Information about COVID-19 testing

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

This guidance was last updated: 27th April 2022

I have COVID-19 symptoms. Can I get a test? 

In England, you can no longer get a free test to check if you have COVID-19.

Free testing services have closed at:

  • pharmacies
  • test sites
  • community collection points such as libraries
  • schools, nurseries and universities

If you still want to get tested and you're not eligible for a free NHS test, you must pay for a COVID-19 test yourself.

You can buy a COVID-19 test from some pharmacies and retailers, in person or online.

Do not call 119, as you will not be able to get a test this way. You cannot order tests from NHS 111 or 999.

Who can get a free NHS COVID-19 test?

There are a small number of people who are still eligible for a free NHS COVID-19 test. You can get a free test if you:

  • have a health condition which means you are eligible for COVID-19 treatments
  • are going into hospital for surgery or a procedure
  • work in the NHS or in social care

You can find more information about testing, or to order a test if you are eligible, on the NHS website.

More support and information 

There is more information on getting tested on the Government website.

If you need medical advice about your symptoms, visit the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.


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