FAQ

Which Corona test is right for me?

There are three established corona testing methods: PCR tests, antigen tests and antibody tests.

PCR test The PCR test is a standard procedure in the diagnosis of viruses. The test is based on the so-called polymerase chain reaction. The genetic material of the virus is multiplied. This makes it possible to detect viruses even if only a few pathogens are present. The PCR test is considered the gold standard among the corona tests.

PCR Morning Express for a test result the next morning by 10:00,

PCR Next Day for a test result by the end of the following day,

PCR Rapid for a test result after 30 min. Attention:This test is not evaluated in the laboratory but in the test stations themselves.

Antigen Rapid Test This test does not detect the genetic material of the virus, but protein fragments (proteins) from the envelope of the virus. The rapid tests for SARS-CoV-2 detect certain proteins of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract in the event of an infection. Rapid antigen tests can detect the different viral variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus similarly well. The rapid antigen test is less sensitive than a PCR test. This means that a larger amount of virus is needed for a positive result to be indicated. For example, if only a few viruses are present shortly after an infection, the rapid antigen test can still be negative, even though the person tested is infected.

Antibody test - to detect a past infection When infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the immune system develops specific antibodies (proteins) against it. In antibody tests, these specific antibodies are detected in the blood or serum. However, after the appearance of signs of illness (symptoms), it usually takes one to two weeks until these specific antibodies are detectable. The antibody tests are therefore not suitable for detecting an actual infection.

How do I book an appointment?

After you have found out which test you need, select the location near you, the respective test, the desired date and time. Then fill in all the required input fields, making sure that you enter the correct information, as this is often where the first mistakes creep in.

What is the test procedure?

To detect an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, a sample is taken from the mucous membranes (nasopharyngeal swab) of the respiratory tract. This is done by taking a swab from the pharyngeal wall and/or from the nasopharynx. Through the experience of our staff, this is done quickly, thoroughly and with little discomfort. In the antibody test, 2-3 drops of blood are taken from the fingertip and examined for antibodies.

What documents do I need to bring?

Please come with a valid identity card or passport and your ticket, which you have received from us in an e-mail beforehand.

Which means of payment can be used?

Please note that payment with cash on site is unfortunately not possible. When booking, you can use the following payment methods: iDeal, Sofort-Überweisung, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, VISA, prepayment, SEPA direct debit (prepayment and direct debit is only possible for dates >12 days in the future).

When and how do I get my result?

You will get your result sent to the email address you provided. This is password protected. Your password is the postcode you entered.

You will usually receive the test result of an antigen test (rapid test) and an antibody test about 15 minutes after testing. You will usually receive the test result of a PCR test depending on the product booked (in 98 % of cases).

Morning Express on the following day by 10:00 a.m. at the latest, Next Day on the following day by 23:39 at the latest,

You will usually receive the test result of a PCR Rapid test about 30 minutes after testing.

(https://15minutentest.de/de/de/agb) To retrieve your test result, check your mailbox at the email address you have on file.

What is a prescribed PCR test according to §2-4 TestV?

The free PCR laboratory test may only be used if the requirements of the Federal Ministry of Health in the regulation on entitlement to testing with regard to direct pathogen detection are met. This test applies exclusively to confirmatory diagnostics. The prescribed laboratory test cannot be used for travel! Please observe the instructions of the Coronavirus Test Ordinance - TestV.

How does the PCR test work?

A PCR test is the safest method to detect a current covid infection. The test is carried out in the laboratory and is particularly sensitive. The procedure can detect with a high degree of certainty whether someone is currently infected at certain stages of the infection, usually two to three days after infection. After a week, the virus disappears from the throat area in some people, but remains in the lungs. Accordingly, there are phases of infection during which a PCR test is negative despite infection. In addition to the standard PCR test with a waiting time of at least 24 hours, there are also PCR rapid tests. These come with a test kit and can be used without a laboratory. With the PCR rapid test, the result is already available after two and a half hours. However, they require more viral load than the standard PCR test and are less reliable. If the result is positive, however, the patient is infectious with a high degree of certainty.

How safe is the PCR test?

One advantage of the PCR test is that its accuracy is 98% to 99%. Since the test is already effective at low viral loads, a person can also be tested falsely positive, even if there is no longer any danger of infection. In order to recognise a false positive result, there is the so-called Ct value. In the PCR test, the genetic material of the virus, which is taken from a throat swab, is amplified until a measurement signal can be detected. This multiplication allows the test to detect even a low viral load. This also means that the fewer viruses there are in the blood, the more frequently the genetic material has to be multiplied. The Ct value determined in the PCR test, which indicates the multiplication cycle of the polymerase chain reaction, can therefore be used as a measure of the actual amount of viruses present. The higher the Ct value determined, the lower the original viral load in the sample examined. The original viral load in turn influences how infectious the infected person is. Thus, patients can get a positive result even though they are no longer infectious.

How many days before a flight should I book my PCR test?

Example: You fly from xx to xx on Thursday at 4 p.m. You book either: PCR Next Morning on Wednesday OR PCR Next Day on Tuesday after 4pm.

How safe is the rapid antigen test?

