Coronavirus (COVID-19)
View the latest COVID-19 information and advice, including details of the current lockdown rules and service updates

Carrying out routine testing

Routine Covid-19 testing is now available to all adults and secondary school and college students.

Follow the instructions in your testing kit carefully. A step by step video guide to lateral flow testing is also available.

The testing process is quick and easy and the results will be available after 30 minutes. The instructions will tell you how to report your results and it's important that you do this after every test, even for negative results.

Positive test results

If you get a positive lateral flow test result, you must arrange a PCR test (this is the type of test used for people with symptoms) to confirm the result. 

Everyone in your household, childcare or support bubble should self-isolate until you get the results of your PCR test. If your PCR test result is positive, you must continue to self-isolate as instructed by NHS Test and Trace. If it is negative, you do not need to self-isolate. 

If you have a positive PCR test result, you should not get another PCR test within 90 days unless you have new symptoms. You are also exempt from lateral flow (routine) testing for 90 days from the date of your positive PCR test, but if you do continue to carry out routine testing and get a positive result, you are not exempt from self-isolating.

Support for people who need to self-isolate is available.

Negative test results

A negative lateral flow test result means you can attend work or school as normal, but it's essential that you continue to: 

  • follow the rules of hands, face, space 
  • adhere to any workplace or school safety measures
  • respect local or national restrictions

If you have been told to self-isolate, a negative test result does not mean that you can end your self-isolation period early. By law, you must complete the full self-isolation period as instructed by NHS Test and Trace. Support is available for those who need it.

If you have symptoms

Lateral flow test kits should not be used by people who are showing symptoms of Covid-19 (a new or continuous cough, high temperature or change in taste or smell).

If you start to experience symptoms, you must arrange a PCR test straight away, even if you have recently had a negative lateral flow test result.

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