Not sure whether you should have a coronavirus test? The following frequently asked questions set out when you should have have a test and also when you should self-isolate.
I have symptoms that I think may be coronavirus what should I do?
If you have any coronavirus-like symptoms, even just one, you must isolate immediately for 10 days (don’t wait for a test or a test result before doing so) and then book a test. The test needs to be done in the first five days of having symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
The main coronavirus symptoms are:
- A high temperature
- A new continuous cough
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
Most people with the infection will have at least one of these.
Who shouldn’t have a test?
People who do not have symptoms should not have a test. You will also hear this referred to as being asymptomatic. Remember: If you take a test and you don’t need one you are taking it away from someone who might need it.
Can I have a test under any other circumstances?
Sometimes you may be asked to have a test. You may be asked to have a test before you go into hospital, if your local council asks you to have one or you are taking part in a government pilot.
Can I order a test to keep just in case?
No. You should not stockpile tests for future use.
I’ve had a test. How long will it take for me to get my results?
Most people will get their results in 48 hours.
My test result is negative, can I stop self-isolating?
A negative test result does not always mean you can end isolation early. This will depend on whether you were told to self-isolate by the NHS test-and-trace service.
Read “Negative test result” on the NHS website.
Someone I live with/someone in my support bubble has tested positive or has symptoms, should I have a test?
Only if you have symptoms. However, you do need to self-isolate with them for 14 days whilst they wait for results and you must complete the full period of self-isolation.
I have been in contact with someone who has tested positive what should I do?
If you are identified as a contact of a positive case you must isolate for the full 14 days. Only get a test if you develop symptoms. If you have a test and it is negative you should still complete the full 14-day isolation.
A pupil at my child’s school has tested positive, should my child now get tested?
They should only get a test if they develop symptoms. You can find full NHS guidance on coronavirus on this NHS page