The test we use is approved by the BfArM. According to the manufacturer, the antigen test has a clinical sensitivity of 98.5% and a clinical specificity of 99.3%. The sensitivity indicates whether all sick people are also recognised as sick people. The specificity indicates whether all healthy people tested are also recognised as healthy. It should be noted, however, that the antigen concentration can fluctuate in the course of the disease and can fall below the detection limit of the antigen test. A possible infection can therefore not be completely ruled out based on negative test results. Antigen tests are less sensitive than PCR tests, especially if the viral load in the smear is too low. So if the result is positive, another PCR test must be done in the laboratory. In addition, the antigen test can be falsely positive if there has been an infection with another, similar coronavirus. If the viral load in the throat swab is too low, a false negative result is also possible.

How does the antibody test work?

The prerequisites of the antibody test are very different from the PCR and antigen test: It is not intended to detect the virus, but the reaction of the immune system to the pathogen. The body forms antibodies against the pathogen in the first days or weeks after infection. In many cases, antibodies can still be detected in the blood after several months. When an antibody test is carried out, a blood sample is placed on a test plate that has been prepared with fragments of the novel coronavirus. If there are antibodies in the patient's blood, they combine with the virus on the test platelet. Whether this process has taken place is made visible by a coloured marker.

Which countries can I travel to?

Unfortunately, the entry requirements of the various countries of destination are constantly changing. Please inform yourself about the entry requirements of your respective destination country on the website of the German Foreign Office or at the airport. Some countries require a laboratory PCR test. The Rapid PCR Test is NOT a laboratory PCR test. Furthermore, our laboratory is not yet ISO 15189 certified, which means that you cannot currently enter e.g. Hong Kong with a PCR test result from our laboratory.

What can I do if I have not received my result?

Check if the test evaluation period has already expired. Also check if your test result might have ended up in another folder (spam/advertising). For queries with our support team, please always have your barcode data ready.

Can the PCR test be carried out in children?

Can the PCR test be performed on children? The PCR test can be performed on children of any age, including infants, although we cannot guarantee that sufficient material will be obtained for a correct evaluation of the test. Children and young people under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Can the antigen test be performed in children?

The antigen test is validated in a population over 8 years of age and is therefore only recommended for use in children aged 8 years and older. Children and young people under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

What to do if a PCR or antigen test result is positive?

If your test result is positive and you have no symptoms, you should immediately isolate yourself and wait for a call from the InfoCOVID Service who will give you instructions on how to proceed. If your test result is positive and you have symptoms, such as cough or fever, you should also isolate yourself immediately and can contact InfoCOVID on 900100971 for medical assistance.

Is this antigen test approved for use?

The test we use is on the "Common list of rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 for use in the European Union" and has a Declaration of Conformity according to the European Directive 98/79/EC.

What is the sensitivity and specificity of the test?

According to the manufacturer's information, the antigen test has a sensitivity of 96.6% and a specificity of 99.9%. This information is provided in your results report. Sensitivity is the ability of the test to detect COVID-19 in a diseased subject. Specificity is the ability of the test to give a negative result in a healthy subject.

Can I travel with a negative test result?

As worldwide regulations are different, the respective country decides which test is required. In most cases, rapid corona antigen tests are as recognised as PCR tests. All additional information can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health of each country. If my antigen test is negative, am I sure I do not have COVID? It should be noted that in the antigen test there is no amplification of nucleic acids as in the PCR test and therefore its sensitivity is lower and it is possible that the antigen concentration is below the detection limit of the test and is not detected. Therefore, a possible infection cannot be completely ruled out even if the test results are negative. I have lost my voucher or QR code/I have not received my voucher or QR code.

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact our customer support. (https://15minutentest.de/de/de/kontakt)

Our support team is available at the following times: E-mail support: Monday-Sunday from 09:00-22:00 Telephone support: Monday-Friday from 09:00-20:00 and Saturday-Sunday from 13:00-17:00. Our telephone number is: +49 2771 427810.

Please always quote the barcode of your test booking in case of queries!

Can I travel to the UK ?

Our PCR and antigen tests meet the current criteria for entry into the United Kingdom. Our antigen test is listed in the COVID-19 In Vitro Diagnostic Devices and Test Methods Database. According to the manufacturer, the antigen test has a clinical sensitivity of 98.5% and a clinical specificity of 99.3% for viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml.

Our certificate contains the following information:

  • Your name, which should match the name on your travel documents
  • your date of birth or age
  • the result of the test
  • the date the test sample was taken or received by the test provider
  • the name of the test provider and their contact information
  • confirmation of the device used for the test or that the test is a PCR test

How reliable is the rapid antigen test?

Our test is listed in the COVID-19 In Vitro Diagnostic Devices and Test Methods Database. According to the manufacturer, the antigen test has a clinical sensitivity of 98.5% and a clinical specificity of 99.3% for viral loads greater than 100,000 copies/mL. The sensitivity score indicates whether everyone who has the virus is correctly identified as a carrier of the virus. The specificity score indicates whether everyone who does not have the virus is correctly identified as not being infected with the virus. However, it is important to note that the concentration of antigens may fluctuate during the course of the disease and may be below the detection limit of the antigen test. Therefore, a negative test result cannot completely rule out possible infection.

 When will I receive my result?

Depending on the test used, you will usually receive your result after about 15 minutes (rapid test). You will receive the PCR test result from our cooperating laboratories by 8 am or 11:59 pm the following day. You will receive an email from ergebnis@15minutentest.de. Please also check your spam and advertising folder.