EU Traffic Light System: How to get a COVID-19 PCR test before travelling

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EU Traffic Light System: How to get a COVID-19 PCR test before travelling

12 October 2020

EU Traffic Light System: How to get a COVID-19 PCR test before travelling

EU Traffic Light System: How to get a COVID-19 PCR test before travelling

As Covid-19 infection rates continue to rise in many parts of the world, an increasing number of countries are asking for a negative PCR test as a means of proof that travellers do not have the Covid-19 virus.

Whilst not yet a common requirement globally, it is understood that the EU could soon be turning to a Traffic Light System that will require pre-departure testing for individuals departing any of the 15 ‘red list’ countries – which includes the UK and could be extended to include Ireland.

Whilst there are currently a number of countries across the EU that do not require a negative COVID test for visitors from the UK, the implementation of this co-ordinated approach across the EU will place common requirements on all travellers from the UK, no matter which country they are visiting.

It could also be used in support of reduced quarantine in those countries which require it.

So – what is a PCR test?

PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction and is a method of testing used to detect infectious disease, including COVID-19.

A PCR test is performed in a laboratory and is indicative of an individual’s COVID status at the time their sample is taken. It does not show previous infection.

Where can I get a COVID PCR test done?

PCR tests are available at Randox Health via an in-clinic appointment, or a home sample collection.

Are home tests accepted as proof of my COVID status?

It is important to note that many countries do not accept ‘home tests’ as proof of a negative COVID-19 result. Results must show that the test was performed in a certified laboratory.

Whilst Randox Health offers a home sample collection kit, all our testing is performed using PCR methods in our certified laboratories.

If the country you are travelling to requires a PCR test result, we’ve got you covered.

How do I know if I need a COVID PCR test?

You can check the entry requirements for your destination at

Requirements are subject to change, so keep checking in the weeks and days leading up to your trip.

When do I take my sample for testing?

Your destination country will determine the time frame required for testing. For example, it may state that your sample needs to be taken and tested within 72 hours before departure / arrival. You cannot be swabbed before this time.

It is best to book / order your test in advance and take it as early as possible within your window, so that you allow for the maximum amount of time to get your test results back.

How long do I wait for my results?

Upon receipt of sample at Randox’s laboratories, you will receive your results within 24 hours.

Our rapid, accurate and reliable COVID-19 testing service will help get your trip off to a hassle-free start, with minimum disruption to your travel plans.

Visit to order your home sample collection kit or book your clinic appointment.

For further information please email or phone 0800 2545 130.


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    We Are Randox | How Courtney became a COVID-19 Scientist and Trainer

    08 October 2020

    We Are Randox | How Courtney became a COVID-19 Scientist and Trainer

    In support of our new £30m COVID-19 laboratories, we are recruiting across Engineering, Manufacturing and Science.

    For an idea of what it’s like to be part of the COVID-19 testing programme at Randox, we spoke to Senior Scientist and Trainer Dr Courtney Ward.

    Courtney spoke to us about what a typical day in our laboratories looks like, the career path she took to her current role, and how it feels to be making a difference in the global fight against COVID-19.

    Name: Dr Courtney Ward

    Job Title: Senior COVID-19 Scientist and Trainer

    Department: COVID-19 Laboratories

    Give a brief outline of your career to date.

    During my undergrad studies, I spent a year working on developing drug delivery technologies for a pharmaceutical company in England. Then during my PhD I worked in the Research Funding team at Cancer Research UK, and subsequently, following the completion of my PhD, at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast.

    My next move led me to Randox, to work on new ways to diagnose a range of diseases.

    What was your favourite subject at school?

    At school I always enjoyed science, and in particular biology. Since a child I have been fascinated with how the human body works and how different diseases can affect this.

    Did you go on to further/higher education, if so what did you study and where?

    I studied for eight years at Imperial College London. This included an undergraduate in Biochemistry, a Masters degree in Structural and Molecular Biology, and finally, a PhD in Structural Biology/Biophysics, for which I studied how bacteria affect human cells during infection.

