Get a rapid test for Covid-19
Important: if you have symptoms you MUST book a test for symptomatic people. You must not book a rapid test.
Please read this information carefully as there are changes to be aware of if your rapid test is positive
What is Covid-19 rapid testing?
The rapid testing programme is available for anyone who is unable to work from home and needs to leave home for work who does not have any Covid-19 symptoms. As many as one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and may be spreading it without realising.
The aim is to test people who do not have Covid-19 symptoms to identify those who are positive so they can self-isolate. This will stop them from passing on the virus.
How is the test done?
A rapid test (also called a Lateral Flow Test or LFT) detects the presence of Covid-19 by checking a swab you take yourself from the back of your throat and your nose. Results will be available in one to two hours.
Who are these tests for?
Rapid Covid-19 tests are available for adults who live or work in Sandwell and who are unable to work from home and need to leave home for work. You must not book this type of test if you have any Covid-19 symptoms. These tests are only for people without any symptoms.
Booking a rapid test
You can book a test online using the link below. You will need to create a MySandwell account if you do not already have one.
If you are able to book online please do. If you can't book online please call 0121 569 6999, 8.30am - 5pm Monday to Friday.
What happens once you have booked your test
Once you have booked your test and you have the appointment time and date, please read the following information about what to do at the testing location and when you will receive your results.
Test centre location
- Our rapid testing centre is located at West Bromwich Town Hall, High Street, West Bromwich, B70 8DY.
- Parking is available on the pay and display car park behind the Town Hall.
- If you park on the street, please ensure that you park safely and be respectful of local residents.
- You may wish to walk or cycle to the site.
- We would advise against public transport if possible, in case you later test positive. If you do need to use public transport, please stick to social distancing guidance and wear a face covering.
Prior to your test
- You should not eat or drink 30 minutes prior to taking your test.
- You cannot take the test if you have had a nosebleed in the past 24 hours.
What to bring to the test centre
- Arrive no earlier than five minutes before your appointment.
- Please bring a smart phone that is able to read a QR code. If you do not have one, one will be provided to you at the site.
- Please make sure you know your mobile phone number or email address as test results will be sent via text or email within a couple of hours of your test. Without a mobile number or email address, you will not be able to take your test. You can give the mobile number or email address of a family member or friend if you don’t have your own.
- Please bring hand sanitiser with you, although some will be provided at the test site, and wear a face covering (unless you are exempt).
- Do not attend if you have Covid-19 symptoms or are self-isolating for another reason. If you have Covid-19 symptoms, please book a test at one of our other Sandwell sites online or by ringing 119.
At the test centre
- Please enter via the front of West Bromwich Town Hall, unless you have stated that you have mobility issues, are a wheelchair user, or have visual impairment, in which case, please use the back entrance, accessible via Lodge Road.
- If you need to queue please observe the two metre social distancing rule.
- Face coverings must be worn at all times unless you are exempt.
- The test centre will operate a one-way system to manage the flow of people. Please use hand sanitisers on entry and exit of the test site. There is ongoing cleaning of the site.
- One of our test team will check your booking and direct you to the registration point.
- Upon entering the site you will visit the registration desk and receive a test kit, QR code, and three barcodes.
- You will be directed to a booth where you will swab your throat and nose and attach a barcode to the Lateral Flow Device (LFD).
- If you have a nose piercing, you must swab the nostril without the piercing.
- If you have throat issues, swab both nostrils instead.
- A member of staff will take the sample for analysis.
- Below is a video showing you what to do.
After the test
What we do
- Our technician waits 20 to 30 minutes, reads the result on the LFD and marks it.
- The LFD barcode is scanned with the mobile app and the results are entered.
- We will send your results by text to the mobile number or email you gave.
Notification of your result will be shared with Public Health England, NHS Test and Trace and also Sandwell Council.
What you do
- Once the test is handed in, please leave the test site immediately.
- Your results will be sent to you by text or email within an hour or two.
After you receive the test result
- If your test is positive, you will need to return home (not using public transport) and self-isolate along with everyone in your household for 10 days.
- You and everyone in your household must isolate for 10 days.
- You do not need to book another NHS test.
- If someone from your household goes on to also develop symptoms while you are all self-isolating, they should book a test for symptomatic people.
- A negative test result from a rapid test doesn’t automatically mean you don’t have COVID-19. You should continue to follow COVID-19 safety measures:
- Wearing a face covering
- Washing your hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitiser
- Social distance, by keeping at least 2 metres away from others outside your household or bubble.
- If you test negative you do not need to isolate or book an NHS swab test.
- If you develop any Covid-19 symptoms, ensure you book a test for symptomatic people online or by ringing 119.
- Please book to come for another rapid test.
Test results not received
All test results are managed by the national NHS Test and Trace Service. If you do not receive your test results following a test at any of our test locations, please call 119 and provide the advisor with the time, date and venue of your test with your mobile number or email address. If NHS Test and Trace cannot find your test results, you will need to re-book a new test.
Pages in "Get a rapid test for Covid-19"
- You are here Get a rapid test for Covid-19
- Frequently asked questions about rapid Covid-19 testing