COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test kit instructions: throat and nose test

How to do a rapid throat and nose test for COVID-19 and report the results. Rapid tests show the result on a device that comes with the test.



Check the expiry date before you do the test. Do not use out-of-date tests. Use a test from a box which is still in date.

This coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid throat and nose test comes in a blue and white pack.

This guide tells you how to:

  • prepare the test
  • take a swab sample from yourself or a child
  • process the sample
  • read and report the result

There’s separate information on how to do a PCR home test. This is the test that is sent to a lab to be checked.

Find help to do the test and report your result

To watch a video demonstration and for help with doing the test and reporting results, see how to do a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test.

Published 29 January 2021
Last updated 9 April 2024 + show all updates
  1. Removed the "Step-by-step guide to COVID-19 self-testing for Getein Biotech nose-only test in audio, braille, large print and giant print from RNIB" as it is no longer available.

  2. Added information about checking expiry dates on rapid lateral flow tests.

  3. Added Ukrainian translation.

  4. Updated information to reflect changes in testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) in England.

  5. Added a link to the RNIB website for additional formats, including audio, braille, large print and giant print.

  6. Updated wording to reflect that rapid lateral flow tests are usually for people without symptoms of COVID-19.

  7. Updated information about how to get a test kit and get help with doing the test.

  8. Added updated version of 'Step-by-step guide to COVID-19 self-testing for throat and nose test' (English).

  9. Added information on ordering a rapid lateral flow test. Added Dari, Farsi, Hindi, Pashto and Slovak translations.

  10. Updated guides and translations; amended information about test kit instructions in the details section.

  11. Updated information to make it clear the instructions, translated versions and accessible formats are for rapid throat and nose tests.

  12. Added translation