Ask for a test to check if you have coronavirus

Any member of the public with symptoms of the coronavirus can now ask for a test through the NHS website. 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. You need to have the test in the first five days of having symptoms and it’s best to ask for the test in the first three days. 

Book a test via the NHS website.

New NHS Test and Trace service

The new NHS Test and Trace service has been launched across England.

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The NHS Test and Trace service forms a central part of the Government’s coronavirus recovery strategy. Anyone with symptoms will be tested and their close contacts will be traced. New guidance means those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive must isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms, to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus. The service will help identify, contain and control coronavirus, reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.

More information on test and trace is available from the Gov.uk website.

Read the latest Q and As.

How will you be contacted?

This is important as we know that there have been some scams emerging claiming to be calling about this process.  The definitive guidance is:

  • If the NHS test and trace service contacts you, the service will use text messages, email or phone.
  • All texts or emails will ask you to sign into the NHS test and trace contact-tracing website.
  • If NHS test and trace calls you by phone, the service will be using a single phone number: 0300 013 5000.
  • All information you provide to the NHS test and trace service is held in strict confidence and will only be kept and used in line with the Data Protection Act 2018.

Contact tracers will:

  • Call you from 0300 013 5000
  • Send you text messages from ‘NHS’
  • Ask you to sign into the NHS test and trace contact-tracing website 
  • Ask for your full name and date of birth to confirm your identity, and postcode to offer support while self-isolating
  • Ask about the coronavirus symptoms you have been experiencing
  • Ask you to provide the name, telephone number and/or email address of anyone you have had close contact with in the two days prior to your symptoms starting
  • Ask if anyone you have been in contact with is under 18 or lives outside of England

Contact tracers will never:

  • Ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to us (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • Ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
  • Ask for any details about your bank account
  • Ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • Ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • Disclose any of your personal or medical information to your contacts
  • Provide medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus symptoms
  • Ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • Ask you to access any website that does not belong to the Government or NHS.

Resources in accessible formats

Audio recording about Test and Trace

Video about Test and Trace in British Sign Language

Get tested easy read leaflet (opens document)

Test and trace large print leaflet (opens document)