Getting a test

You can help stop the spread of COVID-19, by getting tested to see if you have the virus.

There are two types of test that you can take, to see if you have COVID-19:

From 9 April everyone in England, including those without symptoms, will be able to take a free rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) test twice a week.

The expanded regular testing offer for people without symptoms will be delivered through:

  • a home ordering service, which allows people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home
  • workplace testing programmes, on-site or at home
  • community testing, offered by all local authorities
  • collection at a local PCR test site during specific test collection time windows
  • testing on-site at schools and colleges

A new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service is also launching which will provide an additional route to regular testing. People aged over 18 without symptoms will be able to visit a participating local pharmacy and collect a box of 7 rapid tests to use twice a week at home.

If testing at home, individuals will need to register their results online or by calling 119. They should self-isolate if positive and order a confirmatory PCR test.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should book a test online or by calling 119.


Community testing if you do not have any symptoms

  • This is a test you can take if you do not have any symptoms
  • It's also referred to as lateral flow testing or rapid testing
  • Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 are not aware that they have it, as they have no symptoms
  • This testing is aimed at people who cannot stay home during lockdown, due to work commitments.  It's important for these people to be tested regularly so that they don't unknowingly spread the virus to other people

Find more information about community testing and how to book your test.


Standard COVID-19 testing if you have any of the symptoms

You must take this test if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19: 

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

Find more information about Standard COVID-19 testing and how to book your test.


Regular testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff

Households, childcare and support bubbles of primary/secondary-age pupils and primary/secondary staff are asked to take a rapid test for COVID-19, twice a week.

Secondary school pupils and primary/secondary school staff will be given their tests by their schools. Primary school pupils will not be asked to test at this time.

For households, childcare and support bubbles, there are 4 ways to get your test:

1. Have your test kits sent to your home

2. Collect your test kits to do at home, from one of three locations:

  • Ipswich (the Regional Testing Centre at Copdock, IP8 3TQ)
  • Ipswich (the Local Testing Centre at Portman Road, IP1 2AN)
  • Lowestoft (the Local Testing Site at Belvedere Road Car Park, NR33 0PH)
    • You can just turn up – no need to book or prove you are eligible
    • Collect between 2:30pm to 8pm every day
    • Each person can take home up to 2 boxes (7 test kits in each box)

3. Take your test at a Community Testing Centre, there are 28 sites across Suffolk:

  • We ask that people book an appointment (www.suffolk.gov.uk/bookatest) but you can just turn up
  • These tests are for people with no symptoms
  • Intended for people who need to leave their homes

4. Get a test through your employer

  • Your workplace may offer rapid testing to you. Contact your employer to find out more.

Find more information about testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff.