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Who is eligible for testing and how to get a test.

First published:
18 May 2020
Last updated:

Eligibility for free testing

You can order free tests if:

  • a doctor or specialist has said you're eligible for new COVID-19 treatments
  • your GP or healthcare professional asks you to take a test

You can order tests online for home delivery (on GOV.UK) or by calling 119. (Rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg / We welcome calls in Welsh).

If you wish to test but are not eligible for free lateral flow tests (LFTs) you can purchase them from various retailers.

Purchasing tests from a private provider

Retailers such as high street pharmacies sell LFTs in store and online. Not all of them offer the same testing services. Before you look for a private provider, you’ll need to think about what testing service you need. For example, if you are seeking a pre-departure travel test (‘fit to fly’), the testing requirements are set by the country you are travelling to, and sometimes the airline you’re flying with.

A list of providers and guidance on what you should consider when choosing a provider (GOV.UK).

Reporting results from LFTs bought privately

If you buy a private test you should not report your result on the GOV.UK website.

Some private providers may have their own systems to report results. If you paid for a test, check the test kit instructions to see if you should report your results to the private test provider.

If you need medical advice about your symptoms

Contact the 111 online coronavirus service or your GP if you feel your symptoms aren’t improving or you need advice. If you don’t have internet access, call 111. (Rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg / We welcome calls in Welsh).

In a medical emergency, dial 999 and inform the call handler or operator that you or your relative have COVID-19 symptoms.