Coronavirus information

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How to get a Coronavirus test

There is currently a very high demand for Coronavirus tests and it is vital that the services tests people with Coronavirus symptoms to help stop the spread of the virus.

If you have Coronavirus symptoms, you must get a test. If you don’t have symptoms, don’t get a test.

We all need to play our part to protect the NHS Test and Trace service for those who really need it. Please read the following information before applying for a test.

There are different routes for booking a Coronavirus test. All are available to people showing symptoms.

If you're showing symptoms, read the information below to find the right route for your circumstances.

Please note this type of test is to check whether you are currently infected with Coronavirus. It does not diagnose if you have had the virus in the past.

Physical symptoms which should be tested for Coronavirus

The key symptoms of Coronavirus are:

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

If you are experiencing one or more of the above, you need to get the test done in the first five days of having symptoms.

Read more about other Coronavirus symptoms

Find out about the Coronavirus testing process

When you should apply for a test

You should not get tested:

  • If you have returned from abroad or are about to travel, you are returning to the workplace, you have been in contact with a confirmed case or if another member of your household has symptoms. You may be advised to isolate if you have been in contact with a confirmed case but you should only get a test if you have symptoms.

When to get a test or not:

  • Only get a test if you have Coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested by a doctor or a public health professional or by your local council.
  • Do not use this service to get a test in order to travel to another country. The Test and Trace service does not provide certificates for travel purposes. You can pay for a private test.
  • If your employer, school, or travel company has asked for evidence of a negative coronavirus test result, the Test and Trace service is unable to provide this service. You should only get tested if you have symptoms.
  • If someone in your household starts to have symptoms, then they must get tested and the rest of your household should self-isolate with them whilst they wait for the results. If you or other members of the household don’t have symptoms, then you should not get a test – only people with symptoms should get tested. Most people who are tested in person get their results the next day. Read full guidance on self-isolation
  • If you have been in close contact with someone who has Coronavirus you should not get tested unless you have Coronavirus symptoms. A negative test result does not change the period of time that you will be required to self-isolate. 
  • If you have been abroad and are quarantining, you should not get tested unless you have Coronavirus symptoms. A negative test result does not change the period of time that you will be required to quarantine.
  • Do not stockpile tests. If you develop symptoms in future you will be able to book a test. There is no need to order a test in case of future use.

Testing for the general public showing symptoms

Anyone who has symptoms of Coronavirus, whatever their age, should book a test immediately.

It’s important to book a test within the first FIVE days of having symptoms.

You can choose to book a test at a regional outdoor testing hub, which are managed via a drive-through process. Or, you can apply to receive a home testing kit through the post.

To get tested, you must pre-book a home testing kit or appointment via the NHS.

A mobile testing unit will be available at Woking Park Car Park on set dates. When booking a test (subject to availability), you should be able to select this location as your nearest testing unit on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 28 October
  • Thursday 29 October
  • Friday 30 October
  • Saturday 31 October
  • Sunday 8 November
  • Monday 9 November
  • Friday 13 November
  • Saturday 14 November
  • Monday 23 November
  • Tuesday 24 November

Once you have been tested, you will receive your results 48 hours later by text message.

Book a Coronavirus test with the NHS

Testing for essential workers showing symptoms

Essential workers living or working in Surrey, who have Coronavirus symptoms can be prioritised for testing by registering with Surrey's testing hub.

If a member of their household has symptoms, their household member is eligible to register with Surrey's testing hub. Essential workers are those outlined in the Government's list of essential workers prioritised for testing.

Check if you're job function is listed as an essential worker

Book a Coronavirus test via the Surrey testing hub

Testing for care homes residents and staff

A new digital portal for care homes is now available to enable care homes to access coronavirus test kits. If a care home provides a service for older people (aged 65 plus) or a service for those with dementia it can now register for testing of the whole care home. This includes all residents and asymptomatic staff, including agency staff. This can be done through the Government's new portal for care homes.

Find out more and apply for tests for care homes

More information

Read more about the Government’s Test and Trace service