Coronavirus PCR Swab Test
Covid-19 PCR Swab Test
- Also known as: ‘the gold standard’ Covid test, RT-PCR test, NAAT (Nucleic Acid Amplification Test)
- This is the test most commonly needed for international travel
- €129 in total (appointment, sample-taking and communication of results to you)
- Designed to identify current infection
- Short clinic visit (15 mins)
- Swab sample taken by us from your throat/nose and processed at a large laboratory in Dublin
- Result, which acts as a 'fit to fly' certificate, e-mailed to you within 24 – 30 hours
- E-mail access for you (8am – 10pm / 7 days) direct to the doctor issuing your result
- A personal service – a named doctor from an established, permanent travel clinic dealing with your case and in contact with you by e-mail; no relying on anonymous companies, transient pop-up centres with temporary staff
We can’t do the test on you if:
- You’re not following current Irish Government travel rules (check here
- you have Covid symptoms currently or have been diagnosed within the past 10 days
- you have been identified as a ‘close contact’ of a Covid case
- your GP has already referred you to the HSE for a Covid swab test
Links to the other Covid tests we do
To book an appointment
Full patient guidance on this test (‘terms & conditions’):
If you read nothing else, read points eight and ten, below. All we want to achieve is on-time, normal results for all our patients. We have systems in place which have reduced the risk of human error on our part within the testing process to near-zero levels (data entry, paperwork linked to the patient, adequate sample acquisition). We have no control over the parts of the testing process that occur outside our clinic.
We're stating turnaround times for the issuing of results which represent over 99.8% of cases. There will however be problems in a very small number of cases and you need to accept this prior to embarking on the process of being tested. As of 19th June 2021, we have performed over 6,500 swab tests and had problems with 1 in 546 (<0.2%) of results, either due to issues at laboratory level beyond our control (nine cases) or to a mistake on our part (three cases - though no mistakes since Nov. 2020); to our knowledge, no patients who had booked flights due to depart after our advertised turnaround time have actually missed flights yet as a result.
In the case of 'problem' results, some of those results are so late in being delivered to us by the testing laboratory that the most practical solution is to re-swab the patient. If the test is being done for overseas travel reasons, there will be a risk that the patients might miss their original flight time. We cannot predict in advance if there might be problems in the processing of your test result. This means that when you book for this test with us, you need to accept beforehand that you are not 'all set' for your flight until:
- You have received your result from us
- It is on time in accordance with our stated turnaround time (on current figures, there is a 99.8% chance this will occur but a 0.2% chance it will not)
- It has been processed correctly by the laboratory and
- It is negative (i.e. normal. You can have Covid with no symptoms - in the 2nd and 3rd weeks of January 2021, our 'unexpectedly positive' test result rate was running at 1 in 20 samples; it's now (19th June 2021) about 1 in 300 samples).
Do not proceed with your booking an appointment with us until you are comfortable with everything outlined above.
If we feel that your result is at significant risk of being delayed, we will contact you and aim to re-swab you. If you are due to travel, our focus will be to get a result to you in time for your flight if this is possible (depending on how imminent your flight time is). We will ask you to focus on this also.
Patient guidance notes, point-by-point:
- You accept that the information contained in these terms and conditions supersedes and overrides any verbal assurances you believe you were given by any member of staff at our clinic, unless we have made a commitment to the contrary in writing to you
- It is possible that you will test positive or 'weakly positive' or any other 'non-negative' category for Covid-19; the testing laboratory will contact the HSE independently of us and pass your details to them. You will be contacted by the HSE Contact Tracing team, who will ask you to restrict your movements and will ask you about your recent close contacts – the movements of your close contacts might also be restricted by the HSE.
- Your planned upcoming trip may be delayed or stopped by any of the following factors, none of which you will hold us, nor the laboratories nor courier companies which we use, liable for, financially or otherwise:
- Your appointment with us is cancelled by us at short notice due to unexpected illness on the part of some of our medical staff or due to their need to self-isolate due to exposure to a Covid case
- There is a failure by us in the handling of your sample
- The laboratory to which we send your swab might say that they have received an insufficient sample with which they can issue a test result ('Unable to test'), even though we contend that we have submitted a sufficient sample
- The laboratory might issue an 'indeterminate' result (neither clearly negative nor positive; this has not happened to date)
- You might test positive for Covid-19 (as many as one-in-three Covid cases have no symptoms)
- There is a problem with the courier service that we are using to transport your sample to the lab for processing
- There is a delay in the issuing of your test result by the laboratory because:
- The sample is mislaid by them
- The sample is mis-processed by them
- A surge in Covid cases in either Ireland, the U.K., France or Germany, leading to the laboratories we use de-prioritising the processing of samples from our clinic, with resulting delays in the issuing of test results
- There is an I.T. failure at lab level
- You accept that your results will be provided to you by us in electronic pdf format (Adobe Acrobat file), as an e-mail attachment, in the English language only and that any subsequent printing that may be required must be undertaken by you, outside our clinic.
