Reduce Post-Travel Isolation Period Using Test-to-Release Certificate

22 March, 2021  |  Holy Winter - Healthcare Writer

Reduce Post-Travel Isolation Period Using Test-to-Release Certificate

The world doesn’t stop for anyone. Even with the coronavirus pandemic, people still keep travelling. Whether travelling for you is a hobby or a full-time job, it’s essential to take all the necessary precautionary measures whilst doing so. To ensure this in the UK, we have a Fit-to-Fly Certificate and a Test-to-Release Certificate. Travelling with a Fit-to-Fly certificate ensures a safe journey for you and for the people travelling with you.

What is an RT-PCR test?

RT-PCR stands for a real-time polymerase chain reaction. Historically an RT-PCR was used to detect isotope markers and for differentiation. Still, when the world came face to face with the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists began to use the RT-PCR test for detecting the presence of a virus in a human body. It detects the presence of a specific type of genetic material present in a pathogen. It’s called a real-time PCR because scientists can view the results before the entire process is complete.

What is a Test-to-Release Certificate

A Test-to-Release Certificate is your passport out of self-isolation, meaning a Test-to-Release Certificate can help you shorten your post-travel quarantine period. It can be acquired by taking an RT-PCR test.

Types of Test-to-Release Certificates

There are two types of certificates available. The first is a Fifth-Day RT-PCR Test, with a Test-to-Release Certificate. The second is a Paired-Test done on the second and eighth days that at the moment is only available from the government website.

You can not use the Test-to-Release Certificate Scheme if you travel from a country listed in the red list. If you do not opt for the Test-to-Release Scheme, you will have to quarantine for ten days, even if you’re asymptomatic.

Difference Between the ‘RT-PCR Test: Fit-to-Fly Certificate’ and ‘RT-PCR Test: Test-to-Release Certificate’

RT-PCR Test for a Fit-to-Fly Certificate and an RT-PCR Test for a Test-to-Release Certificate, are different certifications that serve significantly different purposes but the test that is conducted is the same for both.

If you plan to travel abroad, you’ll need a Fit-to-Fly certificate. You can order a Fit-to-Fly Certificate with an RT-PCR Test. A Fit-to-Fly Certificate states that the traveller has recently tested negative for COVID-19. The certification presents information such as the traveller’s passport number, name, address, etc., and it is certified by a UKIS and ISO accredited lab.

When you get back from travelling to the UK, you have to spend a significant amount of time in self-isolation. A Test-to-Release Certificate comes into action to reduce this period of self-quarantine post-travel.

iQ Doctor is a registered British online pharmacy that provides you with the essential service of getting both the certificates as per the international airline travel requirements.

Why Choose iQ Doctor For RT-PCR Test: Test-to-Release Certificate?

iQ Doctor UK is an online pharmacy authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. iQ Doctor provides you with a fast and convenient way to get your Test-to-Release Certificate with complete discretion. 

How to take an RT-PCR Test for Test-to-Release Certificate 

iQ Doctor UK’s RT-PCR Test allows you to reduce your post-travel quarantine period after returning from abroad with the government authorised Test-to-Release for International Travel scheme.

Under this International Travel Scheme, the passengers would be able to pay for a private test to ensure that they are COVID-19 negative, reducing their post-travel isolation period. iQ Doctor is an approved provider of the Day 5 Test-to-Release Certificate.

The passenger is allowed to take the RT-PCR test after five full days of arrival back in the country. This five-day cut-off duration guarantees that a virus can detect accurate results. If the RT-PCR Test is negative, the passenger is issued a Test-to-Release Certificate, which means that they can excuse themselves from self-quarantine. 

Steps to acquire a Test-to-Release Certificate from iQ Doctor UK

With iQ Doctor, the process of getting a Test-to-Release Certificate is reasonably simple and highly efficient. You’ll be travelling across the globe with your usual utmost within no time. You’ll need to take the RT-PCR Test by utilising one of iQ Doctor’s Home Test Kits. To take the RT-PCR Test, you must collect the sample using the swab provided in the kit by following the exact instructions. 

1: Set the components on a Clean Surface

The kit comes with a swab with a cotton-end and a container, a biohazard bag and absorbent foam. We strongly advise that you wash your hands before taking the test and place all components on a clean surface.

2: Swabbing with the cotton end

Using the swab provided in the testing kit, you should swab the back of your throat using the cotton tip end and avoid swabbing on your teeth and tongue. You then swab the soft tip end at the entrance of one of your nostrils and repeat the same step with the other nostril.

3: Sealing the swab inside the container

Next, open the container provided, ensuring that you don’t spill any of the preservative liquid inside. Insert the swab’s cotton end into the container and break off the plastic end. The breaking point is marked on the swab near the soft tip end. Replace the lid on the container and seal it tightly.

4: Packing with the foam cradle

Next, place the sealed container within the foam cradle. Place the foam cradle inside the biohazard bag with the absorbent sheet provided and seal them. Make sure the absorbent sheet is covering the foam.

After following these steps, you can send the test samples to the affiliated lab using the provided delivery service. At iQ Doctor, we provide DX labels for a drop off solution, or a home collection service for delivery to the lab. Provided that you have already ordered the COVID-19 Corona Virus Home Test Kit and have it in your possession, the whole process of taking the test and sending it back to the lab and receiving the results takes an average of 48 hours.

Steps to follow: After Taking an RT-PCR test

After taking the test, you need to register yourself on iQ Doctor’s online portal. The portal requires you to add your 10-digit reference number and a few other details such as name, address, passport number, etc.

Getting the Test-to-Release Certificate 

Our team at iQ Doctor ensures 100%  discretion and confidentiality. iQ Doctor has worked its way to provide this RT-PCR kit, enabling customers to test for the novel coronavirus while being self-quarantined post-travel. 

After processing through the lab, if your COVID-19 Test shows negative, you will receive the Test-to-Release Certificate in a PDF format, eligible to be presented to the relevant authorities, reducing the self-quarantine period.

In case the COVID-19 test result is positive, you will have to complete your self-quarantine period, following all the necessary infection protocols.


Significance of self-isolation

Isolation is crucial as it will help prevent the spread of the virus, not just among your friends and family, but anybody you may come in contact with if you contracted the virus during your travel. The rate of transmission of the COVID-19 virus has significantly increased as new variants emerge. 

If you’re returning from abroad, you’re at a greater risk of exposing others to the coronavirus that you may have carried.

Self-isolating responsibly reduces the burden on the NHS and helps ensure a safer community for everyone around you. Test-to-Release may be a shortcut towards ending your self-isolation period but you have a personal responsibility to ensure you are testing in a truthful and accurate manner.

Reviewed By

Omar El-Gohary

Omar El-Gohary

The superintendent and lead pharmacist - registration number 2059792.

Omar is passionate about developing healthcare technology to empower our patients.

Related Posts


Hit the books, keep your family safe – CoronaVirus Testing for Kids


Kit up for COVID 19 – CoronaVirus Home Testing Kit.


Travelling Smart with a Fit-to-Fly Certificate


No Tags Available

Get the latest news

We're Here to Help.

Our pharmacy Team is here to advise you by phone or e-mail.
Live Chat
Live Chat
Call 0121 679 9794
Call 0121 679 9794