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Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information and advice

Rapid (lateral flow) testing for everyone

Around one in three people with coronavirus do not have symptoms. They can spread the virus without knowing it. Getting tested is the only way to know if you have the virus.

Getting into the habit of twice-weekly testing as part of our everyday lives will help us all to play our part, and do what we can to keep each other safe. Regular testing alongside the vaccine will ensure we can continue to ease our way out of lockdown.

You can now get a twice-weekly rapid test (also known as a lateral flow test) in any of the following ways:

Through your school, college, or university or workplace (if they offer testing to employees)

Contact your employer, school, college, or university to find out if they can offer rapid testing to you.

At a local community test site

Testing at these local sites is assisted, which means a trained helper can provide help with doing the test. You can book an appointment or you can just turn up. Do check opening times before you go. You will get a text or email with your results.

You can also pick up test kits to test yourself at home from the community test sites. If you haven’t had a rapid test before we recommend going to a test site first for an assisted test.

Find out more about community testing and book an appointment on our web page.

Collect a home test kit

You can collect packs of two home test kits at a local collection point and each pack contains seven tests.

  • Anyone 18 or over can collect a test kit
  • You can check online if the location is open or busy before you go
  • You do not need to make an appointment

Find your local collection site

Order a home test kit online

If you can't get tested at your workplace or you're unable to go to a test site or collect test kits, order a home test kit online for delivery to your home.

What twice-weekly testing involves

If you do tests at home you are asked to:

If you test positive:

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, wearing a face covering, and social distancing.

Find out more information on your test result on the NHS website.

If you have coronavirus symptoms, you need a different test called a PCR test. Get a PCR test if you have coronavirus symptoms on GOV.UK or call 119.