Who is eligible for a test?
If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can ask for a test to check if you have the virus. This is called an antigen test.
There is another type of test (antibody test) that checks if you've already had the virus. This test is not available yet.
The following people can now book tests to see if they currently have Coronavirus:
- anyone with symptoms (in England)
- all essential workers including NHS and social care workers (and members of their household) with symptoms
- social care workers and residents in care homes (with or without symptoms)
Please note that these lists apply to England only.
You need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms. It’s best to apply for the test in the first 3 days as it may take 1 or 2 days to arrange.
You might not get a test if you apply - it depends how many tests are available in your area.
Frontline essential workers such as NHS staff will be given priority.
Apply for a test
If you have symptoms (you can apply on behalf of someone with symptoms):
If you are an essential worker or live with an essential worker and have symptoms:
If you are a care home:
Coronavirus testing contact centre
If you have questions about a test you've booked or are having trouble booking a test, you can call the customer contact centre from 7am to 11pm.
- Call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines)