Guidance

How to do a coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow test at home

Find out how to do a rapid lateral flow test for COVID-19 and report the results. Rapid tests are only for people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

How you do the test depends on the test kit you’re using.

The throat and nose test kit has a blue and white pack.

Nose-only test kits have a:

  • green and white pack (Orient Gene)
  • blue and white pack (ACON Flowflex)

Check which pack you have as it may be different to one you’ve had before.

Videos: how to do a rapid test at home

There are separate videos for the throat and nose test, and nose-only tests.

Throat and nose test: blue and white pack

Watch a video demonstration of how to do a throat and nose test (blue and white pack).

Nose-only test: green and white pack (Orient Gene)

Watch a video demonstration of how to do a nose-only test (green and white pack).

Nose-only test: blue and white pack (ACON Flowflex)

Watch a video demonstration of how to do a nose-only test (blue and white pack).

There’s separate information on how to do a PCR test on NHS.UK. This is the type of test you usually do if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

What to do when you get your results

Report all results (positive, negative or void):

  • every time you use a rapid test kit
  • within 24 hours of getting the result

Reporting your results helps scientists track the spread of COVID-19 and spot new outbreaks faster, which helps protect communities.

If you cannot use the online service, call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines).

Lines are open every day, 7am to 11pm. 119 provides support in 200 languages.

InterpreterNow is a free online British Sign Language interpreter service for 119.

Find out what your result means and what you need to do on NHS.UK.

Guides in different formats and languages

There are separate guides for the throat and nose test, and nose-only tests.

English

Find step-by-step guides, including easy read and large print versions:

العربية (Arabic)

:بحث عن أدلة تفصيلية حول إجراء اختبار سريع

বাংলা (Bengali)

দ্রুত পরীক্ষা করার জন্য ধাপে ধাপে নির্দেশিকাগুলি পাবেন এখানে:

中文(简体 (Chinese - Simplified)

查找进行快速测试的分步指南:

ગુજરાતી (Gujarati)

ઝડપી પરીક્ષણ કરવા માટે પગલું-દર-પગલા માર્ગદર્શિકાઓ શોધો:

हिंदी (Hindi)

त्वरित परीक्षण करने के लिए चरण-दर-चरण गाइड प्राप्त करें:

فارسی (Persian)

:افتن راهنماهای گام به گام برای انجام تست فوری

Polski (Polish)

Znajdź przewodniki krok po kroku, jak wykonać szybki test:

ਪੰਜਾਬੀ (Punjabi - Gurmukhi)

ਰੈਪਿਡ ਟੈਸਟ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਕਦਮ-ਦਰ-ਕਦਮ ਗਾਈਡਾਂ ਲੱਭੋ:

پن٘جابی (Punjabi - Shahmukhi)

:اک ریپڈ ٹیسٹ کرن لئی اپنا مرحلہ وار گائیڈ لبھو

Româna (Romanian)

Găsiți ghiduri pas cu pas pentru testele rapide la:

Slovenčina (Slovak)

Nájdete podrobných sprievodcov rýchlym testom:

Soomaali (Somali)

Raadi hagayaasha tallaabo-tallaabo ah si aad u sameyso baaritaan degdeg ah:

Türkçe (Turkish)

Hızlı (rapid) test yapmak için adım adım rehberleri burada bulabilirsiniz:

اردو (Urdu)

:ریپڈ ٹیسٹ کرنے کے لیے قدم بہ قدم رہنما تلاش کریں

Cymraeg (Welsh)

Dod o hyd i ganllawiau fesul cam i gynnal prawf cyflym:

Published 23 December 2020
Last updated 10 August 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added information about the InterpreterNow service and that 119 provides support in 200 languages.

  2. Added information about how to do an ACON Flowflex rapid nose-only test. Updated information about the different types of rapid tests, checking which test you have and reporting your result.

  3. Updated to add information about checking with test you have, the different types of test and how to do a nose-only rapid lateral flow test, including videos and instructions.

  4. Changed page title, summary and body content to make it clear that the instructions are for a rapid later flow tests. Updated information on what to do when you get your result and reporting your results

  5. Added link to the self-test instructions for use and translated versions of it.

  6. First published.