OVERVIEW: The Advantage Travel Partnership has partnered with Covid-19 testing company, Randox Health, to provide discounted PCR tests to travellers through its TMC members. Clients are given a code which reduces the price of each test from £120 to £60. Randox also offers the same discounted price to British Airways’ customers.
BOOKING: Ordering my pre-departure PCR test was a simple process on the Randox website, similar to an Amazon purchase. It was clear where to add the discount code. I was asked to provide basic details, such as my name and address, and to say whether my test was part of the test and release scheme. Clear instructions about the service were provided in several ways, including a short video.
THE TEST: My test arrived in the post two days later in a small cardboard box. Each item in the kit was attributed a letter, which made it easier to know what to do. As with previous tests, I found it very uncomfortable to rub the end of the swab over my tonsils. I also found it slightly difficult to break the plastic swab to fit it into the tube, but apart from that it was all pretty straightforward. Test done, I registered my sample on the Randox website, providing my contact details and a URN number which was printed on several stickers in my testing kit.
THE RETURN: This is where things got a bit tricky. I live just outside Brighton, but at the time of doing my my test the closest Randox drop box was in Croydon – a 38-mile, 1hr drive away. The alternative was a DX drop location at Gatwick, still a 21-mile, 28-minute drive (and this would mean my sample would take longer to get to the lab). When I contacted Randox to ask for alternative options, I was told that I was lucky because I lived on the “route back to the helicopter” so a courier could collect it from my home. It was collected two hours later, for free. I was also told that Randox is rapidly ramping up the roll-out of its drop boxes in time for the easing of travel restrictions expected on on May 17. My test result (negative) came the following morning by email.
THE VERDICT: Provided there are more drop boxes available to return samples, this is a simple and efficient service. I felt I was in good hands.
THE DETAILS: randoxhealth.com
Tests cost from £60
Reviewed by Bev Fearis (April 30 2021)