Testing - NHS Test and Trace

Doing the test

The test at any of the test settings 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 (if you are aged 12 or over) or someone can do it for you.

Children aged 11 or under cannot do the swab themselves. Their parent or guardian will have to swab test them.

If you get a home test kit, you will need to do the test and return the kit in the next 48 hours. You will be told how to do this.

If you live with someone who has symptoms, you'll need to self-isolate for 14 days. Call the NHS on 111 for more information.

NHS PCR testing

Test results

Your test results will be texted or emailed to you within 72 hours of your test.

If you test negative for coronavirus (COVID-19)

You and those in your household who have also tested negative no longer need to self-isolate.

If you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, OR you have received a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test result, the clear medical advice is to immediately self-isolate at home for at least 7 days from when your symptoms started. The members of your household will need to self-isolate for 14 days. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Information and support

You’ll be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service by email, text, or phone within 24 hours of your positive test result and you'll be asked where you've been recently and who you've been in close contact with. This will help the NHS contact anyone who may have caught the virus from you.

More information on what to expect if you have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

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