Regular symptom free testing
Everyone can now access free, rapid coronavirus tests for themselves and their families to use twice a week. Alongside the rollout of the vaccine, regular testing is going to be an essential part of the easing of restrictions as it will help quickly suppress the spread of variants.
(If you have symptoms you must self isolate immediately and book at PCR test)
What is rapid testing
Rapid testing is a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19, but who may still be spreading the virus. Taking a rapid test (also called a Lateral Flow Test or LFT) involves taking a sample from the back of the throat near the tonsils and from the nose, using a swab. The swab is dipped into an extraction solution. This is then dripped on to the device's paper pad, producing the reaction that gives the result. The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes. Those who test positive must immediately self-isolate to avoid passing the virus on to others.
Why should I get tested
Around one in three people who test positive for Covid-19 have no symptoms at all, so it’s important to test people without symptoms to identify these cases. Rapid testing detects cases quickly, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately. A negative result means the test did not find signs of coronavirus. But this does not guarantee you do not have coronavirus, so you should keep following all coronavirus advice including:
- regular handwashing
- social distancing
- wearing a face covering where recommended
Where can I collect tests from
- You can collect home testing kits at your local test site during specific test collection time windows
- A new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service is also launching, where people aged over 18 without symptoms will be able to visit a participating local pharmacy and collect a box of 7 rapid tests to use twice a week at home - find your nearest site