With continued community transmission of COVID-19, there has been sustained focus on the role of testing to mitigate and suppress the spread. Multiple parallel effort to bring diagnostic innovation to COVID-19 testing are underway. There are likely to result in more tests and new innovative platforms.
The total demand for PCR testing and PCR test kits grew as the number of COVID patients increased. The demand for PCR tests in Croydon, for example, was too great for some testing centres to handle. This resulted in long waiting queues and unavailable time slots.
High-sensitivity PCR tests are reliable in detecting infected patients, but only when properly conducted. However, such tests are often carried out by skilled members of staff, specialised reagents, and expensive apparatus.
PCR based tasting has been successful in the UK for quickly and effectively diagnosing infected patients with COVID-19, who would then isolate for 10 days which would ultimately slow down the spread of the virus.
As New Guidelines Are Implemented, Free PCR Testing Is Scrapped
A huge change has recently taken place within England, UK by the government. The UK government has set out its plans to ‘live with covid’, in other words, resuming a normal way of living.
With the new changes coming into force in April 2022, the government has plans to scrap free lateral flows and PCRs. This will mean that those planning to travel who require a PCR, must purchase a test from a private provider. However, this does not completely ease the pressure on testing centres in the UK. For unvaccinated passengers who plan to travel to the UK at any point, must still conduct a pre-travel test as well as a day 2 PCR test after arrival in the UK.
These changes will still increase demand on testing sites as the travel industry opens back up, countries around the world welcome tourists and summer is just around the corner, people are eager to follow the travel guidelines to get back to their vacations.
Where You Can Find Your Nearest Testing Site
You can search online for your nearest testing centre. Be sure to choose a site that is local and convenient for you to travel to, whether you choose a walk-in or drive-through. It is also your responsibility to ensure that if you are taking a test for the purpose of travel, you should plan this in a timely manner to receive your results within your desired time frame. Your PCR test should always be travel certified in order for it to be valid proof at any border. You can always check these factors with the provider that you choose.
If you are going to have trouble physically visiting a testing site, you have the option to order an at-home PCR testing kit to conduct on your own. Your testing kit will be delivered to your door and will include instructions for you to follow to ensure the test is carried out safely, correctly and effectively for an accurate result.