Coronavirus (COVID-19): Get a test if you do not have symptoms

You may be able to access coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in your area even if you:

  • do not have symptoms
  • have not been asked to book a test for a specific reason

Around 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus do not have symptoms. Regular testing for people with no symptoms will help to stop the virus spreading.

Which coronavirus test you’ll be offered

The test mainly being used for people without symptoms is a lateral flow device (LFD).

LFD tests detect proteins in coronavirus. They’re simple and quick to use, so are sometimes called rapid tests.

Rapid LFD tests are being used in:

  • local community testing sites
  • workplaces
  • universities and colleges

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, do not attend a community testing walk-in site. Book a PCR test instead.

How to access testing

You can get tested at a community testing site if you do not have coronavirus symptoms.

Most community testing sites are walk-in and you do not need to book in advance. Please check with your local site.

What to expect at community testing sites (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn9uy_dIHnE)

Watch this short video to find out what to expect when you attend a community testing site. Sites may vary slightly by local area.

Watch a British Sign Language (BSL) version of this video

Test results

You’ll get your test result by text or phone, usually around an hour after taking a test.

Positive result

If you have a positive rapid LFD test result, you should have a PCR test to confirm the result within 48 hours. You and the people you live with should follow the guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection immediately from receiving the rapid LFD result.

Book a PCR test

You can only end isolation after a positive rapid LFD test result if your PCR test result is negative.

Negative result

Even if you’ve had a negative result, it’s important to follow physical distancing advice.

Further information