Do You Have a Question About COVID-19?
We understand that many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming. Our goal at CT24 is to take at least one of those stressors off your plate. We aim to simplify the COVID-19 testing process and provide you with clear, accurate test results as soon as possible. If you are interested in the COVID-19 testing process, please refer to some of our frequently asked questions below. We hope to provide clear answers to give you the peace of mind you deserve during this time. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call today – one of our friendly team members would be happy to discuss all of your specific questions and concerns.
Most frequent questions and answers
A PCR test, or “polymerase chain reaction” test analyses a sample taken from the upper respiratory tract. It checks whether there is any genetic material present of SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. It is considered the “gold standard” test for diagnosing COVID-19 due to its accuracy and reliability.
A PCR sample takes just a few minutes to do from home using a swab. The samples are sent back to our UKAS accredited Lab to be checked by our highly qualified technicians. 95% of results are processed within 24 hours of arriving at the lab, however on occasion it may take slightly longer. You will receive a email with your result as soon as its processed.
No matter your vaccination status, you can book a PCT test via our online scheduling system found here. This test is mandatory in order to travel to the UK and should be booked prior to your travel date. When entering the UK, you will need to reference your test booking details to properly fill out your Passenger Locator Form.
95% of test results are processed within 24 hours of the sample’s arrival in the lab. After your samples have been collected, they are sent back to our UKAS accredited lab and will be analysed by one of our highly qualified lab technicians. You will receive an email with your results as soon as the sample is processed. Please note that all tests are sent to us via Royal Mail, which may occasionally experience delays. CT24 cannot be held responsible for any delays due to shipping.
Under proper sampling conditions, PCR tests for COVID-19 are 99.7% accurate. False results are possible, but extremely rare. A PCR test is considered the gold standard of COVID-19 tests in terms of accuracy and reliability. It is the same test that is used by the NHS, UK Government, and Public Health.
You can book your test via our website here, depending on your vaccination status. The test should be booked before you travel to the UK, as you will need the booking reference for your Passenger Locator Form. This is a mandatory requirement for every traveler entering England.
A Lateral flow tests, also know as Antigen or rapid tests, are devices that detect the presence of Covid-19 using a liquid sample which is transferred onto a test device. The test can be done at home without having to send the sample back to a lab for analysis and results are read within 15 minutes of taking the test.
Under proper testing conditions, Lateral flow or rapid tests are around to be 99.3% accurate. This means that false-negative test results are possible, but very rare. The accuracy of lateral flow test results also depends on the accuracy of the test administration.
To complete a lateral flow test at home, you will need to swab a sample from either the nose or the back of the throat. You will dip the swab into a solution and mix it for a short period of time. Then, you will carefully drip the mixed solution onto the testing device and wait for the results to appear on the device.
Full test results will appear on the lateral flow device within 15 minutes. To obtain a results certificate, you must register your test on our website. This registration process will take around 5 minutes to complete. A certificate will be issued within six hours of your test registration.
Lateral Flow Tests are a reliable way to test for Covid-19 quickly and easily. They are not quite as accurate as gold-standard PCR tests and any positive results should be verified by a PCR.
Even in asymptomatic cases, lateral flow tests are a reliable method of detecting cases of the coronavirus. Therefore, they are a great way to prevent spreading of the virus from people with or without symptoms.
Yes, if you were tested in the earlier stages of your coronavirus infection, it is possible that you tested negative. If you test again in the later stages of your illness, you may test positive. You should continue to maintain preventive safety measures even if you have tested negative in the past.
It is now required in certain countries to present evidence of a negative COVID test before travel. Most countries will require the test to have been completed in the last 72 hours if completing PCR a test, but this can also be between 24-48 hours before travel. It is important to check this with your airline before you travel. The certificate will state the travellers details such as name, passport and date of birth, time and date that the sample was taken, time and date the sample was processed and the test results for COVID-19, all certified by a medical professional. The certificate will need to be purchased through a private provider and cannot be gained through the NHS.
Fit to Fly testing came into place during the current pandemic. The test aims at limiting the number of passengers travelling who are currently positive for COVID-19. The result will usually need to be completed within 72 hours of testing but can differ for each country. The test will allow passengers who are negative to receive a certificate as proof of their suitability to travel to their destination country.
Each certificate may look slightly different depending on the provider you choose but ultimately will hold the same information. The certificate will state the date you took the test, when the result was received, the result of the test and passenger details such as name, date of birth and passport details. The certificate will also need to be signed by a medical professional and be from a certified provider, such as CT24. If you require certain details to be displayed on your certificate please get in touch and we can arrange these.
See below for an example of CT24 Fit to Fly testing.
There are many companies that provide this testing including CT24. It is important to choose a company that is certified and has quick turn around on results, as it may impact your trip if results aren’t back to you in time. You can view the options available here (link to product pages).
Fit to Fly tests are usually required to be taken within 72 hours of your travel, but this will depend on your destination country and the type of test required. If it is a Lateral Flow Test (Antigen) then your results will come within 3-4 hours at the longest, where as a PCR test will take longer as it needs to be sent to the Lab for processing. The requirements will differ from country to country, and it is best to check the GOV.UK for the latest and most up to date information.
This will depend on your vaccination status and where you plan to travel. It is always recommended to check the testing requirements needed for the country you are visiting. This will give information on who needs to complete a fit to fly test.
The latest up to date and reliable information can be found the website below.
Fit to Fly certificates are not required for all travel. Only certain countries currently require fit to fly testing; however, this does change due to the volatile nature of the virus. It will also depend on your vaccination status to whether you need a Fit to Fly test for travel as well.
You can find the latest up to date testing information here.
