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Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information and advice

Laboratory (PCR) tests

If you are having to isolate as a close contact of someone who’s tested positive (and you’re not exempt from isolation), or have any of these 3 coronaviruses (COVID-19) symptoms below, you will need to get a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test as soon as possible:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed

If you’re not sure about different test types, you can find out which COVID-19 test you should get.

Get or book your PCR test

PCR tests are free. The GOV.UK website gives instructions about how to get your test, and what you should do immediately to avoid spreading the virus.

Get a PCR test

How to take the test

Step-by-step instructions on how to take a PCR test are available on the GOV.UK website. These include versions in large print, easy read and translations into in other languages.

View instructions on how to take a PCR test
Extra help for people with a visual impairment
If you are blind or partially sighted and need to get a coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR test, RNIB can help by providing you with the home test kit instructions in braille, audio (CD), or large print.


Alternatively, you can download the Be My Eyes App to seek live video assistance from specially trained NHS Test and Trace staff.