Getting tested

Updated 1 April 2022

Free tests for coronavirus from the NHS have now ended for most people in England. A small number of people who are at high risk from coronavirus will still be able to get free tests. You can read more about the new testing guidance from the NHS.

The decisions about who can still get free tests have been made nationally. From 31 March 2022, local authorities will not be involved in providing testing. We will no longer receive supplies of tests to distribute locally. You will be able to purchase LFD (lateral flow device) kits at some pharmacies and other shops if you want to continue testing.

How to stay safe and prevent the spread

Testing is only one part of good infection control. We advise that you continue to follow the guidance at GOV.UK/coronavirus. For example, wash your hands regularly and cover coughs and sneezes. This helps reduce your risk of catching illnesses including coronavirus, colds and flu.

What to do if you have or might have coronavirus

The NHS has produced guidance on what to do if you have or might have coronavirus.

If you have coronavirus, you can pass the virus onto other people for up to 10 days from when your infection starts. Many people will no longer be infectious to others after 5 days.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus or have tested positive, you should try to stay at home and avoid contact with others. You should avoid being in close contact with people at higher risk from coronavirus. The NHS gives advice on how long to stay at home and what to do if you need to go out.

Testing for specific workforces

In line with national guidance, some workforces including NHS and social care staff should continue to test. Supplies of tests for this are being managed centrally by the Department of Health and Social Care and not by local authorities.

Find out more about the government's plan for living with coronavirus.

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