When to ask for a test
You need to have the test in the first 5 days of having symptoms.
It’s best to ask for the test in the first 3 days, as it may take a day or two to arrange.
What the test involves
The test usually 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 or someone can do it for you.
Will I get a test?
There is very high demand for tests at the moment.
People in hospital and essential workers, including NHS and social care staff, are getting priority.
Even if you are successful in requesting a test, we cannot guarantee you will get one. It depends on how many tests are available each day in different parts of the country.
How do I ask for a test?
You can ask for a test online.
We’ll ask you:
- how you want to get the test – you may be able to choose between driving to a regional testing site or getting a home test kit
- for details such as your name, mobile phone number and address