Symptoms of coronavirus

Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus, including children under 5 years old, should immediately self-isolate and access a test as soon as possible. 

How to get tested

General public

If you have symptoms, or are living with someone with symptoms, you can access a test through the national testing programme.

All appointments must be booked in advance.

Book a test on the NHS website

You'll be able to choose how to have your test from one of the following, if available:

  • at a drive-through regional testing site, our nearest is Ebbsfleet
  • at a mobile testing unit, locations on any given day will appear as part of the online booking service
  • a test kit delivered to your home

If you have questions about bookings phone the national helpline on 0300 303 2713. 

Essential workers

You can book a self-swab coronavirus test if you have symptoms and you:

  • are an essential worker
  • live with an essential worker (this includes children of essential workers who are over the age of five)

NHS and care workers can take the test with or without symptoms.

Find out how to book a coronavirus test for essential workers.

Care home staff and residents

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has launched a new portal for care homes to arrange coronavirus testing.

All care home staff and residents are eligible for testing, with priority for those in homes that look after people aged 65 and over.

Social care staff with symptoms can apply for a test using the government's existing testing portal.

NHS, health and social care workers

Find out how all NHS, health and social care workers can access tests.

Test results

The government aims to provide results within 48 hours of taking a test, but some results may take longer.

You’ll get your results by text, email or phone. The message will advise you about what to do next.

NHS test and trace

The NHS test and trace service aims to help contain and control coronavirus. Anyone with symptoms will be tested and their close contacts will be traced.

New guidance means those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive must isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms, to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.

Sharing your details

When you visit some of our tourist sites or buildings, our staff may ask for your name, email, phone number and postcode.

Local businesses, such as restaurants, hotels and hair salons may also ask you for your information.

This information will be stored for up to 21 days and will shared with NHS test and trace if needed.

This could help contain clusters or outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Read more about NHS test and trace: