Covid 19

Get tested for coronavirus (COVID-19)

There are different tests you can get to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19). The test you need depends on why you're getting tested.

The 2 main tests are:

  • PCR tests - for people with symptoms, they're sent to a lab to be checked
  • Rapid lateral flow tests - for people who do not have symptoms, they give a quick result using a device similar to a pregnancy test
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 

Get a PCR test as soon as possible if you have any of these symptoms, even if mild:

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

Symptoms of the Omicron variant

  • Headache
  • Fatigue (either mild or severe)
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat

Stay at home until you get your test result - only leave your home to have a test. 

Rapid tests if you do not have symptoms

About 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms but can still infect others. Lateral Flow tests help to check if someone has COVID-19. If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading. Research shows rapid tests are a reliable test for COVID-19. They give a quick result and do not need to be sent to a lab. Even if you’re vaccinated, you could still catch the virus or pass it on. Doing rapid tests helps to protect yourself and others.

Other reasons to get tested

If you've been in close contact with someone who's tested positive for COVID-19 and you’re:

  • fully vaccinated or under 18 years and 6 months old you should do daily rapid tests (1 a day for 7 days)

Isolation Period Flowchart