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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
- Central London – Moorgate Flagship Clinic
London Bridge Clinic(Temporarily closed) Canary Wharf Clinic(Temporarily closed)
Standard testing costs as follows:
- Home testing Covid-19 RT-PCR tests: £150
- In-clinic Covid-19 RT-PCR tests: £175
- 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.
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 through 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.
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.
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.
We have two options:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 out a new test kit or book you into one of our clinics for a repeat test.
NB: CityDoc will not be liable for losses incurred as a result of an unclear or inconclusive test.
Please note that for Hygiene and Safety reasons, all online test kit sales are final. You are not able to cancel or return your sample collection kit once purchased.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Please bring the following information to your appointment:
Covid-19 vaccination status
Travel information (Including flight number / train number, dates)
Unique reference number
You will receive your day 2 test prior to or on day 2 of your quarantine period. Your second test will be sent to you prior to or on day 8 of your quarantine period.
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.
Your home testing package will come with instructions on how to take your test.
You will receive your results within 24-48 hours of your sample being received at the laboratory.
Your results will be sent via email directly from the laboratory.
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.
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.
Yes – see here: www.citydoc.org.uk/test-to-release-covid-19-testing
See the government’s Test-to-Release page.
If you have covid-19 symptoms, Test-to-Release is not suitable for you.
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.
You need to wait five days from leaving a quarantine country before taking your sample for Test-to-Release. In person Test-To-Release tests will be available at Citydoc Moorgate and Citydoc London Shard, Monday to Friday from December 29th. No Test to Release service is available in clinics at weekends. Note that you must go straight from the airport or port of arrival to the place where you will self-isolate and you cannot leave there except under some specific circumstances.
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.
Test-to-Release only applies to England. Scotland and Wales, as devolved nations, will make their own arrangements.
If you are returning to England from one of the government’s travel corridor countries, you do not need to isolate. To find out if you are travelling from a travel corridor country, please check the list on gov.uk. It changes frequently and without notice, so check it immediately before you travel.
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.