    How did you get into your area of work?

    As I had previous experience in infectious disease testing, I moved this year into the Randox COVID-19 team to help respond to the urgency of the situation. As our testing capacity, and subsequently our staffing levels, have increased so extensively, I also use my experience to train our new scientists, which is something I really enjoy.

    Is this what you always wanted to do?

    I have always loved science and knew my career would be within this sector. I also enjoy teaching and training, so being a COVID-19 trainer has combined my two favourite roles into one which has been great.

    Were there any particular essential qualifications or experience needed?

    Scientists involved in COVID testing will be exposed to molecular testing techniques including DNA extraction, PCR techniques and Biochip technology, so experience in these areas is advantageous. There are also a number of positions – like accessioning or administration – that do not require a science background and we include all the training needed for these roles.

    What are the main personal skills your job requires?

    For roles in testing, the most important skills are concentration and attention to detail. We deal with 1000s of samples in a shift so it is crucial to manage each one carefully as the results are so important to each individual patient. You also need to be a team player, focused and able to take initiative.

    What does a typical day entail?

    A typical day in our COVID-19 laboratory begins with a handover from the previous shift and then we are assigned our roles for the day. You may spend your day preparing reagents using liquid handling robots, or you may be involved in organising samples along with their corresponding paperwork. It is a varied and exciting role, as things move very quickly in the world of COVID-19 testing.

    What are the best and most challenging aspects of the job?

    The best thing about working in the Randox COVID labs is knowing you are contributing to the national testing effort and therefore making a real difference. Working with a team is great and gives you the chance to meet a lot of new people for a lot of different backgrounds. I also really enjoy seeing new scientists improve in confidence during their training. Seeing them working well on shift gives me great sense job satisfaction.

    The most challenging aspect of COVID testing can be the time pressure, as getting results out to the patient as fast and accurately as possible means teams must work seamlessly together. Similarly with training, we need to ensure we have enough staff to support our testing labs and so this can lead to a lot of new staff needing training which we need to work through quickly and efficiently.

    Why is what you do important?

    COVID-19 has had a huge impact on every aspect of our lives. To be involved in testing, which is absolutely crucial in identifying clusters of infection and reducing further spread, is so important to me and spurs me on to work to the absolute best of my ability.

    What advice would you give anyone looking to follow a similar career path?

    For me, making sure you take any opportunity to further your development is critical, be it the prospect of learning a new technique or method, or the chance to join the fight against COVID-19! I have always jumped at the chance to learn something new and this has set me in good stead for my current role as a trainer.

    If you weren’t doing this what would you like to do?

    If I weren’t involved in laboratory work, I would still carry on my love of science and training, by teaching science. I have always loved teaching, and I tutor in my spare time – to inspire the next generation to study and work in STEM subjects.

    What is the one piece of advice you would give to yourself on your first day?

    Take in as much information as possible – there will be a lot of it! Ask as many questions as you can, particularly if you are unsure of anything.

    Describe your ideal day off.

    Catching up on Real Housewives and taking my dog to the beach for a swim.

    And finally, what’s the key to any successful job search?

    Make sure you read the job description and tailor your CV to each role to which you apply. Make it easy for the employer to see how your skills and experience meet the criteria for the job.

    We are delighted to have Courtney with us at Randox as part of our COVID-19 testing programme.


    For current vacancies at Randox please visit

    For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.

    For further information please email or phone 028 9442 2413.


    Want to know more?

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    New 39-minute COVID test available on Randox-Bosch Vivalytic

    News       About Us       SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Test


    02 October 2020


    New 39-minute COVID test available on Randox-Bosch Vivalytic

    • The world’s fastest PCR based SARS-CoV-2 test for the point of care delivers reliable results in 39 minutes.
    • Has a sensitivity of 98 percent and a specificity of 100 percent.
    • Simultaneous testing of five people with one cartridge by pooling will be available from early October.
    • Work is in progress to further reduce time to result.

