Tried & Tested

Review: Qured Day 2 and Day 8 tests

15 May 2021 by Tom Otley
Qured Swab-kit-instructions-2

Background

Qured is one of many companies offering various tests for Covid.

There is a full list on the Uk Government website (link below) and it is one of several recommended by British Airways, and which offers a discount to those flying with BA.

All of these are on the government list of approved testing companies, which is important for reasons that will become clear.

This review is of its Day2 and Day 8 package. I have written a separate review of the Day 5 Test and Release. We’ve already reviewed the rapid antigen test.

Review: British Airways x Qured rapid antigen test

To enter England from many countries, you currently need to have booked, and be able to prove that you have booked, a Day 2 and Day 8 test. There is information on the UK Government’s website about it here

How to quarantine when you arrive in England

And on that link you can also read the guidance for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

As the website says

“The first test will be taken on or before day 2 of your quarantine period and the second test will be taken on or after day 8 of your quarantine period.

Please note that you should book your travel tests in advance to give your provider time to organise delivery of your test kits. Booking shortly before arrival in England may result in your test kits arriving late.”

There is a very long list of providers here.

Providers of day 2 and day 8 coronavirus testing for international arrivals

But as the website says

“This list is continually updated by DHSC as providers declare that they meet the required standards and are reviewed by UKAS.

The government does not endorse or recommend any test provider. Individuals should conduct their own research about available providers, the tests they supply and their terms and conditions of sale.”

Qured is one of them.

Qured-test-options

First impressions:

The website is clearly set out and offers various options.

If you click on Day 2 and Day 8, you get the following.

Qured-test-options-2

The idea is that you book your option well before you return to the UK.

Why? Because to return to the UK from a country that requires these tests, you have to be able to prove that you have booked (and paid for) them.

So, for instance when I was returning from Mexico, an amber country, I needed to prove that I had tested negative, in my case with a rapid flow antigen test, that I had booked and paid for the Day 2 and Day 8 test, and finally that I had completed the Passenger Locator Form for my quarantine period. This form not only says where you are going to spend your quarantine, but to complete it you need to have a code which is generated by booking the Day 2 and Day 8 test. Without it the form can’t be filled in. So, the form asks

What is your booking reference for your Covid tests? And if you book it with Qured, the answer will be, for example, QURED1234567.

Arrival at home after travel

Having arrived home, my Day 2 kit was waiting for me. The rule here is that you have to complete it on or before Day 2 of your arrival. It doesn’t seem to matter when you arrive in the UK – 0700 or 2300, that is still Day 0. In my case, I arrived at 0930 on a Monday morning into London Gatwick, but nevertheless, that was Day 0 all day, and so Day 1 wasn’t until the Tuesday. For the Day 2 test, it doesn’t really matter when you complete it, so long as you do it on or before Day 2. And then you send it off.

A few points here. Firstly, make sure you read the instructions, not only for the test, but also for the paperwork.

Make sure you write your name and the date you took the test on the bottle.

Qured Swab-kit-instructions-2

Make a note of the Royal Mail tracking number if you are posting it by tracked mail (some people use a courier). If you can’t find your tracking number, look at the Royal Mail website which will explain it

“How do I find my reference number?

Your number is between 9 and 27 characters long. You’ll find it on your item’s label or your Post Office receipt.   It may be called a barcode or a reference.”

This is important because once you have posted it you want to keep a track of it and it’s no good ringing Qured and saying “Where is it?” because they won’t know.

Qured Swab-kit-instructions-1

Once you have completed your test, you put it into the tube, following the instructions, put the tube in to a bag, and the bag into the box it all came in, and then that box into the Royal Mail tracked bag, and either get someone else to post it (since you aren’t meant to leave the house), or if this is not possible, this page on gov.uk says that “you may leave the premises to post your test”.

Now if you are reading this you are either interested to find out if Qured is the one you should choose to conduct your Day 2 or Day 8 test, or you are cross because you feel they have let you down. I sympathise with the latter, but I’m not sure there are many of these testing companies that are getting glowing reviews.

Firstly, this is because there’s a fair proportion of people who don’t read the instructions, and so can’t track their tests once they have posted them, then get frustrated when there are delays.

Secondly, there’s the management of expectations. This isn’t the fault of the testing companies, but more to do with the labels for these tests. To take an example, let’s assume you land on a Monday morning. That Monday is Day 0. Day 1 starts on Tuesday morning. You can conduct your Day 2 test either on Day 0, Day 1 or Day 2, but since you know that you are having to quarantine, you are mildly interested to know the result, but it doesn’t make much difference in terms of your life, since you are quarantining anyway.

It’s a different story with the Day 8 test. This is the one which, when you get your negative result, will allow you to leave quarantine. For obvious reasons, this cannot be taken before Day 8, and many providers ensure you don’t take it early by delaying delivery until Day 8. That means you often don’t get it until the afternoon of Day 8. To take the example of the traveller who landed on Monday, Day 8 is the following Tuesday. The traveller conducts the test and makes sure they make a note of the tracking number on the package, and catches the last post. They then track the parcel.

Thirdly, there’s the Royal Mail, and this is difficult to judge. Every single Covid test company says they have had problems with Royal mail, including with Tracked parcels. Some are using couriers wherever possible, but while that’s possible within the M25 it isn’t for many people, and it will take time to roll out courier services around other major cities.

It will take, probably, at least 24 hours to get to the laboratory. And even if it gets there the next morning, you will still wait a further 24 to 48 hours before you get your result. And that’s if nothing goes wrong. Let’s say it doesn’t arrive at the laboratory until the Wednesday evening and then is processed on Thursday, you might not get your result until the following Monday, 14 days after you landed. And at that point, you’ll be annoyed and wishing you did the Day 5 Test and Release.

In my case, there was a delay, but it was because I had not activated the kit properly, which means I had not entered my bar code into the website. Once I had done this, I got my result immediately, but probably at least 12 hours later than needed.

Verdict

I think Qured run a good service. It’s not the most expensive, and it’s not the cheapest, but it does work and, comparing notes with colleagues who have used it, the service has been good. The frustration is more around the labels of Day 2 and Day 8 (really around the Day 8 part), and also the Day 5 Test and Release. But that’s the subject of a separate review…..

Cost

£210 per person.

qured.com

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