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 and get your result tomorrow
- with a home test kit
This service is for people in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
There is another test, the antibody test to check if you've had coronavirus. This is not widely available yet.
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.
If you're asked to get a test
You can also get a test if:
- you live in England and have been told to have a test before you go into hospital, for example, for surgery
- your local council asks you to get a test
- you’re taking part in a government pilot project
Only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested.
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.
What is a support bubble?
Get a test now
This service is currently very busy. If you cannot get a test now, or the location or time are not convenient, try again in a few hours.
Get a test online on GOV.UK.
Call 119 to get a test if you have problems using the internet.
If no tests are available online, do not call the helpline to get a test. No extra tests are available through the helpline.
Stay at home if you have symptoms
If you are getting a test because you have symptoms, you and anyone you live with must stay at home until you get your result.
Anyone in your support bubble must also stay at home.
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.
Getting a test for someone else
If other people you live with have symptoms, you can order tests for up to 3 of them.
If you're applying for a test for someone else, and the person is aged 13 or over, check they're happy for you to get a test for them.