passenger plane arriving back to the UK

Observed Lateral Flow Testing Explained

What is an observed lateral flow test?

Over the last couple years Lateral Flow Tests (LFD) have provided us with a simple, yet highly effective method of rapid testing from the safety and privacy of our own homes. If you’re looking to travel abroad, some countries require you to have taken an Observed Lateral Flow Test. This at-home COVID-19 test is a home lateral flow antigen test that has to be ‘observed’ via a Telehealth consultation for Fit to Fly certificates.

Quick summary of how it works

Arranging an Observed Lateral Flow test is a simple process. First you order your observed LFD and then book your Telehealth consultation at an appropriate date and time. Next, during your telehealth consultation, simply follow the instructions provided in your kit and perform the test.. Once complete, your results will be available on your device within 20 minutes and you’ll receive photo verification within three hours. If your results are negative, then all you’ll need to do is present your results at the airport prior to your flight. If you want to find out more about how to take an observed lateral flow test, click here. Or watch the how to video below:


Which countries currently require an observed lateral flow test?

Currently the only countries that require an observed lateral flow test are the United States and Australia. The test sample must be collected within 1 calendar day before the flight departs for a direct flight and proof of this must be provided at the airport on paper or electronically.

The benefits of Telehealth services and what does the future hold for the technology?

One of the biggest squeezes on NHS resources is the ever rising bill for patient care. For many people, especially seniors, a trip to their local GP can be stressful and time-consuming. And in addition, over the last couple years the NHS (National Health Service) has been under immense strain due to the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic. With that said, Telehealth services are looking to position themselves as one of the solutions during this ever changing landscape.

Since the start of the pandemic, it has been increasingly risky for GPs, nurses and doctors to safely complete routine appointments due to the risk of covid spreading and possibly causing an outbreak in their surgery. Thankfully, the improvements to technology can help with that. Technological advancements and wireless communications have catapulted telehealth services and the possibilities for doctors and nurses to participate in the delivery of remote care. Instead of a face-to-face appointment, patients can call up either via phone or video chat to talk with their doctor or nurse and get medical advice without risking an in-person visit.

Even as increased vaccination rates have allowed medical services to open back up as normal to the public, GP surgeries and other NHS services have still utilised telehealth services due to their continuing benefits. It has allowed medical professionals to be able to talk to a wide range of patients while only having people in need of physical examinations in person at the hospital or surgery.

With the increased use of telehealth services across the NHS, patients have also seen the benefits of the system. The use of telehealth can dramatically reduce travel costs and can increase access to care for many people who would otherwise not receive it. Especially in more rural areas where travelling to healthcare services is more difficult. It has also meant that patients who have previously been too anxious to visit a hospital or surgery in person can now talk to a medical professional over the phone or via video chat. 

The growth of telehealth services over the last few years has led to more patients using them. Patients are able to use these services in different ways, including video calls with nurses or doctors, getting remote diagnosis and consultation via phone lines instead of having to physically be present at a surgery or hospital, or even monitoring medical equipment that reads their vitals 24/7.

Another piece of technology that is helping to innovate telehealth services and reduce the strain on the NHS is at-home blood testing. At-home blood testing has been a growing industry in assisting to monitor how their body is performing via vitamin levels, heart health, diabetes risk, liver function, STI testing and more. Blood testing gives you the ability to better understand your current health and what steps you could then take to improve this. With Circle SnapShot you can keep up to date with your general health with a simple at-home blood test and then work with your doctor via telehealth services to analyse your results and gain a better look into how your overall health is.

using swab for COVID-19 lateral flow test

How to Book and Take the Observed Lateral Flow Test

If you have purchased an Observed Lateral Flow test with Telehealth from Project Screen by Prenetics, this blog will help you to book your Telehealth consultation and take the test in the correct way. This test is suitable for travel to the US. Click here to learn more about the latest US travel requirements.


An Observed Lateral Flow test is a little different to normal Lateral Flow tests you may have taken before, as you will be observed via a Telehealth consultation while you take your test and process your results. You will then need to upload a photo of the result alongside your full name, booking reference number and activation code to your account on the Project Screen website. We will then review the result and release your photo verification within 3 hours. Your results PDF will identify that you were observed via Telehealth while taking your test. Please ensure you have access to the internet and a camera phone when you take your test. 

