There are a few keys to getting out of the coronavirus Groundhog Day, a vaccine, effective treatment, bleach (err?), contract tracing and effective testing. The latter is made up of anti-gen testing (‘have I got it now?’, and anti-body testing (‘have I had it ever?’). Everyone can now request a test to find out if they’ve got it currently, just call your GP, but if you want to know if you’ve previously had the virus you currently have to work for the NHS. Or buy a test.
There are some caveats here… Avoid the instant tests, they’re currently deemed unreliable, but meanwhile note that no tests are 100% accurate. Also, it isn’t clear that a positive test, proving you’ve had coronavirus, means that you’re actually immune from catching it again, or indeed transmitting it again, so take care. But if you do fancy at least knowing, then here are some of the more reputable tests you can purchase…
High street pharmacy and the place you bought your first teenage mascara, Superdrug, were the first out-the-gate in offering antibody testing.
Their postal antibody test, run in conjunction with The Doctors Laboratory, is the most widely available and high profile test given the huge reach and strong brand of Superdrug.
Currently sold out, check back soon!
Results: 2 days from when they receive your sample
Thriva already are well known for their blood testing kits. The slick online service has expanded into COVID-19 testing and their test is another branch to their business.
There’s a long, up to ten days, lead time on dispatch of the tests.
Results: 3-4 days after receiving the test
Reliability: 98.5% – 99.5%
Usually offering their service to city types (their main clinics are in Moorgate and Canary Wharf), CityDoc do a roaring trade in travel vaccinations and blood testing, and now they’re in the COVID testing game too.
Their more expensive offering appears to be much the same as their peers’.
Results: 3-5 working days after receiving the test
Sexual health testers Better 2 Know’s usual fare is HIV and STD tests, if you need a smear test under lockdown they’re the place to go. So COVID019 testing was the natural nest step.
Despite continuing to run slightly misleading Google Ads that lure in punters with the promise of £49.95 testing, their £59.95 tests are still relatively reasonably priced.
Results: Within one working day of arrival
Similar to Thriva, Forth offer testing along with an app to help the health conscious to keep tabs on key markers through blood testing.
Their coronavirus testing works in much the same way, with customers given access to their results via the dashboard in the app.
Results: Within two working days
Blue Horizon Medicals
Supporting the stock image industry since 2009, Blue Horizon Medicals offers a test that ‘has recently won UK approval from PHE’ (shorthand for either Roche or Abbott).
The test also comes with a doctor’s referral and a doctor’s comments.
Results: One to two working days
Private GP service Qured (geddit?) have started offering COVID-19 testing and the service comes with a phone consultation with an actual doctor, which seems like a good idea and a reassurance (albeit also a chance for upselling).
Results: two to three working days