PCR tests remain a vital method used within the UK to detect people infected with coronavirus, as well as slowing the spread. Over recent weeks, the UK Government has announced its plans to ‘live with covid’ which will involve a way of living with the virus much closer to the ‘normal’ we once knew.
With social distancing measures, legal requirements of face covering, travel restrictions and testing rules being lifted, it is important to keep up to date with the changes, especially regarding PCR/lateral flow testing.
What Is A PCR Test?
PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction and is used to detect genetics of a virus. The test usually consists of a swap sample of the nose and/or throat and must be tested professionally in a laboratory in order to receive accurate results.
PCR tests have been proven to be the best method of diagnosing Covid-19 in patients and remains a vital testing method in the UK today for symptomatic patients and travel purposes.
Why You May Require A PCR Test
- You are showing symptoms of covid-19 and require confirmation
- If you are eligible for new covid treatments/trials you should take a PCR test to confirm you are infected with the virus, in order to partake in the trials
- You may be asked to take a follow up PCR test as part of research or investigation
- You are a close contact
- If you are undergoing surgery or a procedure that is taking place in a hospital, you may be required to take a PCR
What Are The Recent Changes To PCR Testing In Croydon?
The government have recently changed testing rules in England to align with the ‘living with covid’ plans. This will include free lateral flow tests becoming unavailable after April 1st to everyone except the over 75s with a compromised immune system.
If you feel you are suffering with symptoms of covid-19, you are encouraged to stay at home until you are no longer feeling symptomatic. Free PCR tests are also being scrapped from April. Therefore, the government have announced that it is important to be encouraged to stay at home when you feel unwell as you are infectious for up to 10 days.
In terms of travel, vaccinated travellers arriving in England, must complete a passenger locator form, but will not be required to carry out any covid testing or quarantine.
For unvaccinated travellers, passengers must carry out a covid travel test 2 days before flying, complete a passenger locator and pay for a PCR after arrival. You can find your nearest PCR test centre in Croydon online and you will often have the option of walk-in centre appointments or drive-through’s.
As paid PCR testing is still required in some situations, especially for travel purposes within the UK, it is vital to understand the current guidance surrounding them. You can obtain PCR tests from private government-approved providers online. You can order at-home testing kits, book walk-in centre appointments or drive-through appointments. Your result waiting time will depend on the type of test you choose to buy.