Coronavirus (COVID-19): Public health advice

Testing for coronavirus

If you develop Covid-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test, even if your symptoms are mild. You should self-isolate at home while you book the test and wait for the results. You must self-isolate if you test positive. Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days.

How test and trace works

Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within two metres for more than 15 minutes.

If you test positive for Covid-19 you will still need to self-isolate regardless of your vaccination status or age.

People fully vaccinated or under 18 will not need to self-isolate after close contact with someone who has Covid-19. You’ll still need to take a PCR test and self-isolate if it’s positive, or if you have symptoms.

Read an overview of the test and trace service

Test and Trace app

Protect your loved ones with the official NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app for England and Wales.

It's the fastest way of knowing when you're at risk from coronavirus. The quicker you know, the quicker you can alert your loved ones and your community.

Find out more and how to download the app

Test and Trace support payments

The government has introduced Test and Trace support payments for certain people who need to self-isolate. Find out more.

Testing for people without symptoms

Testing more people without symptoms and sticking to the rules is the best way to protect lives and get back to normal as soon as possible.

You can pick up free rapid home testing kits from local pharmacies. Find your nearest collection point.

You can also drop-in or book a rapid test at local community testing sites.