COVID-19 testing in Suffolk

We all play a part in controlling the spread of COVID-19. If you have symptoms, get a free test as soon as possible.

Last updated: 17 September 2020 (reviewed daily)

Government advises that only people with symptoms of Covid-19 should book a test.

If you have symptoms, get a free test as soon as possible.
You need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms.
You can book a free test by visiting the NHS website or call NHS 119.

There are three ways you can currently get tested in Suffolk:

  • Book an appointment at the Regional Testing Site at Copdock, near Ipswich
  • Book an appointment at a Mobile Testing Unit, there are a number of sites across Suffolk
  • Request a Home Testing Kit, delivered to your home

There is currently a high national demand for testing. As a result, Suffolk residents may experience difficulty in securing a test. Be patient and try again a few hours later or the next day, more tests are made available throughout the day.

You must book a free test if you have any of these symptoms:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

You and anyone you live with must stay at home until you get your result.

Anyone in your support bubble must also stay at home.

You can book a free test by visiting the NHS website or call NHS 119.

You must book a free test if you have any of these symptoms:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

You and anyone you live with must stay at home until you get your result.

Anyone in your support bubble must also stay at home.

You can get a test for someone you live with if they have these symptoms. Do not get tests for people you live with who do not have these symptoms.

You can book a free test by visiting the NHS website or call NHS 119.

If you have symptoms, you must get a free test as soon as possible. You need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms.

Book an appointment to a testing site to have the test today. Order a home test kit if you cannot get to a testing site.

On days 1 to 4 of your symptoms, you can get tested at a site or at home. If you're ordering a home test kit on day 4, do it by 3pm.

On day 5, you need to go to a test site. It's too late to order a home test kit.

Symptoms are:

  • a high temperature, or
  • a new, continuous cough, or
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

You can book a free test by visiting the NHS website or call NHS 119.

You can ask for a test:

  • for yourself, if you have coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • other people you live with who have symptoms - you can order tests for up to 3 of them. If you're applying for a test for someone else, and the person is aged 13 or over, check they're happy for you to get a test for them.

If you are an essential worker or if you live with someone who is an essential worker and you have symptoms of coronavirus you can access priority testing.

You can book a free test by visiting the NHS website or call NHS 119.

You can book a free test by visiting the NHS website or calling NHS 119.

There are three ways you can currently get tested in Suffolk:

  • Book an appointment at the Regional Testing Site at Copdock, near Ipswich
  • Book an appointment at a Mobile Testing Unit, there are a number of sites across Suffolk
  • Request a Home Testing Kit, delivered to your home

If you cannot get a test immediately, or the location or time are not convenient, try again in a few hours. More tests are made available throughout the day online or by calling 119. 

Employers can refer essential workers for testing if they are self-isolating because either they or member(s) of their household have coronavirus symptoms.

There are three ways you can currently get tested in Suffolk:

  • Request a Home Testing Kit, delivered to your home
  • Book an appointment at the Regional Testing Site at Copdock, near Ipswich
  • Book an appointment at a Mobile Testing Unit, there are a number of sites across Suffolk

Home Testing Kit

You can order a home test kit if you cannot get to a test site, as above. If you have had symptoms for 5 days, you need to go to a test site. It's too late to order a home test kit.

Regional Testing Site at Copdock, near Ipswich

A regional testing site for Suffolk and surrounding areas can be found at the London Road Park and Ride, Copdock, Ipswich. It is open from 8am to 7pm, every day.

If you cannot get a test now, or the location or time are not convenient, try again in a few hours. More tests are made available throughout the day online or by calling 119. 

Mobile Testing Units (MTUs) in Suffolk

MTUs regularly visit a number of locations across Suffolk and are particularly useful for those who cannot easily access the regional testing site at Copdock, near Ipswich.

99.9% of households in Suffolk can access a testing site within a 30 minute drive.

Scheduled visits for mobile testing units in Suffolk are below - listed in alphabetical order. Dates are for 2020 and subject to change, please check back regularly.

