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Lateral flow testing

You can take part in the lateral flow testing programme. This is part of the national government testing scheme and continues to run, under the current guidance.

About lateral flow testing

What is a Lateral Flow Test?

A Lateral Flow Test (LFT) is a rapid test for COVID-19. It requires a self administered swab which is undertaken at an assisted testing site or at home, not in a laboratory, meaning you receive your result within 15-30 minutes. These tests provide regular testing to identify people who have coronavirus but have no symptoms (asymptomatic) and to stop the spread of the virus through self-isolation.

Lateral Flow Tests are different to Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, which are for people with symptoms. The results for these take 24 to 48 hours due to the laboratory testing required.

Why are we encouraging you to take the tests?

Reducing transmission

As 1 in 3 people do not show symptoms of COVID-19, Lateral Flow Tests can really help us work together to control the spread of infection.

By testing people without symptoms, it can break the chains of transmission that we otherwise would not know exist.

By adopting this approach, we aim to:

  • quickly identify positive cases
  • make sure they isolate
  • offer relevant support

Outbreak management

The tests are also used in outbreak management to achieve the same aim with the intention of reducing transmission of the virus to others.

Our dedicated COVID-19 website explains how you:

  • order test kits
  • collect the kits and where you go to get them
  • get tested at a test site
  • can take part in daily testing if you have been a contact of a positive COVID-19 case
  • register your test result.

Visit our COVID-19 website


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