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.

Last updated: 6 April 2021 (reviewed daily)

To help identify Suffolk residents who are not showing symptoms of COVID-19 but are infected, we have introduced community testing in Suffolk.

It is is also referred to as lateral flow testing or rapid testing.

It is aimed at people who have to leave their home during lockdown, for example due to work or caring commitments, or for essential shopping.

It will help identify and isolate individuals who have COVID-19 but do not have symptoms and may be spreading the virus to other people without knowing.

Book a test if you're asymptomatic (not showing symptoms)

Book an appointment online or call 0333 772 6144 if you do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
When setting up your profile, select Suffolk Resident in the Organisation/Age Group section.

Booking a test if you do have symptoms

However, if you do have the following symptoms you must book a standard COVID-19 test immediately by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or calling 119.

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

Find a Community Testing Centre in Suffolk

There are 24 centres open across Suffolk.

The sites in Brandon, Debenham, Elmswell, Eye, Hadleigh, Halesworth, Holbrook, Nayland, Needham Market and Saxmundham are scheduled to close on Friday 16 April 2021.


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

Community testing uses a new COVID-19 test, known as a Lateral Flow Test. These are processed at the centre where you took the test, instead of being sent away.

Results are provided in around 30 minutes.

Community testing is different to standard COVID-19 testing. 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

Any member of the public without COVID-19 symptoms can get tested.

Community testing is aimed at people who have to leave their home during lockdown, for example due to work or caring commitments, or for essential shopping.

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

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

Community testing will be most effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19 if we test people repeatedly, every few days.

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.

Yes. You can book an appointment online.

You'll be asked to provide some basic details to create an online account. This will make it quicker to book future appointments.

When setting up your profile, select Suffolk Resident in the Organisation/Age Group section.

You can also call 0333 772 6144.

At the testing centre, you will be asked to swab from your nose and throat, place the swab in a tube and return it to a member of staff.

Detailed instructions are provided and trained staff can answer any questions.

The testing process takes about 5 minutes. You will receive your results via a text message within 30 to 60 minutes.

The test did not detect that you had COVID-19 on the day you were tested.

You can take another test at a community testing centre a few days later, as the level of the virus in your body may have increased, or you maybe have been infected since your last test.

However, if you develop COVID-19 symptoms (a continuous cough, high temperature or loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste), you should not return to the community testing centre.

You must self-isolate immediately and book a standard COVID-19 test online at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119. People who you live with must also self-isolate for 10 days. 

If you get a positive result from a community testing centre:

  • Go home and self-isolate immediately 
  • Self-isolate for 10 days. You may not leave your home for any reason, including for work, school, exercise, food or medicine
  • Tell your employer that you have received a positive result from community testing
  • Tell anyone who you live with and those you may have exposed to the virus, i.e. your close contacts. They must also self-isolate for 10 days.
  • NHS Test and Trace will contact and support you, to help identify people you may have been in contact with
  • You are not required to take a standard COVID-19 test

If you get a positive result from taking a test yourself at home:

 

 

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

The government is offering rapid lateral flow tests for businesses, now including those employing fewer than 50 staff.

You can register to order tests if:

  • your business is registered in England
  • your employees cannot work from home

You must register on or before 31 March 2021.

Once you have registered, please continue to use the Community Testing Centres in Suffolk, until your business receives your tests.

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