British Healthcare company Salutaris People, which provides rapid PCR testing at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, has reported a 10-fold surge in bookings for its rapid PCR tests.
The unprecedented demand has been triggered by a number of passengers who had originally booked subsidised PCR tests through airlines and package holiday operators.
After using self-administered postal PCR tests, their results had been returned as ‘unclear’ from the laboratories.
Other passengers had reported delays in receiving their test results, which had prompted them to take a secondary PCR test to avoid missing their scheduled flights and holidays.
Passengers who were due to take flights and depart for holidays within days had to book secondary PCR tests through Salutaris People at the company’s test suites at Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Wilmslow.
Passengers received their results within 24 hours, enabling them to catch their flights. An ‘unclear’ test result is when a PCR test does not indicate either a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ test result and is returned inconclusive from the laboratory.
Ben Paglia MD of AKEA Life, (testing partners to Salutaris People) said: “We have experienced a surge in the last two weeks, which has been due to a number of airline passengers booking secondary PCR tests with us.
“Many of those have come from passengers who have booked flights with airlines and package holiday operators.
“They have been sent PCR postal kits, which are self-administered. These test results have come back as “unclear” from the laboratories.
“This means they were not clear to fly and needed to take a second PCR test.
“We have been able to provide secondary PCR tests to those people with their results back in 24 hours from our test suites at Liverpool and Wilmslow.
“Unclear test results can occur for two reasons. More often than not, this is down to the test being self-administered by the public and not carried out by a trained healthcare professional.
“The secondary reason is down to the way in which the tests are transported to the lab, which can also affect the test result.
“With the airlines and travel companies using postal PCR test kits, there is the continued risk of more incidents like this occurring.
“This not only creates a further cost for the passenger with secondary testing, but also creates uncertainty over whether the test result will come back unclear.”
Salutaris People has trained healthcare professionals who administer PCR tests in person at its Liverpool and Wilmslow test suites, where test results can be processed immediately at the onsite laboratory.
Paglia added: “Unfortunately, the test providers and the laboratories will not offer a refund to a customer when an “unclear” test is confirmed.
“In the unlikely event of that happening, where a person has attended the Salutaris test suite for a rapid PCR test and an “unclear” was produced, we would naturally refund the customer or provide a second test free of charge.
“By having a rapid PCR test administered by a trained healthcare professional minimises the risk of “unclear” test results, guarantees your results and also ensures no delays to your flight or holiday as a result of your PCR test”.