    A rapid new coronavirus test, which provides results for Covid-19 in just 39 minutes, is now available on the Vivalytic, a point of care platform brought to market by Randox Laboratories and Bosch.

    The test for detection of the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen, is currently the fastest PCR test (the gold standard of test methods) worldwide, and is predestined for decentralized use in mobile test centres at service stations or in airports, so that people who take the test can obtain a reliable result while at the testing site.

    Available now in Europe, the CE-approved test, which has a sensitivity of 98 percent and a specificity of 100 percent, helps avoid time in quarantine, relieve laboratories, and make travel and work safer again.

    “Rapid and accurate testing plays a crucial role in identifying cases of Covid-19 – to contain any outbreaks and limit the spread of the virus,” says Dr. Heather McMillan, Molecular R&D Manager at Randox Biosciences.

     “This new rapid test will be a game-changer in the coronavirus testing landscape by allowing patients to receive their results at the point of care faster than ever before.”

    Randox and Bosch launched the first rapid test for the Vivalytic analyser at the end of March, after just six weeks’ development.

    As a multiplex test, it simultaneously checks samples for the SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as nine other respiratory diseases in two and a half hours, whereas the new accelerated test is exclusively for SARS-CoV-2.

    “With our different coronavirus tests and variable analysis strategies, we open up a range of testing scenarios with a Vivalytic device – from screening all the way to supporting differential diagnosis for similar symptoms,” says Marc Meier, president of Bosch Healthcare Solutions GmbH.

    And development work for Covid tests on the Vivalytic is ongoing: as of early October 2020, by pooling samples together it will be possible to simultaneously evaluate five samples in one test cartridge and at a comparable speed – a world first.

    This will increase available testing capacity, by enabling fully automated processing of more than 160 samples a day using a Vivalytic device.

    Key Benefits of SARS-CoV-2 test on Vivalytic point of care platform

    The advantages of the rapid SARS-CoV-2 test on Vivalytic lie not only in speedy analysis, but also in ease of use. A sample is taken from the nose or throat using a swab, and placed in the test cartridge. Then the cartridge, which contains all the reagents required for the test, is inserted into the Vivalytic device for automated analysis.

    • Turnaround time of 39 mins from sample entry to result.
    • The SARS-CoV-2 rapid test has recently received CE marking.
    • The SARS-CoV-2 pooling test can run up to 5 samples on-board one single cartridge.
    • Easy 4-step user-friendly process from sample entry to result. Minimal training required.
    • Detection from real-time PCR from Nasopharyngeal and/or Oropharyngeal swab.
    • Suitable for use in any laboratory and non-laboratory settings.

    The development of the new Vivalytic PCR singleplex test is part of a research and development project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

    For more information please contact





    Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulates Randox

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    Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulates Randox in House of Commons 22 Sep 2020

    On Tuesday 22nd September 2020, in the House of Commons, Prime Minster Boris Johnson congratulated Randox for our vital role at national level in helping to deliver the Government’s testing programme.

    The statement from the Prime Minister came in response to Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP, who asked the Prime Minister if he would commend Randox for the work we have done. Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP said;

    Randox has committed 99% of its Covid testing capacity to that programme and on 19th September they successfully reported almost 10,000 samples beyond the recommended daily rate.

    The Prime Minister responded by saying;

    I do indeed congratulate Randox and all the other businesses involved and we are massively expanding testing the whole time.  

    Many thanks again for your ongoing support.

    Our staff are our best asset and we salute your hard work and commitment.

    For further information please email

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    Matt Hancock pays tribute to Randox staff in House of Commons

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    Matt Hancock thanks Randox staff in House of Commons 21 September 2020

    On Monday 21st September 2020, in the House of Commons, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, personally thanked Randox staff for the role we play within the National Testing Programme.

