Apply for a Coronavirus test

Who can apply for a test?

The new government campaign urges everyone to get tested twice a week. 

Alongside the roll-out of the vaccine, regular testing is an essential part of the easing of restrictions, helping identify variants and stopping individual cases from becoming outbreaks. 

  • Anyone can now access free, rapid lateral flow tests for themselves and their families to use twice a week, in line with clinical guidance.

When to apply for a test

Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not experience any symptoms and may be spreading the virus unwittingly. Rapid testing detects cases quickly, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately, and by making rapid tests available to everyone, more cases will be detected, breaking chains of transmission and saving lives. This means you can apply for the two rapid tests at any time.

If you are experiencing symptoms, then you must order a PCR test kit

How do I ask for a test?

Getting a rapid test is quick. Regular, rapid testing will be delivered through:

  • 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 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test site during specific test collection time windows
  • testing on-site at schools and colleges
  • collection from participating pharmacies

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

Apply for a PCR coronavirus test