Please be aware before using our testing services

Frequently asked questions

Please be aware before using our testing services

Frequently asked questions

When should I take the test? As we are providing COVID testing services to patients travelling to 50+ destinations, we are not able to advise about when travellers should take a test, as each country's testing requirements differ substantially and are constantly changing. We recommend reviewing the government website for your destination to understand their specific requirements. We do encourage travellers to book as early as they can within their travel window.

Please note that the result timelines we provide should be considered guidelines. We have a track record of returning 99%+ of samples within the outlined timeline, however very occasionally issues outside of our control (e.g., courier delays, lab processing issues, laboratory supply chain issues) may mean that your sample takes longer to return. We will provide a refund should your test result be delayed past 5PM the day after it is expected. Please plan accordingly; we recommend planning your travel testing so that you have yourtest results in hand 24 hours prior to departure.

What test should I take? Because of the variety of destinations our customers are travelling to, and because of the varied rules and restrictions in place in each destination, we are unable to advise on which test you should take or when you should take it. If you have queries, please bring these to a healthcare-professional led appointment and speak to your clinician.

What test are you using? How is the sample collected? Our service uses a RT-PCR method to detect the RNA (ribonucleic acid) contained within the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We typically collect the sample by nasopharyngeal (throat and nose) swab. The certification contains patient name, DOB and passport number.

What about invalid or inconclusive results? 1-3% of PCR sample results will return invalid or inconclusive. This is often (but not exclusively) the result of sample collection. For self-test kits, you will need to order another test. For in-clinic tests, we will arrange for you to be re-tested free of charge. Please contact us via email.

When can I expect my results? The results timeline for our standard tests are provided on this page, for the expedited service on this page. For Hong Kong ISO15189 testing, please allow an additional 12-24 hours and request ISO15189 testing - this is only available. All timelines are indicative timelines. Due to the changing nature of the pandemic it is not possible to guarantee lab turnaround times. We cannot be held liable for costs incurred due to delayed results. You will be asked to sign a waiver prior to your test accepting this.

How will my results arrive? Results are typically sent by email (ISO15189 results come or via SMS with a link to download a formal result). We can only send to one email or phone number.

What to do in the event of missing results? There are 3 scenarios we commonly see that lead to 'missing' results:

  • The barcode has not been registered on the laboratory website - if your barcode begins with an M or an R, then register here ( if it begins with a number register here ( This is the most common issue we see.
  • The results have been filtered into your junk
  • There was a typo made when registering your email on the laboratory website

You can also contact the labs directly either via (barcodes beginning with M or R), or (barcodes beginning with numbers).

What about lab registration? - We use a number of labs, all of whom are UKAS registered or UKAS accredited. If you require a UKAS accredited lab, you will need to book an appointment with one of our healthcare professionals and request this at the time of the appointment.

Should I bring ID? For GP-led testing, please attend the clinic with your photo ID so this can be added to your GP certificate

Can I buy in advance? How long do kits last? The kits have a 6 months shelf life. You can buy in advance

What is your refund policy? Home test kits are considered personalised items and are non-refundable once purchased.

Are samples processed over the weekend? Yes the lab is open over the weekend and will continue to analyse samples. We are typically closed.

What do my results mean? There are 4 outcomes of your test:

  • Positive - You are infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Please immediately follow PHE England guidance to isolate along with your household
  • Negative - You are not infected with the virus. Please continue to take sensible precautions
  • Inconclusive - Typically a borderline positive/negative result. You require retesting
  • Invalid - Occurs in 1-3% of samples. Typically (but not exclusively) this arises when insufficient human material is present on the swab sample, and is more frequent with home test kit samples. It can be mitigated by using our GP led testing service.

All outcomes are subject to laboratory fees and are non-refundable.

Our Other Services

How can we help you?

searchCreated with Sketch..

© Mayfield Clinic Oxford 2021

Powered by Hero.