    He said;

    Randox deliver a very significant number of tests every single day – a growing number – in fact, they are currently outperforming the allocation we have asked them to deliver and I pay tribute to every single person who works at Randox for the work that they have done and the part that they have played in keeping people safe.

    Because everyone who gets a Randox test result, like every other test result, gets more information with which they can keep themselves safe and we have more information with which we can try to keep the whole of society safe.

    Our work has greatly expanded the capacity for testing in the UK and we will continue to ramp up our capabilities, to both save lives and promote a timely return to a more normal society.

    We thank our staff for their ongoing support, and for their commitment to the work that we do, which is making a real and positive difference.

    For further information please email

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    Randox response to Sunday Times Article 20 September 2020

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    STATEMENT FROM RANDOX: 20 September 2020

    Key Points:

    • Randox has committed 99% of its Covid-19 testing capacity to the national testing programme.
    • Randox are fully committed to the national testing programme and robustly refute accusations within today’s Sunday Times.
    • On 19th September Randox successfully reported to the national programme almost 10,000 samples beyond its committed daily rate.
    • The majority of samples which are voided at Randox are down to logistical reasons outside Randox’s control. Samples voided at Randox’s laboratories are comparable to other laboratories across the programme.  Every voided sample is properly accounted for.
    • Randox does not prioritise private samples over comparable samples within the testing programme.
    • Randox staff have performed extraordinarily well and are our strongest asset.
    • All Randox investment in rapidly increasing capacity to the national testing programme has been through its own private resources.

    Randox are fully committed to supporting the national Covid-19 testing programme and fully recognise the importance of this work to the economic and social well-being of the nation.   We have made significant private investment to increase capacity and drive process improvements.  We work very closely with all partners within the programme to ensure the most effective possible testing.

    Randox robustly refutes accusations in today’s Sunday Times (Sunday 20th September 2020) that private samples are prioritised over comparable samples within the national testing programme.

    This is a gross mis-representation of the facts on the ground with regard to its processes.

    We reiterate that Randox does not prioritise private samples over comparable samples from the national testing programme.

    Once processed into Randox’s laboratories the vast majority of all samples are reported on within 24 hours. It is inaccurate and unreliable to claim that Randox has completed fewer than one in 10 tests on time.  In fact Randox is successfully meeting and exceeding the capacity requirements agreed with Government and fulfilling its contractual obligations.  Moreover Randox is successfully reporting above our commitment to Government for the national testing programme.

    On average the Randox void rate is comparable across the programme. It is important to note that whilst all laboratories conduct the voiding  of samples, the reason for the voiding most frequently lies outside the laboratory – normally user or logistic type issues.  It is extremely inaccurate and misleading to claim that Randox, or indeed any laboratory,  voids samples without explanation.

    Every sample is receipted in accordance with stipulated, formal procedures and processed accordingly. This includes cross-referencing every sample barcode electronically with the national registration database. Every sample is appropriately accounted for and samples will only be voided if, due to the quality of the sample, the results could not be guaranteed as reliable. Every sample is fully assessed and if voided is allocated a formal reason for void, and all void statistics are reported daily to Government for further analysis.

    It is important to note that Randox is not responsible for the sample logistics of the national programme and, as requested by the national programme, often receives samples in excess of daily capacity to report on within the following days.  This is manageable given the time that samples remain valid.

    Randox is a private sector diagnostics company, has been in operation since 1982 and operates in 145 countries across the globe. As such Randox have experience of a wide range of public and private sector responsibilities. Randox takes great care in meeting all of its contractual obligations and fully recognises the critical importance of meeting those obligations with regard to the national testing programme.

    Randox does not prioritise commercial work ahead of other work streams.

    As stated to the Sunday Times, staffing levels are not an issue and holidays have not impacted on throughput – Randox is currently successfully above our commitment to government.

    We reiterate that Owen Paterson MP has played no role in securing any Randox contract with DHSC.

