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FAQ’s For CityDoc’s Covid-19 RT-PCR testing

At Citydoc nothing comes before looking after the best interests of our patients. For over 15 years we have worked with hundreds of thousands of patients in helping them meet their travel needs.  From our frontline clinical teams to our support colleagues in our contact centre, our first and only priority is delivering a safe, efficient and effective service to our patients.

In terms of COVID-19 testing, at all times Citydoc endeavours to deliver a result within the advertised 48-72 hour timeframe. As a medical business Citydoc only works with the top private laboratories in the United Kingdom, labs that in some cases we have had relationships with for over a decade. However never before have our partner labs been under so much pressure as they are right now, dealing with a global pandemic that no one could have foreseen.

At every point in our process we do everything possible to ensure a speedy outcome from using dedicated medical couriers to deliver and return test samples to our partner labs and then returning your results by email for the fastest possible response. Once your sample is sent to the laboratory and the testing process begins, it is part of a complex process involving science and technology alongside tens of thousands of other tests. Once its part of this process it works through until your result is delivered. While in the overwhelming majority of cases the labs deliver results within the times above they provide no guarantee and as such on very rare occasions results may not be returned within the timeframe.

All customers purchasing these tests must use their own judgement about the best date to purchase, carry out and return the test to us. Citydoc cannot take responsibility for any test timelines and associated outcomes affecting travel. Unfortunately the company can provide no absolute guarantee as to when you will receive your result as all UK labs are currently experiencing extreme delays as a result. By purchasing a test  you understand and agree that any travel is at your sole risk and that Citydoc shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or other defects in, delays or interruptions, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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.

If your destination requires a specific ISO accreditation, you will need to let us know so that we can point you in the right direction.

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 can also book by calling one of our Booking Agents directly on 020 3481 9894. Though please book online if you can, as this will open up the lines for those who require urgent support.

You will be charged a £50 reservation fee when booking online. This will be deducted from the cost of your appointment in the clinic. If you need to cancel your appointment, you must do so at least 72 hours beforehand in order to receive a refund. If you book within 72 hours of your appointment and cancel, you will not be eligible for a refund. To cancel, please call our 020 3481 9894 or email [email protected] – please note we will honour your first point of contact.

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 instead.

How long will it take to process my results?

Results are generally returned within 48-72 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. There may also be some cases where results are released within 48 hours.

If testing in-clinic, we are seeing the majority of results returned at around the 48 hour mark – this is a guideline, not a guarantee. Some samples do take longer to process for various reasons.

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, you must use the collection courier service. The lab is closed on Sunday.

If your sample window requires that your test is taken or processed Saturday – Sunday, our home testing service is NOT suitable for you. You must come into one of our London-based clinics. If you need to test on a Friday and have a 72 hour window, there is a higher risk of delay being over the weekend (and as above, you must the courier).

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. This is not guaranteed – we advise ordering your kit as soon as possible. CityDoc will not be liable for any outcomes as a result of postage delays.

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

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?

We offer in-person testing at our flagship clinics in central London.

How much do the tests cost?

Standard testing costs as follows:

Home testing Covid-19 RT-PCR tests: £150

In-clinic Covid-19 RT-PCR tests: £200

Antibody tests: £95

If you have been directed to us through one of our corporate partners, please follow the link provided by the partner for the correct information or check their website directly for the price that applies to you.

Are the tests suitable for travel?

As part of our PCR testing service we will provide you with a ‘Border Entry Report’ which is sufficient documentation for travelling in most cases. This is outlined by the travel guidance 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 journeys.

Which test do I need?

Your travel destination may require a specific RT-PCR test method (swab or saliva) and equally may not accept home-testing. In the current climate, travel requirements are ever changing – please confirm what you need with your airline and/or the embassy for your travel destination before you purchase one of our tests.

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 for 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 always advise that you take your test as early as possible within your required timeframe.

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?

We have two options:

  1. 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. CityDoc will not be liable for any outcomes as result of postage delays.
  2. Home collection courier service – you will receive instructions on how to book with your kit. You must book before 4pm the day before you need your parcel to be picked up. DX will confirm with you directly. This service is of charge.

If you are required to test on a Friday, you MUST opt for the home collection courier service. Royal Mail is not able to deliver to the laboratory over the weekend, so your sample would not be delivered until the following Monday.

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.

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 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.

Please note – our home testing laboratories operate at a limited capacity over the weekend. If your sample window requires that your test is taken or processed over the weekend, this could cause a further delay of 24-48 hours.

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.

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

Can I use your service for the Test to Release Scheme? 

Yes – see here: https://www.citydoc.org.uk/test-to-release-covid-19-testing/

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

Yes – your kit can be returned. A processing fee of £45 per kit will be deducted from your refund to cover the costs of handling returns. If the sample kit has been interfered with in any way, no refund will be applied.

Please kindly return it to the address below using the envelope and postage sticker provided.

You will need to black out the current address and replace it with the below. The parcel must be posted via priority postal box. Please ensure your name is included on the package, and additionally that you make a note of the Tracking Number on the postage sticker.

Attn: Orders (insert order number here)
CityDoc
133 Creek Road
Greenwich
SE83BU

Returns are taking slightly longer to process at present due to reduced staff on the premises. Once your return is received, your refund will be processed within 28 working days. Your patience is very much appreciated.

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 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.

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.

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.

I need to make a complaint. Who do I contact?

If you are unhappy with the service you have received please contact [email protected] and one of our customer services team will work with you to come to a resolution. Our teams are experiencing a high volume of queries at present – please allow seven working days before following up. Your patience during this busy and challenging time is much appreciated.

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