You can have a swab test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) now.

Who can get a free test

You can only get a free NHS test if at least one of the following applies:

  • you have a high temperature
  • you have a new, continuous cough
  • you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed
  • you’ve been asked to by a local council
  • you’re taking part in a government pilot project

You can also get a test for someone you live with if they have symptoms.

If you’re going into hospital

You may need to get tested if you’re due to have surgery or a procedure.

The hospital will arrange this for you. Contact your hospital department if you have any questions. ​

Who cannot get a free test

You cannot get a free NHS test unless you have symptoms, have been asked to by your local council live in England and have been told to by your hospital, or are taking part in a government pilot project.

This applies even if:

  • you live with someone who has coronavirus
  • you’ve had close contact with someone who has coronavirus
  • you’ve come to the UK from a high risk country
  • you’re planning to leave the country
  • your employer or school has asked you to get a test

You can pay for a private test. Do not use this service.

When to get a test

If you have symptoms, get a test as soon as possible.

Book a visit to a test site to have the test today. Test sites are open 7 days a week. Order a home test kit if you cannot get to a test site.

England and Northern Ireland

You need to get the test done in the first 8 days of having symptoms.

On days 1 to 7, you can get tested at a site or at home. If you’re ordering a home test kit on day 7, do it by 3pm.

On day 8, you need to go to a test site – it’s too late to order a home test kit

Scotland and Wales

You need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms.

On days 1 to 4, you can get tested at a site or at home. If you’re ordering a home test kit on day 4, do it by 3pm.

On day 5, you need to go to a test site – it’s too late to order a home test kit.

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