If you cannot get a test now, or the location or time are not convenient, try again in a few hours. More tests are made available throughout the day online or by calling 119.

MTUs are operated by G4S, who also run the regional testing site at Copdock, near Ipswich. The Suffolk Resilience Forum, comprising of the Suffolk’s NHS, Emergency and Public Services, is continually planning for new dates and sites.

Town

Location

Date

Beccles

Beccles Hospital, NR34 9NQ

Saturday 19 September
Beccles

Beccles Hospital, NR34 9NQ

Saturday 26 September
Bury St Edmunds

Disused recycling centre, Rougham Hill, IP33 2RW

Friday 18 September
Bury St Edmunds

Disused recycling centre, Rougham Hill, IP33 2RW

Tuesday 22 September
Bury St Edmunds

Disused recycling centre, Rougham Hill, IP33 2RW

Friday 25 September
Eye

Hartismere Hospital, IP23 7BH

Sunday 20 September
Eye

Hartismere Hospital, IP23 7BH

Wednesday 23 September
Eye

Hartismere Hospital, IP23 7BH

Sunday 27 September
Framlingham Framlingham College Leisure Centre, College Road, IP13 9EY Sunday 20 September
Framlingham Framlingham College Leisure Centre, College Road, IP13 9EY (10am to 3pm) Thursday 24 September
Framlingham Framlingham College Leisure Centre, College Road, IP13 9EY Sunday 27 September
Halesworth North Suffolk Skills Centre, IP19 8PY Saturday 19 September
Halesworth North Suffolk Skills Centre, IP19 8PY Tuesday 22 September
Halesworth North Suffolk Skills Centre, IP19 8PY Saturday 26 September
Haverhill  Meadows Car Park, Ehringshausen Way, CB9 0JU  Monday 21 September
Haverhill  Meadows Car Park, Ehringshausen Way, CB9 0JU  Thursday 24 September
Leiston Leiston Leisure Centre, IP16 4LS (10:30am to 2pm)

Monday 21 September

Leiston Leiston Leisure Centre, IP16 4LS (10:30am to 2pm)

Thursday 24 September

Lowestoft Dipp Farm Playing Fields, Corton Road, Lowestoft, NR32 4PR Friday 18 September
Lowestoft Dipp Farm Playing Fields, Corton Road, Lowestoft, NR32 4PR Monday 21 September
Lowestoft Dipp Farm Playing Fields, Corton Road, Lowestoft, NR32 4PR Wednesday 23 September
Lowestoft Dipp Farm Playing Fields, Corton Road, Lowestoft, NR32 4PR Friday 25 September
Sudbury Great Cornard Sports Centre, Head Lane, CO10 0JS (10am to 2pm)

Saturday 19 September

Sudbury Great Cornard Sports Centre, Head Lane, CO10 0JS (10am to 2pm)

Wednesday 23 September

Sudbury Great Cornard Sports Centre, Head Lane, CO10 0JS (10am to 2pm)

Saturday 26 September

Regional mobile testing units (outside of Suffolk)

Town

Location

Date

Attleborough Connaught Hall, Station Road, NR17 2AS Friday 18 September
Attleborough Connaught Hall, Station Road, NR17 2AS Tuesday 22 September
Attleborough Connaught Hall, Station Road, NR17 2AS Friday 25 September
Clacton-on-Sea Hazelmere Road Car Park, Holland-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 5HU Monday 21 September
Clacton-on-Sea Hazelmere Road Car Park, Holland-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 5HU Thursday 24 September
Great Yarmouth Unit 1, Lancelot Road, Beacon Park, NR31 7BF Friday 18 September
Great Yarmouth Beach Coach Park, NR30 1EN Sunday 20 September
Great Yarmouth Unit 1, Lancelot Road, Beacon Park, NR31 7BF Tuesday 22 September
Great Yarmouth Beach Coach Park, NR30 1EN Thursday 24 September
Great Yarmouth Unit 1, Lancelot Road, Beacon Park, NR31 7BF Friday 25 September
Great Yarmouth Beach Coach Park, NR30 1EN Sunday 27 September
Thetford Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day, Station Rd, IP24 1AH Saturday 19 September
Thetford Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day, Station Rd, IP24 1AH Wednesday 23 September
Thetford Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day, Station Rd, IP24 1AH Saturday 26 September

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

You can do the swab yourself (if you are aged 12 or over) or someone can do it for you. Parents or guardians have to swab test children aged 11 or under.