    Randox staff have been extraordinary in their commitment and dedication in meeting unparalleled need at a time of national crisis, often in the face of ill-informed and misplaced criticism.  We salute our staff.

    Press enquiries should be emailed to 


    Randox in the media

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    Vacancies available in support of the COVID-19 National Testing Programme

    17 September 2020

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    Vacancies available in support of the COVID-19 National Testing Programme

    Vacancies available in support of the COVID-19 National Testing Programme

    There’s no doubt that coronavirus is having a devastating effect across the globe.

    But here in Northern Ireland there’s a company making a real impact in the fight against COVID-19. And you can be part of it.

    Randox Laboratories, in County Antrim, has partnered with the government on its programme for coronavirus testing across Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.

    The programme, which in its first few weeks was focused primarily on staff working within the NHS, and then on key workers, is now available to anyone living across the UK who has symptoms of coronavirus.

    Randox are providing high volume laboratory testing of potential COVID-19 samples in its laboratories at the Randox Science Park in Antrim.

    It’s an enormous task, but one that Randox is well-equipped to handle. In 2019, Randox manufactured over 3 billion tests and exported to 145 countries. Its new headquarters, the result of a £161 million investment, houses state-of-the-art laboratories and the latest innovations in health diagnostic technology.

    The company stepped up to support the government’s testing programme without hesitation.

    Across the COVID-19 testing process, a multi-disciplinary team work collaboratively and assiduously to provide optimal support to the national response to COVID-19.

    It begins with the production of Randox’s Biochip, a patented testing technology which can run multiple diagnostic tests simultaneously.

    Upon identifying the latest strain of coronavirus as a significant global threat, and by drawing on almost 40 years of experience as a world-leading diagnostics company, Randox developed a new Biochip for the diagnosis of COVID-19 in a greatly accelerated time frame of just two weeks. The new Randox Biochip processes two coronavirus tests simultaneously – one specific and one confirmatory – as recommended by the World Health Organisation.

    The firm’s team of talented scientists continue to develop these COVID-19 Biochips on an unparalleled scale, in preparation for testing of samples from across the UK.

    Meanwhile, specialist engineers design and build the coronavirus testing platforms used to conduct the tests when they arrive at the laboratory.

    Randox recently announced it was hiring 160 mechanical, electrical and manufacturing engineers to work on the fast-tracked development of newly designed molecular analysers used to detect the presence of COVID-19.

    And the company is also recruiting for positions in Manufacturing and Science, and in particular scientists who have experience in a diagnostic laboratory, in support of Randox’s role within the government testing programme for COVID-19.

    These scientists will be exposed to molecular testing techniques including DNA extraction, PCR techniques and Biochip technology, in order to process samples that arrive at the laboratory for testing.

    Everyone at Randox has a vital role to play in the practical application of COVID-19 testing.  For Scientists, Engineers and those with experience in Manufacturing, Randox’s recruitment drive is a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in the fight against COVID-19.  Successful applicants will contribute directly both to saving lives and assisting the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    To find out more about the positions available for Randox’s COVID-19 testing project, visit

    Want to know more about Randox?

    Contact us or visit our homepage to view more.

    Our COVID-19 Products and Services





    Randox response to Sunday Times Article 13 September 2020

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    STATEMENT FROM RANDOX: 13 September 2020

    Randox analyse samples and provide Covid-19  test results through the national portal as efficiently as possible, and those tested will receive their results by text and email.    The vast majority of those tested will receive negative or positive results.

    Otherwise, a small minority of samples may be voided for reasons such as leaking or damaged tubes, or have time expired.  Those being tested are made aware that samples only remain valid for a limited period once collected, and those periods of validity are fully understood across the planning and logistic process. Randox have no responsibility for the logistics of sample delivery to laboratories.

    Should samples enter the laboratory outside that period the results could not be relied upon; the sample could give a false result and would be voided.  In all void circumstances individuals are advised by the national program to seek a retest.  Randox, and the Government planners, take every precaution possible to minimise voids, understanding that each sample is of critical importance.

