Getting tested for coronavirus (COVID-19)

There are 2 different coronavirus tests. One tells you if you have coronavirus now, the other tells you if you’ve had it before.

Find out if you have coronavirus now

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms can get a test. Coronavirus symptoms are:

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

Get a free NHS test to check if you have coronavirus.

Tests for people who don’t have symptoms

Your local council, workplace, university or school may offer you a rapid lateral flow test even if you don’t have symptoms.

Sites are being set up where people without symptoms can take tests.

During national lockdown, some local councils are prioritising people who can’t work from home.

Find out if your area offers rapid lateral flow test sites.

If you run a business that employs 50 or more people, you can register to order tests for employees who cannot work from home. Your business must be registered in England.

Care home residents or staff

There’s a separate testing service for care home residents or staff members. You can still get tested even if you do not 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. ​

Antibody testing to check if you’ve had coronavirus before

Antibody tests are to help the NHS and scientists learn more about who has already had the virus and how it has spread in the UK.

Free NHS antibody tests are only available to some people. This depends on:

  • where you live (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland)
  • what job you do

Find out more about antibody testing.