Travelling to a country that requires antigen testing?

Antigen Testing is the fastest and cheapest of all lab tests for COVID-19 and is now available at our Dublin Travel Centre for just €49.  Testing is conducted using a using a nose and throat (nasopharyngeal) swab with your results available within 1 hour.


Sometimes called a ‘lateral flow test’, it will reveal if a person is currently infected with a pathogen such as the Covid-19 virus.   It is thought that around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms, so a test that rapidly detects these otherwise hidden cases is a very useful additional tool for tackling the virus.  Paul Turnball, global business manager with Randox says, “When it comes to travel, we started to see more and more countries across Europe state that they would only accept a negative PCR result and that has remained the case, as countries only want the most sensitive technology.  Some countries however, such as the Netherlands, Germany & Sweden, require antigen testing as a secondary test before entry”.


Once the infection has gone, the antigen disappears so antigen testing is a way to test people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19, but who could still be spreading the virus. Unlike the PCR test (which detect the presence of genetic material) antigen tests detect proteins or glycans, such as the spike proteins found on the surface of the Covid-19 virus.


It is important to note that no test is 100% accurate and all tests have limitations. The preferred testing for COVID-19 is still the gold standard PCR testing due to its high sensitivity methodology.  PCR testing does require samples to be tested in a certified laboratory, which is why it can take up to 24hours to receive your results.


The Randox Health Dublin Airport Testing Centre offers both PCR and Antigen testing for travel and peace of mind.


Testing is conducted using a using a nose and throat (nasopharyngeal) swab, and results are available after 1 hour

A positive antigen test means that the person being tested has an active COVID-19 infection.

Positive antigen test results are highly specific, meaning that if you test positive you are very likely to be infected. However, there is a higher chance of false negatives with antigen tests, which means that a negative result cannot definitively rule out an active infection.

A negative antigen test means that SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins were not detected. However, a negative test does not rule out COVID-19. If there is still concern that a person has COVID-19 after a negative antigen test, then that person should be tested again with a PCR test.

Yes, an antigen test helps to rapidly identify people who have high levels of the virus- those who are most likely to be infectious to others.

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