Regular rapid COVID-19 testing in Suffolk if you don't have symptoms

We all play a part in controlling the spread of COVID-19. Even if you do not have symptoms, you can get a free test to see if you have the virus.

NHS advert saying "Now we can all get free rapid Covid-19 tests to help protect

Twice-weekly, rapid tests if you do not have symptoms

Getting into the habit of twice-weekly testing as part of our everyday lives will help us all to play our part and do what we can to keep each other safe. With regular testing, alongside the vaccine, we can continue to ease our way out of lockdown.

  • Anyone in England can now get regular, rapid lateral flow tests without having symptoms.
  • About 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have symptoms but can still infect others. Getting regular tests is the only way to know if you have the virus.
  • If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading.

How to get your rapid test

There are several ways to get your regular, rapid tests if you do not have symptoms.

Test kits to do at home, are available from:

Rapid testing helps identify and isolate individuals who have coronavirus (COVID-19) but do not have symptoms.

Rapid testing uses Lateral Flow Devices. These are processed at the centre where you took the test, or at home, instead of being sent away to a lab.

Results are provided in around 30 minutes.

Rapid testing is different to standard COVID-19 testing (PCR tests). The standard COVID-19 test is for those who have recognised symptoms:

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

If you have any of these symptoms, you must book a free test immediately by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling NHS 119.

Regular, rapid testing is for everyone.

Getting into the habit of twice-weekly testing as part of our everyday lives will help us all to play our part and do what we can to keep each other safe. With regular testing, alongside the vaccine, we can continue to ease our way out of lockdown.

  • Anyone in England can now get regular, rapid lateral flow tests without having symptoms.
  • About 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have symptoms but can still infect others. Getting regular tests is the only way to know if you have the virus.
  • If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading.

Regular, rapid testing is particularly important for people who cannot continue to work from home.

Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 have no symptoms but can still spread the virus to other people.

Through regular, rapid testing we can quickly identify those who unknowingly have COVID-19, isolate them and stop spreading the virus to other people.

Getting into the habit of twice-weekly testing as part of our everyday lives will help us all to play our part and do what we can to keep each other safe. With regular testing, alongside the vaccine, we can continue to ease our way out of lockdown.

Your first test may be negative, even if you have COVID-19, because the level of the virus in your body is very low and not picked up by the test.

However, the level of the virus in your body will continue to increase. By getting tested a few days later, the test will detect the virus and your test will be positive.

You can collect test kits for home use, from:

Update on pharmacy collections - September 2021

  • You can collect up to 2 packs of 7 rapid tests from a local pharmacy
  • From 4 October 2021, you'll need a collect code when you pick up your tests from pharmacies
  • A collect code matches your details to the test kits you collect from a pharmacy.
  • This service will be available from 1 October 2021
  • Find a pharmacy near you where you can collect rapid tests

 

You will take swabs from your nose and throat and place the swab in a tube.

You'll be given detailed instructions with your test kit or are available on the NHS website. If you're doing the test at a community testing centre and need support, a trained helper can guide you.

The testing process takes about 5 minutes.

If you took your test at home, you will see your result on the device after 30 minutes. You then need to report your result within 24 hours, either online or by calling 119.

If you took your test at a community testing centre, you will receive your results via text message or email within 30 to 60 minutes.

A negative result means the test did not find signs of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You do not usually need to self-isolate if you get a negative result. But this does not guarantee you do not have coronavirus, so you must keep following all social distancing advice.

If you did a rapid lateral flow test at home, report your rapid lateral flow test result on GOV.UK as soon as possible.

A positive result means it's likely you had coronavirus (COVID-19) when the test was done. You and anyone you live with must self-isolate immediately.

If you did a rapid lateral flow test at home and the result was positive:

Continue to self-isolate until you get the result of the PCR test. Follow the advice you're given when you get the result.

If you did a rapid lateral flow test at a community testing centre and the result was positive:

Continue to self-isolate until you get the result of the PCR test. Follow the advice you're given when you get the result.


You usually have to self-isolate for 10 full days if you've tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have been in close contact with someone who has it.

You might need to self-isolate for longer if you get symptoms or your symptoms do not go away.

There is more information about self-isolating on the NHS website.

If your test sample could not be read or you got a void result, it's not possible to say if you had coronavirus (COVID-19) when the test was done.

You should do another test as soon as possible, do another home test if you have one.

Otherwise, go back to where you had your test before or get a PCR test to check if you have coronavirus on GOV.UK.

Yes. The two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill.

But it is not yet known whether the vaccination will stop you from catching and passing on the virus. So, it is important to follow the guidance in your local area to protect those around you.

To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues you still need to:

  • practice social distancing
  • wear a face mask
  • wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • follow the current guidance

Yes - the universal offer of rapid testing kits is available to anyone in England and people can ask for additional boxes for family members.

If your place of work or study provides an on site testing service, we recommend continuing to use this, as it is the most convenient route for many.

If we have to leave home it's important to continue getting tested twice a week.