From Friday 1 April, free large-scale testing for covid-19 has ended. This means that venues for PCR testing have now closed, and lateral flow test kits are not available for free to everyone online or in pharmacies.
If you have symptoms
If you have covid symptoms, you do not need to get a test but instead should stay home and minimise contact with others until you feel better.
Symptoms of covid in adults can include:
- a high temperature or shivering
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
- shortness of breath
- feeling tired or exhausted
- an aching body
- a headache
- a sore throat
- a blocked or runny nose
- loss of appetite
- feeling sick or being sick
Free testing for at-risk groups
Free symptomatic testing will continue to be available for people in at-risk groups, such as those who have a compromised immune system due to a long-term health condition.
You can find the criteria for ordering lateral flow tests at this link.
As well as immunosuppressed people, you can also order free tests if you:
- Have been asked to order a test by a Doctor or healthcare professional because you are being admitted to hospital
- Have recently spoken to your GP or other clinician and have been asked to get tested
- Are taking part in the NHS staff testing programme
- Work in a patient-facing role for the NHS or in an NHS-commissioned service and have symptoms
- Work in adult social care in specific roles
The NHS is currently offering the extra protection of another jab to everyone aged 75 or older, all residents of care homes, and anyone aged 12 and above who is immunosuppressed.
All covid vaccinations can be booked online or by calling 119.
A reminder of covid prevention measures in the NHS
To reduce the risk of spreading covid to patients and staff, wearing masks or face coverings is required in all NHS settings. You may also be asked to follow social distancing measures.
Getting vaccinated and following safer behaviours – regular hand washing, face coverings, staying at home when unwell – helps protect ourselves and others.