If budget isn’t an issue, the London Medical Concierge offers the most convenient and reliable PCR test service possible, with a health professional sent to your home to collect a sample and personally deliver it to the lab. Jenny Southan reports
For travellers entering England, it continues to be a requirement to have at least one PCR test on arrival, to be sure they haven’t imported another case of Covid from abroad.
From July 19, people who have had both doses of the vaccine in the UK will only need to have a day 2 PCR test (the same for travellers from green list countries) if they are coming from an amber list country – and they will be exempt from the full, ten-day quarantine.
Children under 18 will also no longer have to self-isolate so can go to school. Children aged five to ten will not have to take a test before departure for England, but will have to take a test on day two. Those aged four and under will not need to take any tests.
However, those non-vaccinated (or non-UK vaccinated) passengers coming from amber or red countries will need to have two PCR tests on day 2 and 8 (in the case of amber arrivals, there is the option to pay extra for a day 5 test to leave quarantine early).
The process of choosing a PCR test provider can be overwhelming, especially when you are trying to weigh up price, convenience and reliability.
Normally you either need to go to a dedicated private clinic to get tested or order DIY kits through the post that then need to be either posted or couriered to a lab, which can lead to delays in getting your results (until you receive a negative result, you can’t stop quarantining).
Minimising the delivery window for results is critical for anyone only required to take a day 2 test, or who wants to be released from quarantine early on day 5 via the UK’s “Test to Release” scheme. (Sometimes people pay for day 5 tests and then don’t recieve the results until day 7, which undermines the point of paying for the test in the first place).
Globetrender decided to assess what consumers at the top end of the scale get for their money when paying for a premium PCR testing service through the London Medical Concierge.
For business travellers, atheletes, celebrities and other high-net-worth individuals for whom money is no object and time is precious, the London Medical Concierge’s home (or office/hotel) testing service is ideal.
There are three options for arriving passengers:
Day 2 package: £340
Day 2 & 8 package: £549
Day 2, 5 & 8 package: £843
Tests can be conducted outside of London but additional charges will apply. The company also offers corporate packages for companies, hotels and the TV and film industry. All results are sent in PDF format on email by 8am the next day.
I was travelling back from France, which is on the UK’s amber list, which meant I would have to self-isolate for up to ten days.
I ordered the London Medical Concierge’s Day 2, 5 & 8 package, and after completing my details in the booking form, was sent an order confirmation and unique code to put in my passenger locator form as proof that I had organised the tests in advance (you won’t be let into the country otherwise).
On the morning of day 2 (the day you travel is counted as day 0), between 9am and 10am (as the London Medical Concierge specified) a medical professional in a mask and gloves arrived at my door to conduct a nose and throat swab on the doorstep. It was incredibly quick and easy – and far less uncomfortable than the one I had endured in France.
At 7am on day 3, my results were emailed to me in the form of a PDF certificate. The process was repeated on day 5 and 8, with the results equally swiftly delivered. (You still have to do the day 8 test even if you have tested negative on day 5 and been released from quarantine, which seems illogical.)
I was delighted to receive my day 5 results at 0640 on day 6, meaning I was able to leave the house. (Until that point you can’t even pop out for a walk or get groceries.) It’s worth noting that the UK “Track and Trace” system is very thorough – I was called at least once a day from a government representative to check I was quarantining.
The London Medical Concierge takes all the worry and inconvenience out of the PCR testing process, which is what you are paying for. Highly recommended.