Coronavirus update 30 December 2021: Lateral flow and PCR tests

We are currently receiving large call volumes as residents struggle to order lateral flow and PCR tests.

We advise you to keep checking the GOV.UK website and your local collection points for lateral flow tests. You can check the latest information we have about which libraries have lateral flow tests available on the Essex Libraries website.

If you're having trouble booking a PCR test, the same advice applies – keep checking the GOV.UK website.

Getting tested

If you don't have symptoms

Update 11 January 2021

From 11 January, if you get a positive rapid lateral flow test result, most people will not need to take a PCR test to confirm the result. You can read the full guidance on who should still take a PCR test on GOV.UK. You must self isolate immediately if you get a positive rapid lateral flow test result.

Regular self-testing (twice a week), with lateral flow tests can reduce the spread of infection and stop people unknowingly passing on the virus to others.

These tests are fast and free, and everyone in Essex without symptoms can now order packs of lateral flow tests to do at home. We recommend self-testing twice a week.

How to get a lateral flow test

You can choose to:

If you have the option of getting tested through your workplace, school, college or university, you should continue to do so.

To see the full guidance on who should get tested and how to book a test, visit the NHS website.

If you cannot order online

If you cannot order online, call 119.

If you cannot test yourself

If you have a health condition that makes testing yourself at home difficult, you can now get an assisted test at a number of pharmacies across Essex.

Taking the test and reporting results

You should follow the instructions included with your test kit for taking the test and reporting your results.

If a test result is positive

If you or anyone in your household tests positive:

Self-isolation rules have changed. You will not need to self-isolate in certain situations.

Find out how to get support if you are self-isolating.

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