What Is The Difference Between A PCR And RT-PCR?
A PCR test stands for “polymerase chain reaction” and an RT-PCR stands for “reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction”. An RT test is just a variation of a PCR and carries out the same testing process, however with an RT, one added step is added to amplify the results. Once the sample has been mixed with other chemicals to provoke a reaction to examine if covid-19 is present, it will then be placed in an RT-PCR machine that will change temperatures to trigger chemical reactions.
The benefit of Taking An RT-PCR Test
This type of PCR test has been proven to be the highest standard of testing for covid-19. This is because due to its added step in the examination process, it can detect even the smallest amount of viruses present. This is why it is often used for travel testing. By using RT-PCR tests, passengers can fly knowing that they are not infected with the virus and are not putting anyone else at risk either. This method is the best way to keep travellers as safe as possible and reduce the spread of the virus.
Where Can You Get A Test?
RT-PCRs should be available at any private provider, approved by the government. You can purchase one of these tests online and will often be given the option to book a walk-in appointment or a drive-through appointment. For example, if you require an RT-PCR test in Croydon you can search for your nearest testing centre and book your time slot. It is important to note that you should ensure that the provider you choose to buy from, has travel certified tests (if travel is the reason for the test).
Do I Need An RT-PCR Test To Travel To The UK?
Government guidelines have outlined that there are no requirements for vaccinated travellers to obtain any covid tests before and after arrival in the UK. However, for unvaccinated travellers (no doses or only 1 dose received of a 2-dose vaccine), it is a requirement to obtain a PCR test on or before 2 days of arriving in the UK. As mentioned previously, often private providers will offer RT tests as this is the best method of testing for travel purposes.
It is important that everyone obtains a covid test when it is required. It continues to be the most reliable method of diagnosing coronavirus and allows for the UK to slow down the rate of infection. With the success of the vaccine rollout, it has been made possible for free PCR tests to be scrapped, however with travellers eager to depart from and arrive in the UK, it is vital that RT-PCR tests continue to be used when required. This method of testing helps keep the public safe and decreases the risk of people falling ill with the virus.