Getting tested

I have COVID-19 symptoms. Can I get a test? 

You can get a free NHS COVID-19 test if you have at least one of the following COVID-19 symptoms:

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

This is called a PCR test.

You can book a test for other reasons, for instance if you’ve been asked to get a test by a local Council, or if you need to book a test for someone you live with. For a complete list of who can book a test, please check the Government website.

You may need to get tested if you’re going into hospital for surgery or a procedure. The hospital will arrange this for you. Contact your hospital if you have any questions.

 

When should I get a PCR test?

You should get tested as soon as possible if you have symptoms. You need to have a test done in the first 8 days of having symptoms.

To get tested, you can either visit a test centre of order a home test. At a test centre, you can get tested the same day you book. Test centres in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea are open seven days a week.

Click here to book a free NHS COVID-19 test.

 

I do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Can I get a test?

If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms, you can either get a free PCR test or a free rapid test.

You can get a free PCR test if you meet the following criteria:

  • you’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive
  • you’ve been asked to get a test by a local council or someone from NHS Test and Trace
  • a GP or other health professional has asked you to get a test
  • you’re taking part in a government pilot project
  • you’ve been asked to get a test to confirm a positive result
  • you’ve received an unclear result and were told to get a second test
  • you need to get a test for someone you live with who has symptoms
  • you’re in the National Tactical Response Group

Click here to book a free NHS COVID-19 test.

 

Rapid tests

If you do not meet these criteria, you can get free regular rapid tests to check if you have COVID-19.

About 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms but can still infect others. Getting tested regularly is the only way to know if you have the virus. If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading.

You can do a rapid test at home or at a rapid lateral flow test site.

Click here for more information and to book regular rapid tests.

 

More support and information 

There is more information on getting tested on the Government website.

If you need medical advice about your symptoms, visit the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.