COVID-19 testing in Suffolk

Testing is a key part of the national COVID-19 response, with the testing facility at Copdock being well-used.

Last updated: 29 May 2020 (reviewed daily)

Who can ask for a test?

You can ask for a test:

  • for yourself, if you have coronavirus symptoms now (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • for someone you live with, if they have coronavirus symptoms

This service is for people in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
In England, you can ask for a test for a child who lives with you, whatever their age.

If you're asking for a test for someone else, and the person is aged 13 or over, check they're happy for you to ask for a test for them.

When do I need to get tested?

You need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms. Please help the NHS by only asking for tests for people who have coronavirus symptoms now.

How do I book a test?

Visit the government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested website for full details and to apply for a test. Alternatively, you can call 119 to book a test.

To take your test, you may be able to choose between:

  • driving to a regional testing site
  • driving to a mobile testing unit
  • getting a home test kit

If you’re an essential worker in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland, you can apply for priority testing through GOV.UK by following the guidance for essential workers.

You can also get tested through this route if you have symptoms of coronavirus and live with an essential worker. You can arrange your test through the self-referral or employer referral test booking routes.

(In addition, the NHS in Norfolk and Waveney is offering local coronavirus tests to essential workers. For more information on this testing, visit the Norfolk and Waveney CCG website.)

Where can I get tested in Suffolk?

If you have not requested a home test kit, you may be able to choose between driving to a regional testing site or a mobile testing unit.

Regional testing centre

A regional testing centre 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.

Mobile testing units

Mobile testing units are mobilised by the Ministry of Defence and are particularly useful for those who cannot easily access the regional testing centre at Copdock.

Planned visits for mobile testing units in Suffolk are as follows:

  • Bury St Edmunds Sunday 31 May / Wednesday 3 June / Sunday 7 June
  • Eye Sunday 31 May / Wednesday 3 June / Sunday 7 June
  • Haverhill Monday 1 June / Thursday 4 June
  • Leiston Monday 1 June / Wednesday 3 June
  • Lowestoft Saturday 30 May / Tuesday 2 June / Thursday 4 June / Saturday 6 June
  • Newmarket Friday 29 May / Tuesday 2 June / Friday 5 June

The Suffolk Resilience Forum, comprising of the Suffolk’s NHS, Emergency and Public Services, is continually planning for new dates and sites.

Other regional mobile testing unit sites include:

  • Clacton Tuesday 2 June / Thursday 4 June
  • Diss Friday 29 May / Friday 5 June
  • Harwich Sunday 31 May / Wednesday 3 June / Sunday 7 June
  • Thetford Saturday 30 May / Sunday 31 May / Saturday 6 June / Sunday 7 June

Apply for coronavirus tests for a care home

A new online portal that makes it easy for care homes to arrange deliveries of coronavirus test kits has been launched by the government (12 May).

As the national testing capacity has increased, the government is prioritising testing for care homes and other areas with the greatest need.

All symptomatic and asymptomatic care home staff and residents in England are now eligible for testing. Testing will be prioritised for care homes that look after the over 65s.

Read about applying for coronavirus tests for a care home.

NHS test and trace

The NHS test and trace service:

  • ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus, and also includes targeted asymptomatic testing of NHS and social care staff and care home residents
  • helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus

Visit NHS test and trace: how it works for more information.