    A test can only be voided once it is processed and reviewed within our laboratory system, including cross referencing each barcode electronically with the national registration database.

    Randox Laboratories are committed to supporting the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and play an important role in national network of Pillar 2 (outside the NHS) laboratories testing those who may be currently infected with Covid-19.  Such testing is critical to the timely identification and containment of Covid-19 outbreaks and to reduce further spread.   It is acknowledged that the success of the testing program is essential to the social and economic well-being of the nation.

    To support our operations Randox liaise very closely with Government planners responsible for the national collection and distribution of samples, and have built an additional 30,000 square feet of laboratory space and employed many more staff in order to increase capacity.  At the time of writing further increases in capacity are being implemented and planned.  Decisions on sample distribution across the Pillar 2 laboratory network are made at a national level.

    Randox remain committed to effective and timely Covid-19 testing at scale –  this is work of national importance.

    Press enquiries should be emailed to 

    Randox in the media

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    Randox selected to screen travellers to the UAE for Covid-19

    02 September 2020

    Randox selected to screen travellers to the UAE for Covid-19

    Randox Laboratories selected to screen travellers to the UAE for Covid-19, with six sample collection centres across the United Kingdom and Ireland

    Randox Laboratories has been selected by Pure Health, the largest laboratory network in the UAE, to test airline passengers flying into the United Arab Emirates, in accordance with the UAE’s requirement for travellers to prove they are not infected with Covid-19. Pure Health has been appointed by the UAE’s government to launch this pioneering project to promote safe travel.

    “We are delighted to support Pure Health in their efforts to control the Covid-19 pandemic and facilitate safe travels for passengers flying into the UAE,” said David Adamson, Randox Laboratories, Business Development Manager.

    “As one of the largest diagnostic facilities in UK, we are ideally placed to successfully deliver this ambitious initiative, and we are grateful for the trust placed in us.”

    Randox Laboratories has already set up six collection centres across United Kingdom and Ireland. The programme is already up and running in London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Belfast, Antrim and Dublin.

    “The UAE has trusted Pure Health with safeguarding it against any incoming Covid-19 threats, worldwide, this responsibility requires us to ensure we only partner with verified and accredited facilities around the world, thus why we have partnered with Randox Laboratories, to ensure that the screening process is of the highest quality and to ensure an excellent customer service for the travellers.” said Maria El Houari, International Passenger Screening Project Manager at Pure Health.

    The UAE issued regulations that require all travellers flying into the UAE to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test. Travellers without such a certificate are refused entry into the flight.

    The system is similar to the ESTA process in the United States. The traveller visits, chooses a testing location, selects a time slot, and completes the test at the agreed time and place. Test results are then transmitted to the UAE authorities, who use the data to cross-check arriving travellers against the border control database.

      For further information please email

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      Dr Peter FitzGerald: “Nothing will ever be the same again.”

      Dr Peter FitzGerald: Nothing will ever be the same again.

      An Interview with Ulster Business Editor John Mulgrew in The Belfast Telegraph, in which Dr FitzGerald speaks to John about developing and helping roll out millions of tests for Covid-19, a forever changed society, the high likelihood of a similar pandemic returning and when a vaccine for the virus could be found.

      Dr Peter FitzGerald’s expertise and opinion has probably never been taken as seriously as it has in the last few months.

      “Nothing will be the same again,” he tells Ulster Business. And, of course, he’s right.

      His firm Randox – based in Antrim – has been on the front line of testing for Covid-19 right across the UK and beyond. And as a result, he’s hired hundreds of new staff and built a £30m testing lab to deal with additional deluge of work resulting from a global pandemic unlike anyone here has ever seen.

      “I think there is a reasonable chance there will be more pandemics, with globalisation and increased population,” he told Ulster Business. “I have no idea how much it will come back again in second wave.