Fit to Fly certificates are only required for travel. When organising your travel it is recommended to check the https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for the latest advice on requirements for testing for the country you are heading to.
Fit to Fly tests are usually required to be completed 48hours before travel or 72 hours for a PCR test as this needs time to be processed by the lab.
The COVID-19 virus can affect anyone, but certain people may be more at risk of developing symptoms than others. The following groups may be at a greater risk of infection:
- Adults over the age of 65
- People who have had prolonged, close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
- People with severe pre-existing medical conditions, including heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes
Though it is less likely, there is always some level of risk that children may become infected with COVID-19. Fewer children have contracted COVID-19 than adults, and the typical symptoms seen in children tend to be milder or non-existent. However, babies younger than one year old may be more likely to develop severe symptoms. Even in asymptomatic cases, children can spread the illness to others.
In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, we recommend following the guidance of healthcare officials. Wearing a mask, washing your hands, and maintaining proper social distancing measures can help slow the spread and keep our community safe.
People suffering from COVID-19 can develop a wide range of symptoms, including the following. These symptoms can vary widely in severity and may warrant a trip to the hospital in some cases:
- Shortness of breath
- Body aches
- Loss of smell or taste
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or diarrhoea
If you are experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms, have been in contact with a person who is confirmed to have COVID-19, or have recently traveled from an area with known COVID-19 cases, you should contact your healthcare provider. You should stay at home and not visit public spaces or use public transportation. You should only leave your home if you are in need of medical care.
If you are experiencing mild symptoms, you should stay at home and approach the symptoms similarly as you would the flu. If you have any questions or have noticed your symptoms worsening, you should contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. The following methods may be helpful to reduce your symptoms:
- Stay well-hydrated
- Get enough rest
- Take pain relief medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Use a mask if you must be around others
- Monitor your symptoms carefully
- Stay in a separate room away from other people in your home
If you or someone you know has experienced any of the following symptoms, you should contact a healthcare provider or seek emergency medical care immediately:
- Inability to stay awake
- Persistent body aches
- Persistent chest pains or pressure
- Difficulty breathing
- New sense of confusion
- Gray, pale, or blue-tinted skin or lips
Yes, we offer at-home lateral flow testing options. This may be a good option for you if you are currently exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or cannot get tested through your nearest healthcare facility. Reach out to us for more information or purchase a lateral flow test through our website here.
Most people recover from symptomatic COVID within two weeks of the onset of symptoms. However, 1 In 10 may still have symptoms for up to three weeks. Long COVID refers to someone still having symptoms or generalised fatigue for a significant period after contracting the virus, but doesn’t necessary mean they are infectious.
In short, yes. Alcohol doesn’t effect how well the vaccine works. However, excessive alcohol can lead to a weakened immune system which can decrease how well the vaccine may respond in your body. The recommended daily allowance for alcohol is one glass for women and two for men.
Yes, when you contract COVID your body’s immune system kicks into action to help fight the infection. The antibodies produced in this fight can stay in your immune system for some time, which will protect you in the short term, but this doesn’t necessarily stop you from catching it again later down the line. It has been reported some people have caught COVID on numerous occasions.
You can be contagious 2 days prior to symptoms and up to 10 days after. The seriousness of symptoms doesn’t affect being able to pass on COVID to others. People who are asymptomatic can still pass on the infection, therefore isolation is highly important when you have positive result whether you are symptomatic or not.
Symptoms can vary for each person. Most people may have these symptoms for a week or two but after that feel fine. Some however may find symptoms can last up to 12 weeks. Long COVID refers to someone still having symptoms or generalised fatigue for several weeks to months after they initially got coronavirus.
This will depend on the type of test you are using. PCR tests which are the gold standard in testing are sent to a lab for analysis and are usually processed within 24 hours of the Lab receiving the sample. Lateral Flow tests will give results within 30 minutes, with your results certificate sent within 3 hours.
No, sneezing is not a commonly recognised symptom of COVID. However, sneezing can transmit COVID if you have it. It is important to wear a mask and use antibacterial cleaning products regularly to stop the spread of COVID.
Vaccines are now widely available in the UK for anyone over the age of 16. Boosters are available to anyone aged 30 and over at the time of writing, but this is changing quickly. You can currently book your vaccine with the link below.
A sore throat can be a symptom of COVID but is not criteria to isolate as per the government guidelines. It has now been shown that COVID can affect people very differently and a range of symptoms can be linked to the virus. Regular testing is key to controlling the spread COVID.
There is lots of data on the effectiveness on each vaccine, this however is still being updated due to the variants we are currently seeing coming through.
The following vaccines are currently approved for use in the UK:
Covid can be passed on to animals. The guidance given by the centre of tropical diseases and prevention recommend to avoid contact with animals with a confirmed case of COVID. There is limited data on whether animals can pass on the virus to humans
You will need to complete a PCR test and then depending on your vaccination status you may need to isolate for 10 days or test each day.
Always follow government guidance. The best way to find the most up to date regarding COVID is on the GOV.UK website.
This question we all want to know the answer to.
When a new virus enters the human race, it takes time and effort for our bodies to have a good handle of protecting ourselves from this virus. COVID like most viruses is a virus that can mutate and change rapidly and we are still in the process of fully understanding it.
Whether you need your first, second or booster vaccine you can currently book your vaccine online with the link below.
A COVID cough has commonly described as a ‘non-productive cough’ this means that it may feel quite dry and won’t cough up lots of flem. This doesn’t mean that if you have a cough without these attributes you shouldn’t test.
If you have been coughing for one or two days or more you should always test and isolate for COVID 19 precautions.