Questions and answers on booking your Covid-19 tests



Frequently asked questions

PCR Testing is the most sensitive test that is currently available, able to detect active infection some days before the patient is infectious or symptomatic. It is the gold standard test; used in the NHS daily. PCR testing has a turnaround time of up to 48 hours. It is performed in machines that cycle through different temperatures. As the process of changing temperature takes some time, the process is longer than other processes such as LAMP.


LAMP Testing is another form of genetic test, able to detect the RNA of the virus. It is a more recent development than PCR and is performed all at one temperature. It is generally faster and cheaper than PCR but is not considered to be as sensitive – but is still more sensitive than antigen testing. LAMP tests might be able to detect patients immediately before symptoms are displayed but this is unsure at present. Rapid LAMP testing can add a significant degree of confidence if performed before flying, for example, when all aboard have had a LAMP test prior to departure.


Antigen Testing is the fastest and cheapest of all lab tests for COVID-19. Unlike PCR and LAMP, the genetic material of the virus is not searched for, but rather the protein structures on a virally infected cell produced by COVID-19; usually the so-called ‘spike’ protein. Antigen tests often become positive after having had symptoms for a couple of days. Their use is particularly powerful when patients are attending communal events and a quick check needs to be performed to see if attendees are infectious with COVID-19. Furthermore, during winter months, when people often have symptoms of the common cold or flu, performing an antigen test will ascertain whether the condition is the coronavirus or not.


Antibody Testing - When we get infected with COVID-19, our bodies make antibodies to fight the infection. The antibody test looks for the presence of these antibodies, which usually mean that we have been infected with COVID-19 in the past. This test uses a finger-prick blood test. 

Yes. Tests conform to ISO15189.

  • For LAMP, you will be notified by email up to 90 minutes after the swab has been taken

  • For PCR, you will be notified by email up to 36 hours after the swabs have been taken 

  • For ANTIGEN, you will be notified by email up to 45 minutes after the swab has been taken  

  • For ANTIBODY, you will be notified by email up to 45 minutes after the swab has been taken 

You should then follow the directions you were given by the staff at the testing centre about collecting your results. Depending upon your destination, you may need to go to the Testing Centre Results desk to pick up a sealed letter containing your Test Report Result. If this is the case, it’s important you retain your paper copy at all times. The Test Report will also be available as a PDF download through your online account (if taking a LAMP test).


Yes,  HOWEVER If you have checked your airline website or destination government website for the latest up to date requirements, and the specific test is not accepted at your destination,  your test result cannot be guaranteed to support official conditions of carriage or entry requirements at this time.

If you would like to book a test please visit www.collinsongroup.com/en/book-a-test

You can pre-book your test in advance by visiting www.collinsongroup.com/en/book-a-test and registering your personal details, including email address.  

Our Testing Centres are available at the following times;
MAN, STN, EMA - 07:00 to 19:00hrs (GMT).
LHR T2 & T5 - 07:00 to 19:00hrs (GMT).

25.12.20 - hours will be 09:00 to 17:00 (GMT)

Please check back as these opening hours are subject to change and hours of operation will be increasing across all sites.

IMPORTANT: When registering, your name MUST be exactly as it is in your passport. You will receive an email confirmation of your appointment. On arrival at the airport, follow the airport signage to the Testing Centre for registration. At the registration desk your passport and travel documentation will be cross checked with your scheduled booking prior to testing. 

Consult the airport website (for the location you are testing at) for more detailed directions to the testing centre.

  • At London Heathrow, you can book appointments up to 4 weeks in advance. 
  • At Manchester, East Midlands and London Stansted, you can book appointments up to 2 weeks in advance.  

New dates are added each week so please do check the website for the latest appointments. 

  • For London Heathrow, this is subject to availability, providing you have arrived at least 3 hours before your scheduled time of departure you can still book a last minute appointment if available.

  • For Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands, tests must be booked in advance online and you must be in receipt of an email confirmation of your booking before arriving at these testing centres.  

Tests can be booked at www.collinsongroup.com/en/book-a-test

Please log into your profile and view 'my  bookings' where you will see your appointment date and time confirmed.

No, the facility at the airport is not sanctioned by Public Health England as a general testing centre, it is only to be used by bona fide travellers with a purchased ticket. You will be asked to provide evidence of your travel booking which will be cross referenced with your passport.

If you are travelling on a date in the near future and have been unable to book a test on your day of departure, you may be permitted to undertake a test prior to arrival at the airport. You need to check the test still satisfies the time validity period of your destination country. Regulations and restrictions are changing rapidly so please check your airline website or destination government website for the latest up to date requirements. For more information please click here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

  • A LAMP test is 79 GBP per person 

  • A PCR test is 99 GBP per person 

  • An Antigen test is 50 GBP per person 

  • An Antibody test is 40 GBP per person

Payment will be collected at the registration desk by debit/credit card or Apple Pay. Payment in cash will not be accepted. For more information on which payment types we accept please see below. 

Please be aware that all times are a guideline and in some circumstances could take longer.


  • RT-PCR - 36 Hours

  • RT-LAMP - 90 Minutes

  • Antigen - 45 Minutes

  • Antibody - 45 Minutes

The following debit/credit cards are accepted:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • JCB
  • China Union Pay
  • Discover
  • Maestro
  • Visa Electron
  • V pay

We can also process transactions with Apple and Google Pay.

Yes we can help you throughout the testing process.  

On arrival at your airport please make your way to the special assistance area (PRS) in the terminal and they will help you to the Testing Centre and remain with you throughout the process if required. At the Testing Centre a registered nurse will explain the process to you.  

Any mobility assistance request should be made directly with your airline in advance of you travelling. 

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