Skip to main content

Regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) tests if you do not have symptoms

You can get regular rapid tests if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Why you should get tested regularly

About 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms but can still infect others.

You should do a rapid test twice a week (every 3 to 4 days) to check if you have the virus. If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading.

About rapid tests

The test for people without symptoms of COVID-19 is called a rapid lateral flow test.

This usually involves rubbing a long cotton bud (swab) over your tonsils (or where they would have been) and inside your nose.

The tests can give you a result in 30 minutes. They use a device similar to a pregnancy test and do not need to be sent to a lab.

You can do a rapid test at home or at a rapid lateral flow test site.

If you test positive, you and anyone you live with will need to self-isolate.

Who can get regular rapid tests

Anyone who does not have symptoms can now get regular rapid lateral flow tests to check for COVID-19.

Information:

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you need a different test called a PCR test. Get a PCR test if you have symptoms of COVID-19 on GOV.UK

How to get regular rapid tests

Order tests online

You can get a pack of 7 rapid tests sent to your home.

If you do tests at home, you'll need to report your results online or on the phone.

Collect tests to do at home

You can collect up to 2 packs of 7 rapid tests from a local pharmacy or test site.

If you do tests at home, you'll need to report your results online or on the phone.

Go to a test site

You can get tested at a rapid lateral flow test site.

If you go to a test site:

  • you may need an appointment, so check before you go
  • a trained helper might be able to help you do the test
  • you'll get a text or email with the result when it's ready

School, college and nursery testing

If you attend or work at a school, college or nursery you can get rapid tests through your school, college or nursery.

If you're in a childcare or support bubble with someone who attends or works at a school, college or nursery, you can get a rapid test at a rapid lateral flow test site or order tests to do at home.

You're advised to do a test twice a week.

Primary school-age children and younger do not need to test.

Employee and university testing

Some employers and universities offer rapid tests. Ask your employer or university if they provide rapid tests.

Page last reviewed: 13 May 2021
Next review due: 27 May 2021