- You undertake to check the accuracy of the paperwork we have e-mailed to you and to alert us to any clerical errors on our part within the following time frame: for results issued by us from 07:00hrs – 22:00hrs: within two hours of our having e-mailed the results to you. For results issued by us between 22:00hrs and 07:00hrs: by 09:00hrs.
- If you are booking this appointment not for yourself but for a third party, you understand that we recommend you get that third party to book the appointment themselves and if you proceed regardless with the booking, you accept that by booking the appointment, you are binding that third party to accept our testing criteria and all our terms & conditions.
- You understand that in order to enable us to comply with social distancing and infection control requirements, you will not bring with you to the Clinic others who do not themselves have appointments i.e. babies, children, partners, relatives or friends, unless that person is a parent/guardian accompanying a child who has an appointment, or is a person acting as either a carer or a translator for the patient.
- The expected turnaround time for swab tests performed by us is within 30 hours (we have no control over the exact timing of when your result will become available during that time period – it can be as early as 6 hours, will usually be around 12 - 20 hours and will be less than 30 hours after your visit in about 99.8% of cases. You accept that the result is not 'late' until 30 hours have elapsed since the time your sample was taken. In less than 0.11% of cases, an unexpected delay will occur. If you have received no communication from us 24 hours after having been tested by us, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- For an additional fee, we offer a 'Fast Track' option (which will also refer to as a 'courier fee' option) to patients who wish to receive their test results as soon as possible. This often (but not always) involves our deciding to courier your results to the testing laboratory. If you opt to use the Fast Track option, you understand that what you are buying is your result being issued before other results ('top of the queue'), once it becomes available to us from the lab. It does not guarantee your results will arrive to you within a faster time frame or immediately after it is issued to us by the lab, but more often than not it will accelerate the process of your receiving your result by a few hours.
- Test results arrive to us from the testing laboratory in erratic, non-sequential batches. You understand that if you and your partner are tested at our clinic simultaneously, it is possible that both of your test results will arrive to you at different times, possibly up to 22 hours apart, due to the differing times at which the testing laboratory issued your test results to us. The testing laboratories we use, located in Dublin, are large commercial operations independent of us and once your sample has arrived at the lab for testing, we have no control over the exact time that they will issue individual results to us. The lab do not tell us in advance at what time particular results will be released by them to us.
- You accept that while your passport number can be added, if necessary, to your result, as long as you supply a photo of your passport photo page at the time your swab is performed, it will usually not be possible to add the number to the result if you supply the number after the swab has been sent to the testing lab.
- You accept that the dates on laboratory reports, once issued, cannot be changed.
- You accept that we have no control over the date of issue which will appear on laboratory reports and you accept that we have no way of guaranteeing the date of issue that will appear on any test result. Any attempt by us to ensure that a particular report is or is not issued on a given date will represent an attempt only on our part, done in good faith, with no assurances whatsoever of our being able to achieve your desired outcome. You accept that if you request that the 'report issued on' date on your lab result be delayed ("I do not want my result to be issued by the lab before such and such a date"), we will purposely hold back your sample by hours or days before sending it to the lab for processing and that as a result (a) you are surrendering your right to expect a 30-hour turnaround time for your test result and (b) the result might end up being issued to you very close to the deadline you require – or even late. We do not recommend that you request the issuing of your result to be delayed and if you decide to proceed with that request, you accept that there is a risk the result will accidentally arrive to you 'too late'.
- You understand that recovered cases of Covid-19 can continue to test positive (sometimes intermittently, i.e. sometimes positive, sometimes negative) by PCR swab testing, usually for four to six weeks after initial diagnosis and in exceptional cases, up to 6 months later.
- Patients aged under 16 years should be accompanied to their appointment by an adult (parent/guardian).
- We require photo I.D. (which must be either a current Passport, Drivers Licence or Irish Public Services card). You must either bring it to your appointment or be able to provide a digital copy. We will be unable to release your result until this has been provided.