Heathrow Airport – ExpressTest PCR Testing at T5

I can’t say that I was particularly looking forwards to this, the PCR test that I had pre-booked with ExpressTest to be completed at Heathrow T5 following my arrival back from Poland. There’s been a lot of confusion about Day 2 tests and I note that British Airways have put out advertising today to remind customers that these tests can be taken any time after landing, they don’t need to wait until Day 2. But, I wanted to get this whole thing out of the way as it was already stressing me. The information in the e-mail was clear and I was easily able to find the testing centre which is at the far end of the Heathrow T5 arrivals hall (at the other end to the Underground).

I had pre-booked a time that allowed for lots of delays with the flight and border control, which didn’t ultimately happen. However, the cheerful staff member at the front of the queue checking documents said that it didn’t matter, it was just to try and manage the number of people and I could just join the queue. That was helpful, as I didn’t fancy sitting near to the testing area worrying and sulking for an hour. I had already annoyed several friends by telling them how brave I was being, even though that’s usually a slight hint that I’m not entirely happy.

Anyway, after being entertained by a man who said that he had booked a test at Heathrow T4 and the terminal was shut and wanted his test here instead (they obliged, although he was very rude) I was welcomed by a staff member after a few minutes in the queue. I was walked to a little area with a seat and I carefully surveyed the area to see where I might need to faint safely (I didn’t want to hit my head on any metal or sharp corners) if it all became too much. Anyway, the medical professional (I don’t know how trained they are, but I told myself they were a very experienced and senior consultant even though they were clearly aged about 22) was very tolerant of my comments of how frightening this was.

After I had mentioned my bravery six times, the patient and tolerant lady explained that actually some people did faint and a lot were very scared. That helped no end, so I prepared myself for the surgery (apparently this isn’t actually technically classed as surgery, but I’d prepared for that sort of thing in my mind). I was so brave that the whole thing was over in thirty seconds and I didn’t gag or sneeze, so I was slightly disappointed as I felt that it was now easy for friends to say I had over-worried about the arrangement. The medical professional agreed that I deserved some sweets, which was handy as I had procured some chocolates earlier in the day.

I thought that the whole process was professionally managed and the staff there were all helpful. I can’t say that I was thrilled to spend £60 on this, as that’s three months of unlimited Pret coffee, but there we are. It’s a little bit cheaper for BA customers who quote the BA code which is on the web-site. Just have to hope the test doesn’t come back positive now.