Coronavirus (COVID-19): Public health advice

Testing for coronavirus

Test and trace guidance means those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus must isolate for 10 days, even if they have no symptoms.

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.

People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 10 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.

Members of their household will not have to stay at home unless the person identified becomes symptomatic, at which point they must also self-isolate for 10 days to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.

Anyone with a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a change in their sense of smell or taste is asked to immediately report these symptoms and book a test.

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. .

Book your test if you do not have symptoms