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.
The tests detailed below are available for anyone. You can collect rapid tests from a number of pharmacies to use at home.
These home testing kits are for people aged 18 or over who do not have symptoms to use twice a week. Find your local pharmacy where you can pick up home tests.
What is Covid-19 rapid testing?
The rapid testing programme is available for anyone 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 everyone. You must not have this type of test if you have any Covid-19 symptoms. These tests are only for people without any symptoms.
Below is a video showing you what to do.
After you receive the test result
- If your test is positive, you will need to self-isolate along with everyone in your household for 10 days.
- You and everyone in your household must isolate for 10 days.
- You must book an 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 take another rapid 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