At the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, there was uncertainty over not knowing the answers to pressing questions, like how to apply for a coronavirus test? And can you apply for one if you’re not a key worker?
But now, there are some straightforward answers if you believe you’re suffering with coronavirus symptoms.
With over 291,000 people having previously tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, it’s normal to wonder how you can apply for a coronavirus test if you get symptoms. Especially as more symptoms are being gradually revealed by Public Health England, and many of them are in line with other recurrent seasonal conditions, such as hayfever and the common cold.
At the moment, the government aim to test 100,000 people a month – however, it is unclear whether they are meeting this testing target.
How to order a coronavirus test
In the beginning of the pandemic, you could only get tested for coronavirus if you were a key worker, in order to allow you to work safely. Now, the government is urging the entire public to get tested if you are displaying signs of the virus of the virus. In fact, getting tested is vital to help with the test and trace scheme, in order to see who an infected person might have come into contact with, and to allow authorities to contain local outbreaks – and assess whether local lockdowns might be necessary.
Who can be tested?
As of now, all adults and most children in the UK who display the main Covid-19 symptoms (fever, continuous cough, or anosmia), can be tested.
In England and Wales, anyone (you, or anyone in your household) can be tested if you are displaying symptoms. However in Northern Ireland and Scotland only those over the age of five can be tested.
Essential/key workers are still highest on the priority list to receive a test for Covid-19, however, with the government also announcing that NHS staff, care home staff and care home residents will be eligible for testing whether or not they have symptoms.
The coronavirus test requires a swab put up your nose and to the back of your throat, and some have noted that it can be uncomfortable.
How to order a coronavirus test: book coronavirus test UK
It is now very simple to apply for a coronavirus test through the NHS website here. Across the UK, you have two options for testing:
- You can apply for a home swab test kit for yourself, sent to you in the post
- Or, you can state that you would like to visit a walk-through or drive-through test clinic, which are set up across the country
The home testing kit requires a throat swab sample, so inside the pack you will find a pathology form, a postage-paid envelope and detailed instructions on how to take your test. If you opt for the regional testing site, this video below explains how the process will work.
It’s also important to bear in mind that the tests above are only testing if you have Covid-19 currently – an antibody test is needed to see if you have had coronavirus in the past, and so may have some immunity.
When will the results come back?
The government advise that testing is most effective within three days of showing symptoms so if you have any of the symptoms of the coronavirus and are eligible, it’s worth booking a test today.
Following a swab, regional testing facilities aim to return test results within 48 hours.
The government hopes that by drastically increasing the number of people able to get tested for the coronavirus, they will be able to implement their “test, track and trace” strategy more effectively and in turn, work to reduce the number of people diagnosed.
How many UK coronavirus cases are there currently?
There have been over 291, 373 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK since the outbreak began.
The Department of Health state that as of 9am on 14th July, 398 people tested positive in the past 24 hours.
And in total, there have been 44,968 coronavirus deaths in the UK.