Coronavirus - How to get a test

You can get tested for free whether you have symptoms or not. Testing is vital to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Getting a test if you have symptoms

If you are showing any of the following Covid-19 symptoms, however mild, you must self-isolate and get a PCR test as soon as you can:

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

If you test positive with a rapid LFD test and don’t have any symptoms, you no longer need to do a confirmatory PCR test. Instead, you should self-isolate. There’s more information about self-isolation on our self-isolation page.

You can get tested at a testing site or order a home test kit. Book online or call 119.

The test booking site can be very busy. If you are unable to order a test please try again later.

PCR home test kits

Your home test kit will usually be delivered the day after ordering, along with instructions on how to complete it.  We recommend locating and using your closest priority postbox to ensure that your completed test is processed as quickly as possible. If you need help returning your completed test, please call 119, who can provide further support.

PCR testing sites

When you book a PCR, the test sites closest to you with appointments available will be clearly visible for you to select.

Plan your parking in advance if you are travelling to a Pedestrian only test centre by car.

You can see testing locations in Sheffield on our Google map.

Test results will usually be returned within 48 hours. If you have not received your results by this time, please call 119.

Meadowhall Shopping Centre (Drive-through only) Closing 30 March

  • overspill car park, plot 7, S9 1EP
  • open from 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week

Upperthorpe (Pedestrian only) Closing 22 March

  • Shipton Street Car Park, Upperthorpe, Sheffield, S6 3EB
  • open from 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week

Darnall (Pedestrian only) Closing 30 March

  • Station Rd Car Park, Darnall, S9 4JT (Parking available across from site)
  • open from 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week

Burngreave (Pedestrian only) Closing 30 March

  • Gower St Car Park, Burngreave, S4 7JW
  • open from 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week

Getting a rapid LFD test if you don't have symptoms

Anyone can get regular rapid lateral flow tests without having symptoms. Even if you're vaccinated, if you or those you live with are mixing with people outside your household, it’s recommended you test yourself with a rapid LFD test at times of high risk. For example, when you will be spending time in crowded and enclosed places, or before spending time with those who are at high risk of becoming seriously ill if they contract COVID-19. An LFD test uses either a throat and nasal swab or, on newer packs, just a nasal swab. Test results are ready in up to 30 minutes.

If you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your final dose) and you are a close contact of a positive case, you should also take an LFD test daily for the next 7 days, or 10 days since your last contact, if this is sooner.

You can collect a pack of 7 tests for free to take at home from a local pharmacy.

If you can, before you collect your tests, you should apply for a ‘collect code’ to give to the pharmacy by registering online or by calling 119. You don't need a code to collect LFD tests from a pharmacy.

You can get a free pack of 7 tests sent to your home:

You can collect a pack of 7 free tests from the Community Covid Bus. Staff can also help you take the test or help you take it yourself. Search #CommunityCovidBus on Twitter to see where the minibus will be next. They are also available at the Moor Market stall.

If you’re unsure how to do an LFD test you can watch a video guide on GOV.UK: How to do a coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow test.

You will need to report your LFD results online or on the phone. The instructions to do this will be in your test kit. It’s important to report even negative results, as this helps to provide an accurate picture of COVID-19 in the UK.

Workplace testing

Some employers offer rapid tests. Ask your employer if they provide rapid tests. If they don’t, remember you can order them yourself for free to your home address.

Nursery, school, college or university testing 

You should do an LFD test twice a week if you:

  • attend secondary school, college or university
  • work in an early years or children and young people’s education setting

You should be provided with the tests by your education setting or workplace.

Parents or carers of primary age pupils (aged 5 and above) are encouraged to test their child if they are identified as a contact of a positive COVID-19 case. The setting will advise you further on this. You should access testing kits via the Community Covid Team, Pharmacy Collect or home delivery. If your child has symptoms of Covid-19 you must book a PCR test for them.

What to do if you test positive

If you test positive you must self-isolate to help stop the virus spreading. Find out more about self-isolation, including practical and financial support, on our self-isolation page.

If you test positive with a rapid LFD test and you don’t have any symptoms, you no longer need to do a confirmatory PCR test. Instead, you should self-isolate as normal.

Getting tests for travel

Visit GOV.UK: Travel abroad from England during coronavirus (COVID-19) for more information on test requirements for travel abroad.

PCR and LFD tests for travel purposes are carried out by verified private providers. You cannot use the NHS Test and Trace service. You can find a private provider on GOV.UK: Find a coronavirus (COVID-19) travel test provider if you're arriving in the UK.

Avoiding COVID-19 scams

A number of scams have been reported on COVID-19 related issues. You can stay alert to potential COVID-19 scams by signing up for Action Fraud's fraud alert service.

General guidance:

  • you will never be called by Test and Trace from a mobile or withheld number
  • you will never be asked to call a premium rate number, set up a password or PIN over the phone, or provide your bank details
  • you will never be asked to make a payment for a COVID test (except for those relating to travel), COVID vaccination, or COVID pass
  • travel tests are chargeable and you should only use one of the approved providers listed at GOV.UK: Find a coronavirus travel test provider if you're arriving in England
  • if you believe that you have been a victim of COVID-19 fraud, report it to Actionfraud.

Coronavirus Community Resources

For materials on Coronavirus support information in different languages and formats please visit Coronavirus Community Resources our online resources centre.

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