Information linked to COVID-19 Symptoms and Testing

Main symptoms 

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:


  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal


Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.



Check your symptoms - 



You can have a test (swab test) to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) now. You can choose to take the test:


  • at a test site near you today
  • with a home test kit


This service is for people in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.




Who can get a test? 


Anyone with coronavirus symptoms can get a test.


Coronavirus symptoms are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste


You can get a test for someone you live with if they have these symptoms. Do not get tests for people you live with who do not have these symptoms.



Important notice - 


Only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested.

Do not use this service to get a test in order to travel to another country. You can pay for a private test.

This will help make sure people who need a test can get one.



When to get a test 


If you have symptoms, get a test as soon as possible. You need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms.


Book a visit to a test site to have the test today. Or order a home test kit if you cannot get to a test site.


On days 1 to 4 of your symptoms, you can get tested at a site or at home. If you're ordering a home test kit on day 4, do it by 3pm.


On day 5, you need to go to a test site. It's too late to order a home test kit.


If you are not able to get a test in the first 5 days of having symptoms, you and anyone you live with must stay at home (self-isolate). Anyone in your support bubble must also stay at home.



Book a test 


To book a test online please use the link below - 


Call 119 to get a test if you have problems using the internet.



What the test involves


The test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.


You can do the swab yourself (if you are aged 12 or over) or someone can do it for you. Parents or guardians have to swab test children aged 11 or under.

Current dates and locations for mobile testing units
Lateral Flow Tests

Any adults living in households with primary school, secondary school and college age children, including their childcare and support bubbles, are now able to access free  Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) to take twice a week at home.


One in three people who test positive for Covid-19 do not have symptoms and so regular asymptomatic testing continues to be a vital part of our response to managing the virus. This new approach to household testing will also help to support the easing of restrictions set out by the Prime Minister last week, starting with the re-opening of schools and colleges from next week.


As children and young people return to the classroom, we need to be sure that potential Covid-19 cases are found as quickly as possible and that measures are put in place to prevent them from spreading throughout the school community. Although cases are declining generally, we all need to continue to play our part to keep the virus under control and ensure children and young people can remain in education.


LFTs detect cases quickly – in under 30 minutes – meaning anyone who tests positive but who is not showing Covid-19 symptoms will be able to self-isolate immediately and reduce the likelihood of unknowingly spreading the virus further. You can access a free


LFT in a number of ways, including through your employer if they offer testing to employees, at the local LFT site in your district, by collecting a home LFT kit from a test site, or by ordering a home test kit online. More information about these options can be found here:


If you test positive following a LFT, you must inform your child’s school or college and self-isolate along with the rest of your household. You will also be required to take a PCR Covid-19 test to confirm the result. If this happens, your child must remain at home with you during the isolation period and their school/college will provide access to remote education for them. There is support available if you are required to self-isolate, including financial support if you are unable to go out to work or work from home:


If your LFT is negative, this means the test did not find signs of Covid-19. It is vital that, even in this instance, you continue to follow all Covid-19 guidance around handwashing, social-distancing and wearing a face covering if you can, where recommended.


This new regular testing approach for households is designed to minimise the spread of Covid-19 and support the successful return of more learners to face-to-face education. Testing is an additional measure, working in combination with other protective measures that are in place in schools and colleges to help protect students and staff. These measures together will help to support settings to remain a safe place to learn and work and ensure the learning of children and young people is not disrupted.


This new approach is for adults only and this includes a child’s support bubble and childcare bubble. In addition to it, primary, secondary school and college staff are continuing to undertake regular testing. Secondary school and college pupils will also undertake regular testing which will be provided via their school or college. Primary school students are not being offered LFTs at this time but parents and carers should access a PCR Covid-19 test for them via the national booking system if they develop symptoms.

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