Tried & Tested

Review: Qured Day 5 Test and Release

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

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 offer 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 Day 5 Test and Release.

I have written a separate review of the Day 2 and Day 8 test package and it would be good to read that first, since it contains a lot of information relevant to this review. Note that you must book a Day 2 and Day 8 package, whether or not you want to book a Day 5 Test and Release.

We have also already reviewed the rapid antigen test. You can read that review here

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

The process for Day 5 is identical to Day 2 (and Day 8).

A few points (repeated from the Day 2 and Day 8 review).

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-1

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.

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 then 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”. And then you wait.

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 5 test and release. 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 5, and many providers ensure you don’t take it early by delaying delivery until Day 5. That means you often don’t get it until the afternoon of Day 5. To take the example of the traveller who landed on Monday, Day 5 is the Saturday.

The traveller conducts the test and makes sure they make a note of the tracking number on the package, and catches the last post which isn’t easy on a Sunday (and impossible on a Sunday in most places – so make sure you don’t schedule a flight that lands on a Tuesday, otherwise you’ll always have this problem with your Day 5. 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 Monday morning and then is processed on Monday afternoon or even Tuesday, you might not get your result until Tuesday evening – which was the case with my result. So I landed on a Monday morning and got my Test and Release Day 5 a full eight days later. But is it Qured’s fault? No.

Verdict

It’s hard to disassociate my frustration with the whole process form Qured, but I have to because it runs a good service from what I’ve seen. It’s a complicated procedure, with a lot that can go wrong. It seems mad that a Day 5 Test and Release can take up to eight days, but since the first Day was Day 0, and there was a weekend involved, and it takes time to do these tests, I suppose I had a good result.

A colleague who relied on private couriers got his result 24 hours earlier, but that was an extra £275 (he was quarantining in the Cotswolds). His time is worth more than mine, so I could wait the extra 24 hours.

Cost:

£99 (though you have to have booked a Day 2 and Day 8 package to use the Day 5 Test and Release.

qured.com

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