is positive?

If your covid-19 PCR test is positive our patient care representative will talk you through the next steps. You and your household will need to isolate.

For more information go to the NHS covid-19 website. Do not visit a health centre such as a hospital, GP surgery or pharmacy. Do not come to one of our clinics.

What should I do if my covid-19 PCR test is negative?

A negative PCR test means that you were not infected with covid-19 when you took the test. If you have no symptoms, you can continue as normal. However, if you have symptoms, follow the advice on the NHS covid-19 website.

Unclear or inconclusive tests

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 send out a new test kit or book you into one of our clinics for a repeat test, if appointments are available.

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

I have purchased a test kit, but my situation has changed and it is no longer required. Can I return it?

All online test kit sales are final. You are not able to cancel or return your order.

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

Outbound Travel:
If your flight has been changed or cancelled and your testing period now falls outside of your stipulated time-frame, your results will now be invalid unless advised otherwise by your airline or the embassy for your travel destination. CityDoc 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.

UK Arrivals:
Day 2, day 8 and test to release kits are shipped based on your arrival date. If your UK arrival date has changed please contact us and we will be able to amend this. However, if your order has already been shipped then we will not be able to do this.

I have symptoms and therefore can not come into clinic. What are my options?

CityDoc CAN NOT under any circumstances test symptomatic patients or patients that have been in contact with someone tested positive of the virus before the 2 weeks quarantine period. This is due to government guidelines and is to keep our staff and the general public as safe as possible. If you are symptomatic, you can order a home test kit through our website. If you do seek immediate medical advice regarding COVID-19 please contact 111 or your local GP via the telephone.

My results haven’t come in time. What should I do?

Where possible, we will always endeavour to return your results within 72 hours. Our team cannot expedite or prioritise your test results under any circumstances. If your results have not arrived and you are outside of the 72 hour time-frame, please contact our Results Team for assistance by emailing [email protected] .

The timeline outlined above cannot be guaranteed due to the high level of pressure on the testing system at present. Everyone taking our tests must understand the risk of occasional delay. Therefore, we cannot compensate for any interrupted travel.

If you do not receive results within 5 business days of your sample being received by the lab, you will be eligible for a refund. CityDoc will not be liable for any delays as a result of postage issues.

I need to make a corporate or bulk order. Who do I contact?

If you require corporate or bulk bookings/orders please contact [email protected] and one of our corporate bookings team will be able to assist you.

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 2021 and we fully expect to be able to provide it for patients but do not have a timeline on when this will be.

International Arrivals 2 & 8 Day FAQ’s

What will I need to bring to my in-clinic appointment for the Mandatory Day2 - Day8 testing?

Please bring the following information to your appointment:

Covid-19 vaccination status
Travel information (Including flight number / train number, dates)
Unique reference number
Isolation Address

When will I receive my home test-kit for the Mandatory Day 2 - Day 8 testing?

If you order before 12pm your kits will be shipped same day for next day delivery. If you order after 12pm on a Friday, a weekend or bank holiday they will be shipped the next working day. It is your responsibility to ensure someone is available to receive your kits when delivery is attempted.

When should I take my test?

You must take the first test between day 0 and day 2 of your quarantine period, with the day you arrive into the UK counting as day 0. You must take the second test on or after day 8 of arriving into the UK.

For example, if you arrived into the UK on the 1st of April, you could test on or before the 3rd April for your day 2 test, and on or after the 9th April for your day 8 test.

How do I take my home test?

Your home testing package will come with instructions on how to take your test.

How long is the result turnaround?

You will receive your results within 24-48 hours of your sample being received at the laboratory.

How will I receive my results?

Clinic testing: results will be emailed to you directly. Please take extra care when filling out the registration form to ensure your email address is entered correctly.

Home Testing: You will receive an email alerting you to an update in your testing portal. Please follow the link to access your results certificate, which can be downloaded from the portal.

Can I be released early from quarantine?

If you would like to be released early from quarantine you can opt into the government’s Test-to-Release scheme. Please see more information on this service here.

Do I need to book a package for my child?

Children under the age of 5 do not need to take a Day 2 and Day 8 PCR test. Please refer to government guidelines for the latest advice.

Test to Release FAQ’s

Can I use your service for the Test to Release Scheme?
Where can I find more information about Test-to-Release?
Can I use the government Test-to-Release if I have covid-19 symptoms?

If you have covid-19 symptoms, Test-to-Release is not suitable for you.

Visit the NHS for the latest information about what to do if you are ill with covid-19.

How long will I have to self-isolate on return from a quarantine country?

If you do not have a negative covid-19 test result you will have to self-isolate for 10 days. When you are self-isolating you cannot leave your home for any reason. You will have to arrange deliveries for everything you need.

Under the government’s Test-to-Release programme you can on the fifth day after leaving the quarantine country (that is, not on the government’s travel corridor list) take a covid-19 test. If you get a negative result then you no longer have to self-isolate.

Can I get my test done sooner if I attend one of your clinics?

No, test to release can only be carried out on day 5 of your self-isolation period.

Can I leave my house once I’ve taken a Test-to-Release test?

You can only end self-isolation once you’ve received a negative covid-19 test result. Until you receive your result, you need to self-isolate.

Can I use Test-to-Release in Scotland and Wales?

Test-to-Release only applies to England. Scotland and Wales, as devolved nations, will make their own arrangements.

Do I need to isolate after my trip abroad?

Please check the government's latest information on entering the UK from abroad. Here you will be able to find the current regulations the government has in place for those arriving from your departure country.

Do you have to pay for Test-to-Release?

The government test-to-release scheme is private. You have to pay for a test from a private provider, such as CityDoc, for this purpose.

Secure & Approved

UKAS Accreditation

Laboratory and Testing Industry Organisation

Care Quality Commission

Globalsign Secure Website