COVID-19 testing in Suffolk if you have symptoms

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: 12 April 2021 (reviewed daily)

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

If you have symptoms, get this free test as soon as possible.

You need to get this test done in the first 8 days of having symptoms.

Book a test immediately if you have symptoms

Book a free test by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call NHS 119 if you have symptoms.

There are four 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 Local Testing Site (central Ipswich or Lowestoft)
  • 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

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 Gov.uk website or calling 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 Gov.uk website or calling NHS 119.

When to self-isolate

Self-isolate immediately if:

  • you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • you've tested positive for coronavirus – this means you have coronavirus
  • someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive
  • someone in your support bubble has symptoms and you’ve been in close contact with them since their symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started
  • someone in your support bubble tested positive and you’ve been in close contact with them since they had the test or in the 48 hours before their test
  • you've been told you've been in contact with someone who tested positive – find out what to do if you're told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app
  • you arrive in the UK from a country with a high coronavirus risk – see GOV.UK: how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have coronavirus (COVID-19).

This helps stop the virus spreading to other people.

Self-isolation is different to:

  • social distancing – general advice for everyone to avoid close contact with other people
  • shielding – advice for people at high risk from coronavirus

If you have coronavirus symptoms, you need to get a test done as soon as possible. You need to get the test done in the first 8 days of having symptoms.

Book a visit to a test site to have the test. Or order a home test kit if you cannot get to a test site.

On days 1 to 7, you can get tested at a site or at home. If you’re ordering a home test kit on day 7, do so by 3pm.

On day 8, 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 Gov.uk website or calling NHS 119.

You can only get a free NHS test if at least one of the following applies:

  • you have a high temperature
  • you have a new, continuous cough
  • you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed
  • you’ve been asked to get a test by a local council
  • you’re taking part in a government pilot project
  • you’ve been asked to get a test to confirm a positive result

You can also get a test for someone you live with if they have symptoms.

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

If you’re going into hospital

You may need to get tested if you’re due to have surgery or a procedure.

The hospital will arrange this for you. Contact your hospital department if you have any questions. ​

Essential workers

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

Who cannot get a free test

You cannot use this service to get a test if:

  • you’ve come to the UK from a high-risk country
  • you’re planning to leave the country
  • your employer or school has asked you to get a test but you have no symptoms

You can pay for a private test.

You can book a free test by visiting the Gov.uk 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 the Local Testing Site in Ipswich (Portman Road car park)
  • 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

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 four ways you can currently get tested in Suffolk:

  • Book an appointment at the Regional Testing Site at Copdock, near Ipswich
  • Book an appointment at the Local Testing Site in Ipswich (Portman Road car park)
  • 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

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 8pm, every day. Appointments can be booked by visiting the Gov.uk website or calling NHS 119.

Local Testing Sites

These are a walk-through coronavirus testing sites. Appointments can be booked by visiting the Gov.uk website or calling NHS 119.

  • Ipswich - Portman Road car park, IP1 2AN. It is open from 8am to 8pm, every day
  • Lowestoft - Belvedere Road car park, NR33 0PH. It is open from 8am to 8pm, every day

Mobile Testing Units (MTUs) in Suffolk

MTUs regularly visit different towns around Suffolk, these are listed below in alphabetical order. Dates are for 2021 and subject to change, please check back regularly. Units are open from 9am to 3pm, unless stated otherwise. Appointments can be booked by visiting the Gov.uk website or calling NHS 119.

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

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.

Home Testing Kit

You can order a home test kit if you cannot get to a test site. However 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. Kits can be ordered by visiting the Gov.uk website or calling NHS 119.

  List of Mobile Testing Units  
TOWN LOCATION DATE
Beccles Beccles Hospital, NR34 9NQ Saturday 17 April
Beccles Beccles Hospital, NR34 9NQ Saturday 24 April
Bury St Edmunds Disused recycling centre, Rougham Hill, IP33 2RW Friday 16 April
Bury St Edmunds Disused recycling centre, Rougham Hill, IP33 2RW Tuesday 20 April
Bury St Edmunds Disused recycling centre, Rougham Hill, IP33 2RW Friday 23 April
Eye

Hartismere Hospital, IP23 7BH

Wednesday 14 April
Eye

Hartismere Hospital, IP23 7BH

Sunday 18 April
Eye

Hartismere Hospital, IP23 7BH

Wednesday 24 April
Eye

Hartismere Hospital, IP23 7BH

Sunday 25 April
Framlingham Framlingham College Leisure Centre, College Road, IP13 9EY (10am to 3pm) Thursday 15 April
Framlingham Framlingham College Leisure Centre, College Road, IP13 9EY (10am to 3pm) Sunday 18 April
Framlingham Framlingham College Leisure Centre, College Road, IP13 9EY (10am to 3pm) Thursday 22 April
Framlingham Framlingham College Leisure Centre, College Road, IP13 9EY (10am to 3pm) Sunday 25 April
Halesworth North Suffolk Skills Centre, IP19 8PY Saturday 17 April
Halesworth North Suffolk Skills Centre, IP19 8PY Saturday 24 April
Haverhill Meadows Car Park, Ehringshausen Way, CB9 0JU Thursday 15 April
Haverhill Meadows Car Park, Ehringshausen Way, CB9 0JU Monday 19 April
Haverhill Meadows Car Park, Ehringshausen Way, CB9 0JU Thursday 26 April
Ipswich Wharf car park, University of Suffolk (10am to 3:30pm) Friday 16 April
Ipswich Wharf car park, University of Suffolk (10am to 3:30pm) Monday 19 April
Ipswich Wharf car park, University of Suffolk (10am to 3:30pm) Friday 23 April
Leiston Leiston Leisure Centre, IP16 4LS (10am to 2pm) Thursday 15 April
Leiston Leiston Leisure Centre, IP16 4LS (10am to 2pm) Thursday 22 April
Lowestoft Dipp Farm Playing Fields, Corton Road, Lowestoft, NR32 4PR Wednesday 14 April
Lowestoft Dipp Farm Playing Fields, Corton Road, Lowestoft, NR32 4PR Friday 16 April
Lowestoft Dipp Farm Playing Fields, Corton Road, Lowestoft, NR32 4PR Monday 19 April
Lowestoft Dipp Farm Playing Fields, Corton Road, Lowestoft, NR32 4PR Wednesday 21 April
Lowestoft Dipp Farm Playing Fields, Corton Road, Lowestoft, NR32 4PR Friday 23 April
Sudbury Great Cornard Sports Centre, Head Lane, CO10 0JS (10am to 2pm) Wednesday 14 April
Sudbury Great Cornard Sports Centre, Head Lane, CO10 0JS (10am to 2pm) Saturday 17 April
Sudbury Great Cornard Sports Centre, Head Lane, CO10 0JS (10am to 2pm) Wednesday 21 April
Sudbury Great Cornard Sports Centre, Head Lane, CO10 0JS (10am to 2pm) Saturday 24 April

Regional mobile testing units (outside of Suffolk)

TOWN LOCATION DATE
Clacton-On-Sea Hazelmere Road Car Park, Holland-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 5HU DAILY: 14 April to 25 April
Great Yarmouth Unit 1, Lancelot Road, Beacon Park, NR31 7BF Friday 16 April
Great Yarmouth St Nicholas Car Park, South Beach Parade, NR30 3JP Sunday 18 April
Great Yarmouth Unit 1, Lancelot Road, Beacon Park, NR31 7BF Tuesday 20 April
Great Yarmouth Unit 1, Lancelot Road, Beacon Park, NR31 7BF Friday 23 April
Great Yarmouth St Nicholas Car Park, South Beach Parade, NR30 3JP Sunday 25 April
Thetford Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day, Station Rd, IP24 1AH Thursday 15 April
Thetford Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day, Station Rd, IP24 1AH Saturday 17 April
Thetford Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day, Station Rd, IP24 1AH Thursday 22 April
Thetford Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day, Station Rd, IP24 1AH Saturday 24 April

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. You must self-isolate.

How long you need to self-isolate

If you've tested positive and

  • you have symptoms – self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started
  • you have not had symptoms – self-isolate for 10 days from when you had the test

If you get symptoms while you're self-isolating, the 10 days restarts from when your symptoms started.

When to stop self-isolating

You can stop self-isolating after 10 days if either:

  • you do not have any symptoms
  • you just have a cough or changes to your sense of smell or taste – these can last for weeks after the infection has gone

When to keep self-isolating

Keep self-isolating if you have any of these symptoms after 10 days:

  • a high temperature or feeling hot and shivery
  • a runny nose or sneezing
  • feeling or being sick
  • diarrhoea

Only stop self-isolating when these symptoms have gone.

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

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 are isolating because you have come into contact with somebody who has coronavirus, you must keep isolating for the rest of the 10 days from when you were last in contact with the person who has coronavirus – as you could get symptoms after being tested. See what to do if you've been told you've been in contact with someone who has coronavirus

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.

If your sample could not be read, it means it's not possible to say if you had coronavirus when the test was done.

Get another test as soon as possible if this happens.

If you had a test because you had symptoms, you and anyone you live with should self-isolate until you get the result of the 2nd test.

If you have not had symptoms, you and anyone you live with do not need to self-isolate until you get the result of the 2nd test.

You must self-isolate.

How long you need to self-isolate

If someone you live with has tested positive and:

  • they have symptoms – self-isolate for 10 days from when their symptoms started
  • they have not had symptoms – self-isolate for 10 days from when they had their test

If they get symptoms while they're self-isolating, the 10 days restarts from when their symptoms started.

The 10 days does not restart if a different person you live with gets symptoms while you're self-isolating.

When to stop self-isolating

You can stop self-isolating after 10 days if you do not get any symptoms.

What to do if you get symptoms

Get a test to check if you have coronavirus on GOV.UK if you get symptoms while you're self-isolating.

If your test is negative, keep self-isolating for the rest of the 10 days.

If your test is positive, the 10 days restarts from when your symptoms started. This will mean you're self-isolating for more than 10 days overall.

You must self-isolate.

How long you need to self-isolate

Self-isolate immediately if someone in your support bubble has tested positive and either:

  • you've been in close contact with them since their symptoms started or during the 48 hours before their symptoms started
  • you've been in close contact with them since they had the test or during the 48 hours before their test (if they have not had symptoms)

You need to self-isolate for 10 days from when you were last in contact with the person.

When to stop self-isolating

You can stop self-isolating after 10 days if you do not get any symptoms.

What to do if you get symptoms

Get a test to check if you have coronavirus on GOV.UK if you get symptoms while you're self-isolating.

  • If your test is negative, keep self-isolating for the rest of the 10 days.
  • If your test is positive, the 10 days restarts from when your symptoms started. This will mean you're self-isolating for more than 10 days overall.

More information about self-isolation is available on the NHS website.

If you think you've been in contact with someone who has coronavirus, but you do not have symptoms and have not been told to self-isolate, continue to follow social distancing advice.

If you're told to self-isolate

If you're told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app, you must do so immediately:

  • self-isolate for 10 days from when you were last in contact with the person who tested positive for coronavirus
  • 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
  • any people you live with and any people in your support bubble do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms

If you live with someone at higher risk from coronavirus, try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family while you're self-isolating.

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

If you get symptoms of coronavirus

If you get any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) while you're self-isolating:

  • get a test as soon as possible
  • anyone you live with must self-isolate until you’ve been tested and received your result
  • anyone in your support bubble should self-isolate if you've been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started

If you do not get symptoms of coronavirus

If you do not get any symptoms of coronavirus while self-isolating:

  • you can stop self-isolating after 10 days
  • you do not need to have a test

NHS Test and Trace:

  • 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

How you'll be contacted

If you've been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus and need to self-isolate, you may get:

  • an email, text or phone call from NHS Test and Trace – text messages will come from NHStracing and calls will come from 0300 0135 000
  • an alert from the NHS COVID-19 app

Children under 18 will be contacted by phone wherever possible and asked for their parent or guardian's permission to continue the call.

You'll be asked to sign in to the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing website at https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk.

If you cannot use the contact tracing website, they will call you.

Important

NHS Test and Trace 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.

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

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

It's a major new tool to 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.

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

More information about community testing is available at COVID-19 testing in Suffolk if you don't have symptoms.