PCR Test Vs. Rapid Antigen Test, What are the Difference?

As more people are getting vaccinated every day in the UK, efforts to curb the coronavirus are also increased since people continue to contract the virus with the government’s easing of lockdowns in different places.

Standard practices such as thermal scanning and health interviews are still the norm, plus the heavy dependence on COVID-19 testing in identifying people that might need immediate care. Airline companies tap on health care providers in helping them issue fit to fly COVID certificates in Southampton for travelers who tested negative in their COVID-19 test.

But often ask, with the leading and available tests for coronavirus—PCR test and Rapid Antigen Test—which one should they take should they exhibit symptoms and need to be tested?Here are their difference:


PCR Test

PCR test is also known as RT-PCR test, which stands for reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. This test gained the “gold standard” in detecting SARS-CoV-2 RNA by collecting and analyzing the nasopharyngeal swab specimen from a patient. In less than 24 hours, the results of whether a person tested positive or negative of the virus.


Companies in the UK and countries worldwide encourage people to get tested before going back to work as economies try to resume slowly. PCR tests in Southampton are conducted in authorized testing centers, clinics, and hospitals. 

Rapid Antigen Test

With the Rapid Antigen Test, or “rapid test,” the same procedure is done. Collection of specimens through nasal swabs is also done and is immediately analyzed at a clinic or doctor’s office where it was collected. The rapid test result only takes 20- 30 minutes and is less expensive than the PCR test—the reason companies with a large workforce tend to choose and recommend it to their employees.

To learn more about PCR and Rapid Antigen tests, take a look at this infographic by Harley Medic.

PCR Test Vs. Rapid Antigen Test, what are the difference-02

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