Frequently Asked Questions About RT-qPCR Coronavirus COVID-19 Testing

How will the test be delivered?

Your COVID-19 home testing kit will be delivered in a discrete package, by Royal Mail or one of our designated courier services to the address of your choice.

When should I self-swab?

To ensure best results you should self-swab on the day of posting back to our laboratories. If this is not possible the evening before returning your sample to our laboratories is acceptable.

Once the swab is taken and during transit it does not need special storage or handling but should not be exposed to excessive temperatures. For example storing the swab kit in a hot car (above 28°C) could render the sample unfit for testing.

What's in the swab kit?

Each Swab Kit contains:

  • Easy to follow instructions
  • Testing submission form
  • Easy to use swab inside a sealed wrapper
  • Sample vial tube with liquid (taken swab goes into this and snaps off at break point – dispose of remains of swab).
  • Self-seal clear plastic bag (to place vial in)
  • Zip clear plastic bag (to place sealed plastic bag with vial in into)
  • A tracked, postage paid box to return your sample to our laboratory

What should I do when I receive my kit?

Once you have received your home test kit in the post, you can take your sample. You will be taking a combined throat and nose swab, using the same swab. Your kit includes a detailed set of instructions guiding you on how to collect your sample correctly. You will be required to first swab 5 points in the back of your throat, then inside each nostril using the same swab. Once you have taken your sample, please use the pre-paid, tracked return postage box and send it to our laboratory on the same day. The box must have the provided lilac Covid 19 Test Kit label attached to identify it to the Royal Mail. The postage box can then be posted in any Royal Mail Priority Post Box. Details of your nearest priority box can be found by visiting Royal Mail – Services near you. 

Coronavirus Covid-19 RT-qPCR home swab test it -Taking the test instructions - Minton-Treharne-Davies

When will I receive my results?

If you require your results quickly, our priority service guarantees your results within 24 hours after your sample arrives at our laboratory.

With our standard service, your results will normally be ready within 36-48 hours after we receive your sample. Our scientists will ensure that you receive your results as soon as possible.

Please note – our laboratories operate a limited weekend service. If your sample window requires that your test is taken or processed over the weekend contact the laboratory to confirm testing available with view to scheduling a slot. Failure to do this may cause a further delay of 24-48 hours. Slots are offered on a first come basis.

How will I receive my results?

Results will be emailed to the nominated recipient within 24 hours (priority service) and 36-48 hours (standard service) after receipt of the test sample at our laboratories.  An official laboratory analysis certificate will be sent to you via email, to serve as proof of your result.

This report will contain details of the test performed including:

  • Your name
  • Infectious disease tested
  • Date of sample
  • Testing date
  • Test method
  • Results summary
  • Test provider
  • Passport number

What happens if I get a positive result?

COVID-19 is a new, notifiable disease, which means that it’s a legal requirement for MTD to inform Public Health if a positive result is recorded. An individual advised of a positive result, is required to IMMEDIATELY contact NHS119 to explain they have had a screening COVID-19 PCR test which has returned a positive result. The likelihood is that NHS119 will instruct that person and anyone who has had prolonged close contact with them to self-isolate in-line with current government guidelines.

Additionally, we are legally required to notify the Department of Health and may require the tested person to provide additional information.

For further guidance please visit the NHS website.

Where can I get the most up to date information on COVID-19?

You can find information about Coronavirus – COVID-19 on the NHS website.  This website provides information about how to protect yourself and others from the Coronavirus, and what to do if you become unwell..

Does the test have an expiry date?

The swab kit does not need special storage or handling but should not be exposed to excessive temperatures. For example storing the swab kit in a hot car (above 28°C) could render the sample kit unfit for testing.

When can I have this test?

The length of time between a person becoming infected and developing symptoms of COVID-19 can vary. Symptoms usually develop between 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus, with the average length of time being about 5 days.

You should therefore wait at least 5 days after potential exposure to COVID-19 before taking this test.

What does the swab transport vial contain?

MTD use a sample transport fluid which denatures the virus (meaning it is no longer infectious), but preserves it for analysis. This means that the virus is deactivated or destroyed in the transport vial and is no longer infectious should it spill or get opened before arriving in our laboratory.

Coronavirus Covid-19 RT-qPCR home swab test sample vial image

Does the test detect new variants of COVID-19?

Yes all of our COVID-19 RT-qPCR tests can detect all currently known variants* of the coronavirus.

*Information provided kit manufacturer (28th January 2021) and correct at this time

Will I be able to track my sample to your laboratories?

Yes, your postage-paid return box is tracked by Royal Mail. When we dispatch your test kit, we will send you an email with your tracking number which you can track here.

Do I get the results 24-48 hours after placing the order online?

No, the specified turnaround time is the time our laboratory requires to analyse your sample and determine the result. The specified turnaround times are from receipt of your samples into our laboratory. If you require your test result within a specific timeframe, please ensure you factor in the additional time required to order and return your test kit.

What's the difference between a q-PCR test and a LFT antigen?

A COVID-19 LFT test can provide results quickly, but qPCR is considered the gold standard for COVID-19 testing as it provides a more definitive answer as to whether an individual has the virus in their body.

qPCR COVID-19 tests detect the genetic material of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a lateral flow antigen test (LFT) detects proteins within or on the virus.

Samples are collected in the same way for both LFT and q-PCR tests. Q-PCR tests need to be sent to a laboratory for analysis however LFT tests do not need to be sent to a laboratory and can be analysed in a process that takes as little as 15 minutes. LFT’s are currently being used for rapid mass testing.

The compromise for the convenience and speed of an LFT COVID-19 test is specificity. qPCR tests are capable of detecting low infection levels at an early stage in the infections growth. LFT’s require a higher viral load in the sample to yield a positive result. As a result, someone who tests negative with a LFT test may actually have an active COVID-19 infection, but there are too few virus particles present in the sample to register positive on the test. That same person may take another LFT test the next day and get a positive result, simply because they have more of the virus in their system.

In fact, in situations where LFT’s are used for rapid screening, negative results often come with the stipulation that the negative result should be sent to a laboratory for confirmatory qPCR testing to verify if the individual is virus-free.

For further information please refer to this article.

How accurate is this Coronavirus COVID-19 home testing kit ?

It’s  important to understand that, like any other diagnostic test, the results of COVID-19 tests can be impacted by sample collection.

This q-PCR COVID-19 test is the “gold standard” and has the highest sensitivity with the correct sample taking technique. It is therefore important that you carefully follow the instructions included in your test kit.

The length of time between a person becoming infected and developing symptoms of COVID-19 can vary. Symptoms usually develop between 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus, with the average length of time being about 5 days. You should  therefore wait at least 5 days after potential exposure to COVID-19 before taking this test.

How do I make a corporate or bulk order?

If you require corporate or bulk orders please call a member of our team on +44 (0) 2920 540 000 or email c19support@minton.group and they will be able to assist you.

Please refer to our COVID testing for organisations page to see the bespoke services we offer.

When will my COVID-19 home test kit be posted to me?

We offer free tracked postage with all orders of our coronavirus tests and guaranteed next day delivery for our Priority 24 hour service.

If you place your order prior to 12pm Monday – Friday, your order will be dispatched the same day. Orders placed after 12pm on Friday or over the weekend will be dispatched on Monday.

Your COVID-19 home testing kit will be delivered in a discrete package, by Royal Mail or one of our designated courier services to the address of your choice.

Please note: We are seeing some postage delays. If you require your test result within a specific timeframe, please ensure you factor in the additional time required to order and return your test kit. MTD will not be liable for any outcomes as a result of postage delays.


NB:
This product is only available for UK-based customers and we only deliver to UK addresses.

How do I return my test?

You can return your kit to us using:

Royal Mail Priority Post Box  – You will receive a pre-paid postage label with your kit. Where possible, please post prior to 12pm (or the latest pickup time for your local priority post box) to ensure it arrives at our lab within 24 hours. MTD will not be liable for any outcomes as result of postage delays.

Please note Royal Mail is not able to deliver to the laboratory over the weekend.

Do you offer a same day service?

Yes we do offer a same day service with our courier same day results COVID-19 RT-qPCR Test. Please click here to find out more or to order your test.

Can I test after a previous infection?

There is a possibility that a PCR test can return a positive result for some time after a previous Covid-19 infection.  Government guidelines state that anyone who has previously received a positive Covid-19 result should not be re-tested within 90 days unless they develop new Covid-19 symptoms.  If you require a Covid-19 test for any reason within 90 days of a previous positive test result, please be aware that there is possibility your test may return a positive result.  MTD accepts no responsibility for any costs or disruption arising from the delay or cancellation of your plans in this event.

Can I have a refund if I don't use my Day 2 & 8 tests?

Day 2 and Day 8 tests are mandatory and need to be booked prior to your arrival in England. It is a legal requirement that you enter the booking confirmation number on you Passenger Location Form as you will be unable to enter England without this.

We are unable to process any requests for refunds following your entry to England where there is no issue with the testing service. You may be committing a criminal offence by refusing to take the supplied test in accordance with the law.

Cancellations will only be accepted 48 hours before your time of departure to the United Kingdom.