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Guidance on who is eligible for testing and how to get a test.

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.

Who can be tested

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms can get a test. Coronavirus symptoms are:

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

How to get a test

The test is only effective for those who are experiencing coronavirus symptoms. It 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’ve already had the virus.

You can apply for a test for yourself or someone in your household with symptoms. This includes adults and children, including those under 5.

Book a test online

Book a test online (on GOV.UK)

You will be asked to input your post code. The system will offer you appointments at the nearest testing sites with available slots.

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

Book a test by telephone

Call 119 between the hours of 7am to 11pm (calls are free).

If you have hearing or speech difficulties: call 18001119.

This service is available to assist you through the process of booking and taking a test but cannot provide clinical advice.

119 have translation and simultaneous translation services. They are available for support throughout the testing process. 119 are able to support in up to 650 languages, including British Sign Language (BSL).

What the test involves

The test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.

You can do the swab yourself (if you are aged 12 or over) or someone can do it for you. Parents or guardians have to swab test children aged 11 or under.

Test results

The system and process used to notify you of your test results varies depending on the method you chose. When you book the test you will be given more information about how you’ll get your result. You should receive your test result within 72 hours.

If you’ve had a test at a:

  • Mass Testing Centre
  • Mobile Testing Unit
  • Local Testing Site

please contact 119 if you have not received your results within 72 hours.

If you are a critical worker and you’ve had a test at a Community Testing Unit which is operated by the local health board, please contact your local health board for enquiries relating to test results.

If you’ve received your test result and have questions or need further advice, please visit Public Health Wales information for individuals tested for COVID-19 infection.

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 further advice.

If you don’t have internet access, call 111. In a medical emergency, dial 999 and inform the call handler or operator that you or your relative have COVID-19 symptoms.