I’ve been hearing about antigen testing technology for COVID-19 a lot, and how great this ‘miracle test’ is. However, never actually got to research it nor try to take one up until my first travel since the coronavirus outbreak started. Now that almost every airport has a Covid-19 testing centre, it seems like a new normal to have an antigen test before your flight. In this article, I’ll tell you about my Heathrow antigen test experience so that next time when you are required to take an antigen test at the Heathrow airport, you’ll know what to expect.
What Is Antigen Testing And How Does It Work?
A rapid antigen testing, sometimes also known as a rapid Covid-19 test, is an easy, rapid diagnostic test used for health screening in airports and other transportation stations. It is now used predominantly for the identification of SARS-CoVs-2, the airborne virus that caused the coronavirus outbreak. The antigen testing methodologies used to test Covid-19 are based on standard protocols. Because of the potential sensitivity of this test to airborne pathogens, certain conditions must be present to allow accurate and reliable measurement of the virus.
There are a few reasons why people would have to get an antigen test before going on a trip. The results of the tests can help determine if a person is allowed entry into a country. Some countries only accept PCR tests for travel, so make sure to double-check what their official governmental website stipulates. This can also help passengers get information about their health. Finally, passengers can use the results of the test to determine whether or not they should be allowed to travel by air. An antigen test is one method used to screen for the dreaded Coronavirus by collecting samples of nasal and throat fluids. It is not completely accurate but can be a quick and easy way to find out if you have been infected with the Coronavirus or not.
When Should You Have An Antigen Test?
The UK Government has recently updated the testing requirements for vaccinated travellers. According to the new requirements, passengers should only take one Covid PCR test on day 2 of arrival without a mandatory pre-departure antigen test before boarding to England. Meanwhile, unvaccinated travellers are still required to take a Covid-19 antigen test before boarding a flight home. On arrival they also must take a PCR test on day 2 and another PCR test on day 8.
Before Booking Your Heathrow Antigen Test
It is advised to research your covid-19 provider and clarify the information to be included on your antigen test certificate also called fit to fly. Some countries require the specific personal information to be included like date of departure/arrival, passport number and obviously name and surname.
How The Heathrow Antigen Test Is Carried Out?
First of all, this must be booked through a private test provider. There are multiple companies that have testing centres near Heathrow Airport. You need to make sure you book it in advance in order to avoid any queues and disappointments, as the worst that can happen is not being let to board your flight. When booking your Heathrow Antigen Test, make sure you choose one that best suits your needs. You can choose whether you want to be in your car when the test is carried out, or you can choose a walking testing centre. The test usually takes a few seconds with the results available within 20-30 minutes. Make sure to plan for this extra plan when making your journey arrangements.
Overall, I can say that having a Covid-19 test is not too complicated nor scary to do. And given the great advantages it offers, it is really a game-changer for people eager to travel again.