About the symptom-free test

Self-isolation exemptions

You’re not required to self-isolate if you live in the same household as someone with coronavirus (COVID-19), or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

  • you’re fully vaccinated.
  • you’re below the age of 18 years 6 months
  • you’ve taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • you’re not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons.

Find out more on GOV.UK.

If you live or work in Medway you are encouraged to take a symptom-free test regularly, especially if you will be in a high-risk situation that day and before you visit people who are at higher risk of severe illness if they get COVID-19.

You are at higher risk of catching COVID-19 when:

  • in crowded and enclosed spaces
  • there is limited fresh air.

Regular testing is needed to help control the virus in Medway. You may have the virus without knowing so your support is crucial to help protect each other from infection and reduce the number of cases locally.

Visiting a test centre: what the test involves

The test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat (tonsil), using a long cotton bud. 

It is a self-test, which means you will do the swab yourself in a booth. The booths will be cleaned after each person. 

You must wear a face covering when you visit a symptom-free test centre (you should only remove this when you do your swab).

You will be told your test result within one hour via phone or email. Do not wait at the test centre for your result. 

A parent or guardian will need to carry out the test on children aged 11 or under. 

Taking a home test: what the test involves

The home test includes instructions on how to take the swab test. The test strip in your test kit should display your result after 30 minutes.

If you test positive you and your household must:

  • self-isolate immediately. This must be from the day of your test for the next 10 days
  • take another test to confirm the result. Phone 119 or visit GOV.UK to order a test
  • tell your child's nursery, school or college if you have a positive test result within your household
  • follow stay at home guidance. 

More information on home testing kits.