What type of Covid test do I need to take to fly to a destination outside of Canada? Does Lilium perform this test?
The test we perform at Lilium is accepted for ALL international destinations. We are one of the only test centers in Canada where you can get both the correct test and the right type of certificate for international travel, including a stamp and QR code. The test we perform at Lilium automatically covers all of the following categories: PCR, RT-PCR, NAAT, molecular, and swab tests.
We have all the Canadian and Quebec licenses, certifications and accreditations required to perform Covid tests. We are also one of the only laboratories in Quebec to have obtained ISO 15189 international accreditation for our Covid test.
In addition to the correct test, many international destinations also require a signed Certificate with various requirements: the full name as it appears in the traveler's passport, the passport number that will be used for travel, the date of birth, the exact date and time the test was performed, the original test report, a stamp and a QR code that links to the original test report and the results from the lab that performed the test. Lilium's certificate includes all of these features.
We provide testing for everyone, regardless of citizenship or country of residence. We are also a preferred location for testing babies and young children due to our less invasive sample collection methods.
How do I make an appointment for a test required for international travel at Lilium?
We only accept reservations made on our booking system online. You can book your appointment through our website here: https://www.liliumdiagnostics.ca/pcr-test-for-travel
This allows us to process your application prior to your arrival, so that we can complete your Covid test more quickly when you arrive.
Be sure to enter your full name (including all middle names) exactly as it appears in your passport, and to correctly enter your passport number and date of birth. This information will go into your travel Certificate and is necessary for your certificate to be issued correctly.
How do I cancel or reschedule my test? What is the cancellation policy?
You may reschedule or cancel your appointment at any time prior to your appointment by using the links in your appointment confirmation email. There is no penalty for doing so, but we ask that you reschedule or cancel your appointment as soon as you become aware of the change in your plans, so that the appointment slot can be assigned to another traveler.
How long does it take to receive my results after taking the Lilium test?
For our Laval location (open Monday - Saturday):
For our downtown Montreal location (open Monday - Sunday):
All samples are processed at the same time, so it does not matter at what time your appointment is at (e.g. a sample collected at 9:00 a.m. will receive the results at the same time as a sample collected at 10:00 a.m., as all samples for each time range above will be processed at the same time).
You can access your results by login into our online portal: https://www.liliumdiagnostics.com/login (or by clicking the login button that is located on the upper-right corner of our website). Your Certificate and Test Report will be available there for 5 days after you took your test, after which they are deleted (the link to the Certificate and Test Report pages have a special security feature where they are generated by a random number generator with trillions of possible combinations, while still allowing you to share the link with others if needed over the 5 day period). We recommend that you print the Certificate and Test Report if you will travel.
If you cannot find your results by 1:00 p.m. / 6:00 p.m for Laval; 4:00 p.m. / 8:30 p.m. for Montreal, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help you to retrieve your results. We monitor our emails until 9:00 p.m. daily.
When should I make an appointment for the test at Lilium?
Some destinations (e.g. Mexico) do not require a test prior to your arrival in the country. Please check with your airline or the embassy of the country you are traveling to if you need a test. If you need a test, please also check what type of test you need and how many hours before departure or arrival you need to take the test. We are not responsible if you booked the wrong test, or booked the wrong time to take the test, or if you did not need a test.
Note: The time your sample is collected is the time stamp used by airlines (and all countries) to calculate the time of your test. Most countries require you to take the test 24, 48 or 72 hours before your flight (a few countries require this for the time of arrival, rather than time of departure). Please check with your airline, or the consulate of the country where you will be traveling, for the current time requirement of when you need to take the test.
Please note that there is always a small risk that your test will be positive or that the quality of your sample is not good on the first test (if the sample quality is poor (an Inconclusive result) or equivocal, we will arrange for you to come back for a new test at your convenience which is free of charge with results the same day). Therefore, we strongly recommend that you come in for your test at least the day before your flight, to make sure you can get on the plane before you arrive at the airport.
We also recommend that you take your test close enough to your flight date so that in case your flight is delayed or rescheduled (cancelled), you minimize the chances that the test Certificate will fall outside its validity date. Airlines will usually inform passengers 2-3 days before the departure date if a flight will be cancelled, and we allow you to cancel or reschedule your booking for free. However, once a test is taken we are not responsible for what happens between you and the airlines (e.g., if your Certificate falls outside the validity date (or time) due to a flight being delayed, rescheduled or cancelled, this is not our fault; just like a hotel, car rental company or restaurant will not take responsibility if you have to stay an additional day because your flight got rescheduled). For this reason we recommend that you book your test for a date and time that gives you some flexibility in case your flight is delayed or rescheduled.
Most international destinations require you to take the test less than 48 or 72 hours before your flight, but many destinations require it less than 48 or 72 hours before arrival at your destination. Please check the requirements of the country you are visiting to determine when you should take your test (your airline or the embassy of the country you are visiting will provide you this information). For destinations with at least a 72 hour time window before departure, we recommend you take the test 24-48 hours before your flight, as explained above.
Examples on how to calculate a 72 hour time window before Departure:
How should I prepare for my Lilium test? Do I need to bring anything with me to the test?
If the test is for travel, you must bring your passport with you to your appointment so we can issue a Covid travel certificate.
For Oropharyngeal and Saliva tests:
For Nasopharyngeal tests:
Otherwise your test may fail due to a low sample quality, requiring a re-test (each of our tests includes an internal control to test the sample quality, to be sure the sample is of adequate quality).
What is the difference between PCR (RT-PCR, NAAT, molecular, swab tests) and an antigen test?
An antigen test is a quick but inaccurate test that gives many false positive and negative results. This means that it can give a positive result when you are actually negative, or a negative result when you are actually positive. Many experts estimate that it is only about 50% accurate, and with the Omicron variant possibly even less than 30% accurate. This is why many international destinations do not accept this test. There is also a high risk that you will test positive upon arrival in your destination country if you have had a false-negative antigen test, which means you may have to be quarantined in your destination country.
RT-PCR tests are the gold standard in testing. They are more accurate than standard PCR tests and tests that are generally categorized as NAAT or molecular tests. An RT-PCR test is a PCR, NAAT, moecular and swab test (so a RT-PCR test will fulfill any of these requirements) but a PCR, NAAT, molecular or swab test is not necessarily a RT-PCR test. You should thus specifically choose a RT-PCR test if this is required or if you are not sure what the requirement is, since a RT-PCR test fulfills all requrements and is accepted everywhere. PCR tests can also be performed on oral samples, while all antigen tests require a nasal and nasopharyngeal sample.
Many people wonder why antigenic tests are still performed by testing centers, since their accuracy is so low. The main reason is that most testing centers have limited PCR testing capacity and PCR testing takes too long to perform. At Lilium, we are able to process PCR tests quickly and at a large scale and we guarantee that the result are ready the same day, making PCR testing more widely and conveniently available.
I was recently vaccinated. Or I tested positive more than 14 days ago. Will this affect my Lilium test results?
Vaccination has no effect on the Lilium RT-PCR tests.
Unlike many other PCR tests, the Lilium PCR test does not give a false positive for several weeks after you were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and have already cleared it from your body. The exact length of time varies from person to person. This means you will be able to get a Certificate with a negative test result sooner with the Lilium PCR test for Travel than with many other PCR tests. On average, around 50% of our customers test negative after 10 days, up to 90% after 14 days, and around 99% in 20 days, on the oropharyngeal test. The nasopharyngeal test takes about 1 week longer to show a negative.
Please note that the travel RT-PCR test uses a lower detection sensitivity than our normal RT-PCR test (which we call the high sensitivity test) to avoid detecting RNA remnants from a recent infection. If you prefer the high sensitivity test, please select our standard RT-PCR test.
What type of Covid test should I book if I need to confirm if I have Covid, or recently had Covid and my antigen test is still positive?
You should book a nasopharyngeal test.
The nasopharyngeal RT-PCR test has the advantage that it can, in most cases, detect the virus that was present in the past week or more (it can detect viral remnants and, if still present, any remaining live virus). This is because SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be detected for a longer period of time in the nasal cavity (after the virus has already been neutralized) because viral remnants are not cleared from the nasal cavity as quickly as from the oral cavity (in the oral cavity, enzymes and high cellular turnover result in faster clearance of dead cells and viral remnants).
Technically an oropharyngeal test may be more accurate than a nasopharyngeal test as it often detects a positive result earlier and a negative result earlier, especially for the Omicron strain. This means that an oropharyngeal test may be used as an indirect estimate for viral contagiousness (however, please note it still takes a few days after being infected with SARS-CoV-2 before it can be detected by any test). For many individuals (especially fully vaccinated and younger individuals) it can often be surprising by how rapidly the virus can be neutralized by the immune system once symptoms start (even if symptoms continue several days afterwards once they have started); an oropharyngeal test has the ability to detect this and more accurately show a true negative. It can be equally surprising for individuals with poor immune responses to the virus to find out they are still positive on the oropharyngeal test more than 10 days later, meaning they are probably still contagious. It is not possible to estimate this real-time viral status with a nasopharyngeal test as it can with the oropharyngeal test. The nasopharyngeal test is better for determining if you were recently infected with SARS-CoV-2 (it just cannot be used as an indirect estimate for determining if the virus may still be replicating or not, like the oropharyngeal test can).
Please note that many antigen tests do not show a positive until after the immune system has begun to attack the virus. Most antigen tests detect the nucleoprotein of the virus. Nucleoproteins become more readily accessible to the antibodies in the antigen test after the virus has been torn apart by the immune system, increasing the surface area of detectable nucleoproteins. Since the immune response to the virus in vaccinated individuals can be rapid, in many cases the virus has been largely neutralized by the time the antigen test shows the first positive signal. This positive signal may continue for over a week in nasal samples after the virus has already been completely neutralized, since the dead viral fragments can remain in the nasal cavity for a long time before being completely eliminated. Please also note that some antigen tests cannot distinguish between SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses like the common cold. Antigen tests have a low accuracy, resulting in both false positives and false negatives. This is why a positive antigen test should always be confirmed by a PCR test within 24 hours..
Please note that if you perform an antigen test at home, or another swab test, you may adversely affect the results of a nasopharyngeal PCR test. This is because the swab used to collect the sample will also collect the RNA needed for the PCR test, reducing the total available amount of RNA for the PCR test. Although a PCR test is much more sensitive than an antigen test, there is much less viral RNA remnants present at the end of an infection than the amount of viral protein residue.
Why does Lilium's PCR swab test + certificate cost only $79, while other labs charge two or three times more?
We are the only fully automated large-scale Covid testing laboratory in Canada. We are organized to provide laboratory testing to other Covid testing centers. With a capacity of up to 100,000 tests per day, we represent over 20% of all Covid testing capacity in Canada. In addition, we have set up our own sample collection centers to sell testing services directly to the consumer, giving consumers like yourself access to wholesale pricing and direct turnaround of results.