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Get tested to find out if you have coronavirus.

First published:
18 May 2020
Last updated:

Please do not visit your GP surgery or hospital to request a test, as you may infect others.

If you think you may have coronavirus follow the self-isolation guidance.

When to apply for a test

Before requesting a test you must have at least one of the following symptoms:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • loss of or change to sense of smell or taste

If you develop one of these symptoms follow the self-isolation guidance.

Please do not visit your GP surgery or hospital to request a test, as you may infect others.

The test is only effective for those who are experiencing coronavirus symptoms and needs to be taken in the first 5 days of having symptoms. It only checks if you have coronavirus right now and not if you have already had the virus.

Members of the public

Apply for a test online (on NHS).

If no tests shows available please try again later, as tests become available during the day.

You can apply for a test for yourself or someone in your household with symptoms. This includes adults and children, and following the recent announcement now also includes the under 5s.

Critical workers

Apply for a test online (at GOV.UK).

Read more about who is a critical worker

Health Boards and Trusts have their own processes for booking tests. Health care workers displaying symptoms should speak to their occupational health team for advice on how to access a test.

Referrals for social care workers are coordinated via the Local Authorities or Local Resilience Forums (LRFs). Care homes can refer workers for testing as part of the testing process for care homes.

Apply for a test by telephone

Alternatively, you can apply for a test by calling the free number 119 between the hours of 7am to 11pm.  People with hearing or speech difficulties can call 18001 119. This service is available to assist you through the process of booking and taking a test but cannot provide clinical advice. If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home or if your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, use the 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call 111. In a medical emergency, dial 999.

Types of tests

Members of the public and critical workers can apply online for a test. You may be able to choose between a mass drive-through testing centre or ordering a home testing kit.

Home testing kits involve a combined throat and nose swab test. Read further guidance on how to conduct the test.

Tests taken at a mass drive-through testing centre in Wales involve either a single dry swab taken from the back of the throat or a combined throat and nose swab.

Will I get a test?

There is very high demand for tests at the moment. Please note that daily allocations of tests will be prioritised for critical workers initially where demand outstrips supply.

Availability of home testing kits are managed at a UK level, whereas slots at the mass drive-through testing centres are managed through the Local Health Boards and Public Health Wales.

If you are having problems securing a test, see answers to common questions about asking for a coronavirus test (on NHS).

Test results

The system and process used to notify the results of tests varies according to the method chosen, and on booking the test you will be given further information on how the result will be provided. You should receive your test result within 72 hours.

If you’ve had a test at a mass drive-through testing centre in Cardiff, Abercynon, Carmarthen, Llandudno, Newport, Swansea, Margam, Powys Deeside or Cwm near Ebbw Vale, or if you have used a home testing kit, or have had a test outside Wales. You should call the free 119 number. People with hearing or speech difficulties can call 18001 119. The contact centre is open from 7am to 11pm.

If you have received your test result and have questions or need further advice, please visit Public Health Wales Information for Individuals Tested for COVID-19 Infection.

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