Fit to Fly Certificates
Everything you need to know
What is a Covid-19 travel certificate?
As COVID-19 has changed how we travel abroad, some countries ask for proof of a recent COVID-19 test upon arrival or before your flight.
If you don’t provide proof of a test result, you may be unable to enter the country. A COVID-19 travel certificate is an official document that provides proof of a recent COVID-19 swab test and it's negative result.
Where can I get a fit to fly COVID-19 certificate?
COVID-19 testing for travel is not currently covered on the NHS. You’ll need to purchase it privately which you can do by contacting the clinic.
We’ll provide you with a downloadable document with your results in 48 hours. Please make sure you check with your airline and destination country that our certificate is appropriate.
Which test is used for the fit to fly COVID-19 certificate?
It's a PCR test, also referred to as antigen tests,
The test detects viral RNA and if you're carrying the virus at the time the test is taken, this test will very likely detect it.
This test requires taking a swab from the nose and throat, and the specimen is analysed in a laboratory with a very rapid turnaround time.
The test detects active Coronavirus infections via real-time reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). This is a CE-IVD test kit and tests are analysed in a CQC regulated laboratory.
What’s the whole process from start to finish?
It’s really simple…
You'll book in at the clinic for your test.
We carry out the test.
The sample is packed in the pre-paid 24-hour Tracked Royal Mail postage bag included in your kit and is dropped off in a Royal Mail Priority Post Box.
The following day, the lab receives and analysis the sample and you or your patients will be emailed the results certificate within 24 hours** of the lab receiving the sample.
How do I get my result?
At the time of taking the test, we will need to register the details of the individual taking the test, the sample specimen number, the date and time the test is taken and the email address to send the results to.
The lab will then email the results certificate within 24 hours from receipt of the sample.
The lab is open 7 days a week and provided the sample arrives at the lab by 5 pm, the result will be sent out by email in the form of a named and dated certificate, the following day**.
What does a positive PCR test result mean?
A positive test means that the COVID-19 virus has been detected on the swab and as the test is 100% specific, this means the chance of a false positive result is negligible. If the result is positive, it is highly likely to be true+.
Is there a list of countries that require this certificate?
You can keep up to date with the latest travel information on the government website by click here
*Please review specific airline and destination country guidance in regards to the time window prior to flight departure or arrival for testing to be carried out, ensuring that the sample is posted out on the same day prior to the post box collection time. You can read the most up-to-date guidance on the Foreign Office website here
**Samples that arrive after 5pm (Monday – Friday) will be processed the following morning and results emailed out 24 hours later. There are no postal deliveries to the laboratory on Sunday so please ensure your sample arrives no later than Friday evening or Saturday morning, in this case the lab will process the sample on Saturday.
***The lab endeavour to provide your results 24 hours from receipt, however in the case of inevitable postage delays and repeat sample analysis, results can be delayed.
+There are many factors that effect the accuracy of the test result including the time the sample is taken from the onset of symptoms, the presence of the viral RNA in the area being tested, the concentration of the virus in the specimen and the quality of the specimen collected from an individual. Therefore, this test cannot be relied upon as a 100% guarantee of active diagnosis as the virus may have travelled down the respiratory tract or the body was clearing the virus, at the time the sample was taken. To increase test result accuracy, its important you follow the instructions on the kit.