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Rapid free testing for all adults in England

Self isolation Published Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Everyone in England will be able to access free, regular, rapid coronavirus testing from 9 April, the government has announced.

In a significant step forward, which paves the way for businesses and society reopening, anyone will be able to access free, rapid lateral flow tests (LFDs) for themselves and their families to use twice a week, in line with clinical guidance.

Rapid testing has so far been available to those most at risk and people who need to leave home for work, including frontline NHS workers, care home staff and residents, and schoolchildren and their families. Now rapid testing will be offered to everyone, with people encouraged to take regular tests to help prevent outbreaks and reclaim a more normal way of life.

Getting a rapid test is quick and convenient. The expanded regular testing offer for people without symptoms will be delivered through:

  • a home ordering service, which allows people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home
  • workplace testing programmes, on-site or at home
  • community testing, offered by all local authorities
  • collection at a local PCR test site during specific test collection time windows
  • testing on-site at schools and colleges

A new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service is also launching which will provide an additional route to regular testing. 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.

If testing at home, individuals will need to register their results online or by calling 119. They should self-isolate if positive and order a confirmatory PCR test.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should book a test online or by calling 119.

Find out more on accessing free rapid tests on our website.

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