Information about Coronavirus testing

You can have a free NHS test to check if you have Coronavirus. This article will tell you about when you can ask for a test, how to arrange it, the process and more.
A nurse in a hospital corridor holding a folder and smiling

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

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. 

When to ask for the test

You need to have the test in the first 5 days of having symptoms. It’s best to ask for the test in the first 3 days, as it may take a day or two to arrange. Please help the NHS and only ask for a test if you or someone you live with has symptoms now.

How to arrange a test

You can apply for a test on the GOV.UK website. They will ask you:

  • how you want to get the test – you may be able to choose between driving to a regional testing site or getting a home test kit
  • for details such as your name, mobile phone number and address

The NHS has published answers to common questions if you need help applying for a test.

This service is currently very busy. If you cannot get a test now, or the location or time are not convenient, try again in a few hours.  Bookings will only become available after 8pm the night before the day you want to visit, trying to book before this time may result in your closest test centre not being displayed.

Call 119 to get a test if you have problems using the internet. If no tests are available online, do not call the helpline to get a test. No extra tests are available through the helpline.

You can find a list of Enfield testing sites on the Enfield Council website. You must book a test before attending a test centre otherwise you will be turned away and be asked to book a test.

Book a test now

Testing for adults with Learning Disabilities or who use Mental Health Services in Enfield

Testing is available for adults with learning disabilities (or who use Mental Health Services) and their carers who do not have symptoms and cannot access tests through the regional testing sites or home test kits.

These tests will be offered at: Park Avenue Disability Resource Centre, 65c Park Ave, Enfield EN1 2HL. Testing will be available Monday to Friday, from 9am to 4pm.

For more information or to book a test please contact Rosemary Mann at Park Avenue

on 020 8360 1195

or email  

You can also download an Easy Read guide about Coronavirus Swab testing.

The testing process

The test usually involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud. You can do the swab yourself or someone can do it for you.

The different ways you can get tested are covered below.

Regional testing sites

The government are establishing a network of drive-in and walk-in regional testing sites. Watch a video explaining the process for drive-in and walk-in testing:

Home testing

Home test kits can be delivered to someone’s door so they can test themselves and their family without leaving the house. Home test kit availability will be initially limited, but more will become available.

If you have been delivered a home testing kit or have been given a self-test kit at a regional test site, here is a tutorial video that supports the written instructions in your pack, from Dr Amir Khan:

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