      “We know we have the capacity as a company to respond, and respond well. I suspect the country is going to be better prepared… it’s hard to predict.”

      The medical testing giant’s first involvement with the current coronavirus strain began back in January, before it became an increasingly concerning dinner conversation in homes across Northern Ireland.

      “In late January, research called and were looking at doing a test,” Peter said. “We downloaded the genetic sequence of the virus and spent the next two weeks developing a test. We can do it very quickly, as we already had coronaviruses on chip.

      “It was sent to Public Health England, which took a while to prove it. We then got a contract to test for the NHS… we were doing what we thought was for the national good.”

      The initial deal didn’t include all of the UK, but Randox is now also testing Northern Ireland.

      “We do the testing and we have different analysers that do the testing as well, which we sell to labs across the world.”

      The virus has led to a new complete lab being built (in which Peter is pictured in) to deal with the additional testing. “We decided to accelerate the manufacturing in our Randox Science Park in Antrim,” he says.

      As a result, it has hired around 200 staff in the space of six to eight weeks to deal with the surge.

      “Because we had closely related strains of the virus, it was wasn’t so difficult to modify our tests to allow for slightly different variations… once we got the contract we soon realised that we didn’t have enough lab space to deal with the ramp up.

      “We then decided to be 33,000 sq ft of new lab space, and it was needed in three weeks. We got that done – work was 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. It’s now operating well. That has been very important in the process.”

      Randox had a workforce of around 1,450 worldwide before the coronavirus crisis began, but has since taken on around 280 additional staff for a range of roles, partly in ramping up demand for the additional testing.

      “A lot were being taken on a temporary basis but many will be permanent. We are not sure of the final numbers, but well over 100.” Those roles include scientists, manufacturers, and engineers.

      “Nothing will be the same again,” Peter says. “What it has done is heightened the importance of testing. People sometimes don’t know what we do here at Randox… but people now realise.

      “In the end, it’s a good thing. We are advocates of testing. It identities disease before symptoms occur and can save lives in many occasions. It saves lives and saves costs. It fits in with what we have been trying to do for years… as far as we are concerned, it’s the silver lining.

      “We have customers worldwide and other products kept going. We moved around 100 scientists into Covid-related things and then they have gone back to normal jobs as we bring in new people.

      “Some of our R&D projects have changed, new systems and new analysers allow for efficient and accurate testing.”

      Peter says that just a small element of the business has seen a decrease amid the crisis, while other areas around Covid-19 have grown. “Only a small element of core business decreased. But our Covid and other genetic products have increased… overall sales will be up and by end of year normal business up as well.”

      As a result of the latest expansion and growth across the business, generally speaking, Peter says the workforce looks set to climb to 1,650, with around 500-600 based at its main headquarters, just outside Antrim.

      Peter’s also keen to reiterate the importance of Northern Ireland and its people to Randox. “This is our home base. It’s where we do our primary R&D and manufacturing. We also have a facility in Donegal.”

      And, could all of this happen again soon, with a further outbreak or a similarly devastating strain or pandemic?

      “(We are) more prepared and our technology is getting more accepted through bio chips. Early detection is a very important next stage. You don’t want people who have a cough or fever to think they have Covid all the time. That is where testing comes in and that differentiates.”

      Peter says the next stop forward in a bid to address similar future incidents it also understanding how our immune systems work – better.
      “The other major step forward in many ways is understanding the immune system better. How to better respond to infection. This will be very important.

      “Some people are susceptible, and this could be genetic. (It’s about) working on certain genes in those who may have a bad attack. It will prepare humans better, the body’s defence, dealing with it as well.

      “I have a deficiency in a particular gene which means I’m more susceptible to respiratory (conditions) but the spin-off of the gene means I’m less susceptible to certain cancers. This is the issue – it is so complex. One could be a strength and one moment, a weakness.”

      And as for the formulation of a proven vaccine, Peter says: “I would say it would be well into next year.”

        For further information please email

        Photo Credit Elaine Hill

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