You can now get free twice-weekly rapid Covid-19 testing – if you are not showing Covid-19 symptoms.
The rapid test used is called a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) and it delivers the results within around 30 minutes. If tested positive, it is imperative that you and your contacts isolate at home, away from friends and family, and do not leave your home unless for essential reasons, such as medical care or to escape harm.
As we emerge from lockdown, using this method for regular testing in the months ahead can help us all get back to normal. Breaking the ‘Covid Chain’ is vitally important to stop the virus from spreading and West Berkshire Council urges everyone to get tested twice weekly as part of your normal routine.
The accuracy of the tests is still a matter of scientific debate. A negative result must not be taken as a signal to relax precautions against spreading, and being infected by, the Covid-19 virus.
Secondary schools are already being supplied with twice-weekly home tests for pupils and staff.
The four key ways to get a rapid test are:
- Method 1 – through our community test centres (for those aged 16+)
- Method 2 – home testing options (for all ages)
- Method 3 – through your employer if they are offering testing
- Method 4 – through secondary schools, colleges and universities (for students and staff)
Please note that the rapid tests are not to be used for anyone displaying symptoms of Covid-19. An alternative test called PCR is required.
For more details and links, please go to the West Berkshire Council’s community testing page.
If you are displaying any of the following symptoms:
A high temperature
A new, continuous cough
You’ve lost your sense of smell or taste, or it’s changed
…then you should book a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test and not a lateral flow/home test.
For information on how to obtain or book a PCR test (either through your local PCR testing site which for West Berkshire is the Newbury Showground) or to receive a PCR test in the post, you should visit https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. This also contains helpful information on instructions to isolate, who is eligible for test and what additional support is available during your isolation period.