COVID testing

Information on how to book a COVID-19 test…

There have been reports of people being unable to book a COVID test or being directed a long distance from home to have a test.

If you need a test but are having trouble finding a location close to home, please keep trying throughout the day and into the evening. Do not arrive at a test site without a booking as you will not get a test.

When a booking is being made, you can choose to take the test:

  • at a test site near you
  • with a home test kit

The difficulties with booking a test close to home in Essex may continue for a few weeks while the Government works to increase laboratory capacity in response to a rise in demand in other locations.

There is another test, the antibody test to check if you’ve had coronavirus. This is still available at St Margaret’s Hospital if you would like one. For more information, including how to book your test online, read the Antibody testing news story.

Who can get a test

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms can get a test. Coronavirus symptoms are:

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

Only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested. This will help make sure people who need a test can get one.

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 also get a test if:

  • you live in England and have been told to have a test before you go into hospital, for example, for surgery
  • your local council asks you to get a test
  • you’re taking part in a government pilot project

For more information on COVID-19 symptoms visit the NHS website.

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