Follow These Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Booking Your Telehealth Consultation

  • After ordering your Observed Lateral Flow test with Telehealth, you will receive an order confirmation email titled “We’ve received your order!”. This email includes important information about booking your Telehealth Consultation. This email includes the unique code you need to access your complimentary consultation.  
  • Click on the ‘Book Your Telehealth Consultation’ button and select your preferred date and time to complete your pre-departure Lateral Flow test during a Telehealth Consultation. You will be required to enter some personal information, please have a form of identification to hand.
    Tip: If you are travelling to the US and are fully vaccinated, you must take your test no more than 3 days before your flight.
    Go to web.projectscreen.co.uk/login and create your Project Screen by Prenetics account and profile. You will need to log in to your account to submit your photo verification in order to receive your results PDF. 
Day Lateral Flow Test

Step 2: Conducting Your Lateral Flow Test During Your Telehealth Consultation

  • On the day of your Telehealth appointment, prepare to take your test. Please log in to Azova at least 5 minutes prior to your appointment.
    Tip: We recommend using the Azova app rather than the desktop version. Click here to download the Azova App from the Apple App Store or click here to download from the Google Play store.
  • You will be guided through your test by the Telehealth consultant.
  • Your consultation will be completed once you have taken your test and followed the instructions for how to process your result on the test cassette.
  • Set a timer for 15 minutes.

Step 3: Upload Your Results Photo for Verification

  • Log in to your Project Screen account at web.projectscreen.co.uk/login. 
  • Select ‘Activate Test Kit’ and choose “Telehealth Lateral Flow test”.
  • Confirm that you were observed via Telehealth while collecting your sample. 
  • Enter the activation code found inside your test kit box and select ‘Activate Kit’.
  • Using your camera phone, scan the QR code on your test cassette to identify your device. 
  • If you have waited 15 minutes, skip the on-screen timer. Your results will now be available on your test cassette. 
  • Confirm which image on screen matches your test result.
  • Take a photo of your result and submit it for verification. 
  • We will review your photo and provide your results within 3 hours. You will be notified by email when your results are ready. 
  • Double bag and dispose of all test contents in household waste. 

Step 4: Present Your Results PDF at Check In Before Your Departure Flight

Good luck and stay safe with Project Screen by Prenetics.

lateral flow test example by Project Screen

How to Activate and Take the Day 2 Antigen Test from Project Screen by Prenetics

If you have bought a Day 2 Antigen test kit from Project Screen by Prenetics, this blog will help you to activate and take the test in the correct way. Please ensure you have access to a camera phone and the internet when you take your test.

A Day 2 Antigen test is a little different from any Lateral Flow Antigen test you’ve taken before as you must upload a photo of the result alongside your full name, booking reference number, and activation code to your account on the Project Screen website. We will then review the result and release your photo verification within 12 hours. We will use this photo to verify your result adhering to the UK Government requirements.


There are currently two Day 2 Antigen test kits in circulation and so the instructions provided online may not match the contents of your test kit. Do not worry! We have a detailed explanation for both options below.

Version 1:

If your Day 2 Antigen test kit includes this paper insert:

Follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Activate your test kit by clicking here.
  2. Please write this information on the paper insert:
    1. Full Name
    2. Booking Reference Number (you’ll find this in your Order Confirmation email)
  3. Type in the activation code found on the paper insert and select ‘Day 2’ as the purpose for testing.
  4. Collect your sample following the step-by-step instructions and wait for 15 minutes for your sample to be processed.
  5. Select one of the four photos that matches the result shown on your test cassette.
  6. Upload a photo of your test cassette and the paper insert. Ensure the photo clearly includes the result shown on your test cassette, your full name, activation code, and booking reference number. We use this photo to verify your result adhering to the UK Government’s requirements.

    This is an example of a successfully uploaded results photo:

If in doubt, submit your photo anyway, and our team will contact you for any further information required.

To summarise, you will be able to submit your test as long as you have uploaded a clear photo with:
✅ Visible result on the test cassette
✅ Full name
✅ Activation code
✅ Booking Reference Number

***

Version 2:

If your Day 2 Antigen test kit includes this paper insert:

Follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Activate your test kit by clicking here.
  2. Fill out the required information on the paper insert:
    1. Full Name
    2. Booking Reference Number (you’ll find this in your Order Confirmation email)
  3. Type in the activation code found on the paper insert and select ‘Day 2’ as the purpose for testing.
  4. Collect your sample following the step-by-step instructions and wait for 15 minutes for your sample to be processed.
  5. Select one of the four photos that matches the result shown on your test cassette.
  6. Upload a photo of your test cassette and the paper insert. Ensure the photo clearly includes the result shown on your test cassette, your full name, activation code, and booking reference number. We use this photo to verify your result adhering to the UK Government’s requirements.

    This is an example of an acceptable photo upload:


To summarise, you will be able to submit your test as long as you have uploaded a clear photo with:
✅ Visible result on the test cassette
✅ Full name
✅ Activation code
✅ Booking Reference Number

***

Getting Your COVID 19 Test Result

Your COVID-19 test result will be visible on your device within 10-20 minutes and you’ll receive photo verification within 12 hours. Once your result is ready, you’ll be able to see it in the web app. We’ll also email you a notification for your records.

If your result is negative, you can set about your plans as normal. If your result is positive, follow the Government’s guidelines.

Good luck and stay safe with Project Screen by Prenetics.

Zap the QR Code for your at home PCR test

Covid-19 Test Kit Activation

Why do I need to activate my Covid-19 test?

It is important to activate your Covid-19 test kit(s) – both PCR and Lateral Flow Antigen – in order to receive your results. Kit activation links your test swab to your Project Screen account, meaning we can send your results to you via email. 

Failing to activate your test kit may result in lost samples and/or delayed results.

Can I activate my test kit early to understand the process?

Do not activate your test kit early in order to see what you’ll need to do for your test. To see an overview of the full testing process for PCR tests and Lateral Flow Antigen tests, click on the test names here to watch our step-by-step instruction videos. 

When should I activate my Covid-19 test?

Whether you have bought an individual test kit or a bundle of tests, use the information below to learn when you should activate your test kit(s).

Important Information: The date and time that you choose to activate your kit is the exact date and time that will show on your results document as “Sample Collection Date and Time”. 

Click on the type of test below to jump to the activation information for that specific test kit.

Fit to Fly PCR Test

Day 2 PCR Test

Day 8 PCR Test

Day 5 Test to Release Test

Health Check PCR Test

Fit to Fly Lateral Flow Antigen Test 

Remote Return Lateral Flow Antigen Test

PCR Home Test Kits

When should I activate my Fit to Fly PCR test?

The date and time that you choose to activate your kit is the exact date and time that will show on your results document as “Sample Collection Date and Time”. Your travel provider will use this date and time to check your test result was carried out at the correct time to fulfil your travel requirements. 

Therefore, you should activate your test kit within the timeframe specified by your travel provider and/or destination’s government. Most commonly, this is less than 48 or 72 hours before your time of departure. Search for “entry requirements to [destination]” or visit Gov.UK foreign travel advice.

For example, if you are due to travel abroad on Saturday at 12pm, and your destination has a 48 hour window for taking your test, you will need to take your test from 12pm on Thursday onwards.  

Or, if you are due to travel abroad on Saturday at 12pm, and your destination has a 72 hour window for taking your test, you will need to take your test from 12pm on Wednesday onwards.  


When should I activate my Day 2 PCR test?

The day you arrive in England is day 0. The date and time that you choose to activate your kit is the exact date and time that will show on your results document as “Sample Collection Date and Time”. 

– Day 2 test: activate on Day 0, Day 1 or Day 2.

For example, if you arrive in England on Monday, you can take your Day 2 Test on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. 


When should I activate my Day 8 PCR test?

The day you arrive in England is day 0. The date and time that you choose to activate your kit is the exact date and time that will show on your results document as “Sample Collection Date and Time”. 

– Day 8 test: activate on Day 8 or after Day 8, but not before. 

For example, if you arrive in England on Monday, you can take your Day 8 Test from the following Tuesday onwards. 

Important: All test kits must be activated individually. Even if you have activated your Day 2 test, you MUST activate your Day 8 test. 


When should I activate my Day 5 Test to Release PCR test?

The day you arrive in England is day 0. The date and time that you choose to activate your kit is the exact date and time that will show on your results document as “Sample Collection Date and Time”. 

– Day 5 test: activate on Day 5 or after Day 5, but not before. 

For example, if you arrive in England on Monday, you can take your Day 5 Test from Saturday onwards. 

Important: All test kits must be activated individually. Even if you have activated your Day 2 test, you MUST activate your Day 5 and 8 tests. 


When should I activate my Health Check PCR test?

The date and time that you choose to activate your kit is the exact date and time that will show on your results document as “Sample Collection Date and Time”. If you are taking the test in order to attend an event, visit family, or travel, please ensure that you take the test within the required timeframe, if necessary. 


Lateral Flow Antigen Tests

When should I activate my Fit to Fly Lateral Flow Antigen test?

The date and time that you choose to activate your kit is the exact date and time that will show on your results document as “Sample Collection Date and Time”. Your travel provider will this use date and time to check your test result was carried out at the correct time to fulfil your travel requirements.

Therefore, you should activate your test kit within the timeframe specified by your travel provider and/or government. Most commonly, this is less than 48 or 72 hours before your time of departure. Search for “entry requirements to [destination]” or visit Gov.UK foreign travel advice.

For example, if you are due to travel abroad on Saturday at 12pm, and your destination has a 48 hour window for taking your test, you will need to take your test from Thursday at 12pm onwards.  

Or, if you are due to travel abroad on Saturday at 12pm, and your destination has a 72 hour window for taking your test, you will need to take your test from Wednesday at 12pm onwards.  

While lateral flow antigen results typically are delivered within 20 minutes, we recommend taking your test at least 12 hours before you are due to travel to avoid any unexpected delays.


When should I activate my Remote Return Lateral Flow Antigen test?

The date and time that you choose to activate your kit is the exact date and time that will show on your results document as “Sample Collection Date and Time”. Your travel provider will this use date and time to check your test result was carried out at the correct time to fulfil your travel requirements.

The UK Government requires travellers to England to take a pre-departure test in the 3 days before the flight on which they will arrive in England. 

For example, if you travel directly to England on Friday, you can take the test on or after Tuesday. You will need to have the negative result available before boarding on Friday. 

While lateral flow antigen results typically are delivered within 20 minutes, we recommend taking your test at least 12 hours before you are due to travel to avoid any unexpected delays.

Activate by typing in barcode found on your PCR test kit

How to Take Your at-Home PCR Test

If you have bought an at-home PCR COVID-19 test from Project Screen by Prenetics, this video will help you take the test in the right way. Please ensure you have access to the internet when you take your test.

How to take the test

Some home PCR tests may differ from others, so be sure to follow these instructions to activate your kit correctly and swab effectively.

What you’ll need:

  • The contents of your kit
  • A phone, tablet or computer with internet

Also:

  • Please do not eat, drink, or smoke for 30 minutes prior to the test
  • The whole process should only take a few minutes

Activating your kit

  • You should only activate your kit at the time of taking your PCR test 
  • Do not activate your kit ahead of time, as your sample collection time may not fit within the specific timeframe required for a valid test result, e.g. 72 hours before travelling
  • If you are travelling, refer to your travel details or government guidelines for when you should do your test 

Preparing to take your sample

Set yourself down on a clean table and unpack the kit. You’ll find:

  • A small box
  • A request form
  • A medical bag
  • An absorbant pad
  • A swab collection tube
  • A swab.

Zap the QR code on the form with your phone camera or head to web.projectscreen.co.uk to activate your kit. Log on with the same details you used when you purchased the kit or create your profile if you don’t have one already. 

Zap the QR Code for your at home PCR test

In the website navigation, please choose activate. Choose PCR and activate by typing in the barcode from the request form:

Activate by typing in barcode found on your PCR test kit

Now complete the rest of the details:

  • State the purpose of the test, fit to fly, or a returning travel option
  • Complete the request form with your full name and the date you are collecting the sample
  • Tick the appropriate box to identify the test type on the request form
  • Confirm that request form and the details on the app match and select submit to activate your kit

Now it’s time to swab!

Taking your sample

Wash your hands like a pro. That’s 20 seconds, all around and all over.

Head to your nearest mirror with your swab and collection tube.

Loosen the top of the tube.

Swab your mouth, making contact with the five areas shown in the back of your throat. This includes your left posterior wall, left tonsil, uvula, right tonsil and right posterior wall. 

Now, head to one nostril with the same swab and insert vertically until you meet a light pressure.

Swab all around for 5 seconds and hold for 5 further seconds.

Repeat on the other nostril.

Put the swab in the tube, snap it off at the break point, and seal tightly. Ensure the tube contains fluid and that the solution stays in the tube once you seal it. 

Head back to your table.

Put the tube in the swab bag with the absorbent pad and seal.

Put the sealed bag into the test kit box with the request form.

Close the box and pack into the return mailer bag.

Returning your sample

Head to the Royal Mail website and find your nearest priority postbox. Return your test on the day you take it, before the last collection.

Alternatively, you could drop your completed sample at one of our local test pods or arrange a private courier. You can find more information about our sample return options here: projectscreen.co.uk/delivery_returns/

You will receive an email notification when your sample has arrived at our laboratory for analysis. Once the sample has been processed, you will receive an email with your results.

From the email you will be linked to the Project Screen website when you can view your result.

If your result is negative, you can continue life as normal.

If your result is positive, follow the Government’s guidelines.

That’s a wrap. Good luck and stay safe with Project Screen by Prenetics.