The Government has now said that anyone over the age of 5 showing symptoms of Coronavirus – which now include a new continuous cough OR fever OR loss of/ change in smell or taste – is eligible for a swab test.
People can apply either:
- online at nhs.uk/coronavirus
- on the phone by calling 119 between 7am and 11pm.
Applicants will then receive options of attending a walk-in or drive-in test centre, depending on availability, or of getting a test kit delivered to their home.
People going to a test centre will receive instructions on how to take the test and how and when they will receive their results when they arrive.
Currently, there is very high demand for tests and appointments for key, frontline workers such as NHS and Social Care workers are being prioritised so a test is not absolutely guaranteed.
The test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat, which can be done by the person themselves or by someone else. Tests for children age 5-11 must be administered by a parent/guardian.
Results will be emailed or texted to individuals. The aim is within 48 hours if attended a test centre, 72 hours for home tests.
Those who are taking the test at home are asked to read the instructions carefully and to ensure they put the lid on securely and apply the barcode lengthways to speed up the process of sending their results.
A dedicated Testing call centre has been set up, if people have not received their results they can ring 0300 303 2713 – this is not for clinical advice. People should ring NHS on 111 or in an emergency 999.