Covid‑19 rapid testing Service
COVID-19 Testing FAQs
- Is this a Fit to Fly test? Can I use this test to travel?
- Our tests and certificates can be used for international travel.
Please ring our hotline (0161 541 2301) if you require an additional letter from a GP for Fit to Fly.
- Is this a Test to Release test?
- Our tests and certificates can be used for Day 5 Test to Release. Please ring our hotline to organise this; you will be emailed a form that you must fill in and send to us.
For more details from the government please visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-test-to-release-for-international-travel
- Is this a Quarantine test (Day 2 and Day 8 testing)?
- Epistem does not currently offer Day 2 and 8 testing for quarantine. We hope to offer this service in the future.
- When will I receive my test results?
- Any samples received in our lab before 10 AM, will be guaranteed to receive a result that same day.
Any samples received in our lab after 10 AM, will receive a result the next day.
We email your results and certificate out in the evening, typically between 5 PM and 9 PM.
- How will I receive my test results?
- Your results and certificate are emailed to you as a PDF. You can print this out if needed.
- How much does the test cost?
- Each test costs £120 (collections and standard delivery). An additional fee of £10 applies for Special Next Day Delivery. Business rates are available to pharmacies, clinics and workplaces.
- Can I collect/drop off my test (and how do I do this)?
- You can collect and drop off your test at our lab in central Manchester.
You must book a test online before coming to collect, as we cannot accept cash or card payments at our lab.
If you collect your test, you can take it home or swab yourself in your car and return the sample to us straight away. Please do not take a sample in our premises or reception area.
You can return your test by depositing it in the red box in our reception area.
- What is Epistem’s address?
- Our address is:
48 Grafton Street
- When is Epistem open?
- Our office is open from 08:30 to 16:30, Monday to Friday.
Phone lines are open from 08:00 to 18:00, Monday to Saturday.
- How much does delivery or collection cost?
- There is no additional charge for First Class post or if you wish to collect the test from our lab.
If you would like us to send your test via Special Delivery, an additional £10 is charged.
- When will I have to take my sample?
- If you are travelling, you must check the testing requirements with the government of your destination.
This time is typically 72 hours but can vary from 24 to 96 hours. This will be the earliest that you can take your test.
- Is your test acceptable for the region that I am travelling to?
- We offer PCR testing, which is accepted by the majority of countries. All EU and European countries accept our tests, as does the US, India and Pakistan.
We are a GOV.UK approved for COVID-19 testing (General testing), a Good Clinicial Laboratory Practice (GCLP) lab and currently in the process of obtaining UKAS ISO 15189 accreditation.
- What if I do it wrong?
- A detailed instruction leaflet is included in the kit. This is a simple test that requires you to swab your mouth and nose.
In the unlikely event that you have made an error, please ring the hotline to arrange another test.
- What happens if I test positive?
- If you test positive, we will contact you to let you know.
Your details will be sent to Public Health England and you will not be allowed to travel.
- What type of test do you offer?
- We offer a COVID-19 PCR test. This requires a swab of your throat and nose.
The test looks for traces of genetic information of the coronavirus.
- Will I test positive?
- The test looks for traces of genetic information of the coronavirus.
This can mean that if you have had coronavirus in the past 3 months, you MAY test positive, as the test is picking up residual amounts of virus in host cells. The length of time that the virus' genetic material lasts in your body can vary from person to person.
If you have never been exposed to the coronavirus you will not test positive.
If you have had a vaccine this should not affect the results of the test.