You'll get a text or email when your result is ready.

Most people get their test results the day after taking the test. Some results might take longer, but you should get them in 72 hours.

There are 3 types of result you can get:

  • negative
  • positive
  • unclear, void, borderline or inconclusive

If you do not get your result, call the coronavirus testing contact centre on 119 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or 0300 303 2713 (Scotland). The contact centre is open from 7am to 11pm.

A positive result means you had coronavirus when the test was done.

If your test is positive, you must self-isolate immediately.

  • If you had a test because you had symptoms, keep self-isolating for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started.
  • If you had a test but have not had symptoms, self-isolate for 10 days from when you had the test.

Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must self-isolate for 14 days from when you start self-isolating.

Read more about how long to self-isolate.

NHS Test and Trace

In England, you'll get an email, text or call from the NHS Test and Trace service if you test positive after having symptoms.

You'll be asked where you've been recently and who you've been in close contact with.

Find out about being contacted by NHS Test and Trace after testing positive for coronavirus.

A negative result means the test did not find coronavirus.

You do not need to self-isolate if your test is negative, as long as:


If you have diarrhoea or you’re being sick, stay at home until 48 hours after they've stopped.

If you're a health or care worker, check with your employer before going back to work.

An unclear, void, borderline or inconclusive result means it's not possible to say if you had coronavirus when the test was done.

Get another coronavirus test as soon as possible if this happens.

If you had a test because you had symptoms, you must keep self-isolating and have another test within 5 days of your symptoms starting.

If you’re not able to have another test in time, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must self-isolate for 14 days. Read more about how long to self-isolate.

If you had a test but have not had any symptoms, you do not need to self-isolate while you wait to get another test. People you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, do not need to self-isolate.

Follow this advice if you're told by the NHS Test and Trace service that you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days from the day you were last in contact with the person – it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear
  • do not leave your home for any reason – if you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home
  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for essential care
  • try to avoid contact with anyone you live with as much as possible
  • people you live with do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms
  • people in your support bubble do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms What is a support bubble?
  •  

If you live with someone at higher risk from coronavirus, try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family for 14 days.

If you have to stay in the same home together, read about how to avoid spreading coronavirus to people you live with.

More detailed information is available on the NHS website.

NHS Test and Trace seeks to help return life more to normal, in a way that is safe and protects our NHS and social care.

The programme will allow us to trace the spread of the virus and isolate new infections and play a vital role in giving us early warning if the virus is increasing again, locally or nationally.

If you test positive, the NHS Test and Trace service will identify anyone you have had recent close contact with and notify them if they need to isolate.

To trace the contacts of people with COVID-19, NHS Test and Trace needs to collect personally identifiable information.

The information about people with COVID-19 comes from the hospital and laboratory test reports sent to Public Health England. These people are either sent a text message or email or are called by someone working for NHS Test and Trace Service and asked to confirm or provide their:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • sex
  • NHS Number
  • home postcode and house number
  • telephone number and email address
  • COVID-19 symptoms, including when they started and their nature

They are also asked to provide the contact details of anyone they have been in close contact with.

The people who are close contacts of someone with COVID-19 are then either sent a text message or email or are called by someone working for NHS Test and Trace Service and asked to confirm or provide:

  • their full name, date of birth and contact details
  • details of any COVID-19 symptoms they may have had

This information is used to provide them with advice on self-isolation and how to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

The NHS Test and Trace service will not:

  • ask for bank details or payments
  • ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
  • ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  • ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087

For more information, visit the NHS Test and Trace website.