Get help with asking for a coronavirus test - NHS

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Get help with asking for a coronavirus test

The NHS website team can help with problems with the NHS website. We cannot help with personal health queries.

Here are answers to some common questions about getting a test to check if you have coronavirus now. You can .

Why have my test results not arrived yet?

When your test result is available, you will get a text or email that explains what your result is and what you need to do next.

Most people get their result the next day, but it may take up to 3 days.

If you do not get your result by day 6, call the coronavirus testing contact centre on 119 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or 0300 303 2713 (Scotland). The contact centre is open from 7am to 11pm.

Stay at home

If you had a test because you had symptoms, you and anyone you live with must stay at home until you get your result.

Anyone in your support bubble must also stay at home until you get your result.

Can I get a test for my child? 

If you're staying at home (self-isolating) because you live with a child who has coronavirus symptoms, you can apply for a test for them, whatever their age.

If you're applying for a test for a child who is 13 or over, check that they are happy for you to get a test for them.

A young person can apply for a test for themselves from the age of 16.

Children aged 11 or under

Children aged 11 or under cannot do the test themselves. You (their parent or guardian) will have to swab test your child, whether you get a home test kit or go to a test site. You will get instructions on how to do it.

Some test sites have testers who will carry out the swab test but this is only available for adults and children aged 12 and above.

Children aged 12 to 17 

Children aged 12 to 17 can swab test themselves or have their parent or guardian swab test them.

At some test sites, a tester will carry out the test.

Can I order more than 4 home test kits?

We can only send a limited number of kits at the moment. You can get 1 for yourself and anyone else you live with who has coronavirus symptoms, but we have set the limit at 4. 

If you live in a care home, prison or other residential setting, mobile testing units are visiting places where there may be lots of people with coronavirus symptoms.

Why does the website tell me there are no coronavirus tests available?

We have a limited number of home test kits and drive-through or walk-through test appointments available at a time. 

If the website says there are none left, it's because we have given out all the kits and filled all the appointments that are available at the moment.  

Try again later as more appointments are made available during the day.

The nearest test site to me is too far away. What can I do?

You can try asking for a home test kit instead.

  • In England and Northern Ireland, you can get a home test kit up to 3pm on the 7th day since your symptoms started (you need to get the test done in the first 8 days of having symptoms).
  • In Scotland and Wales, you can get a home test kit up to 3pm on the 4th day since your symptoms started (you need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms).

You can also try again later as more appointments are made available during the day.

Information:

Coronavirus testing contact centre

If you have questions about a test you've booked, you can call the customer contact centre from 7am to 11pm.

  • England, Wales and Northern Ireland: call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines)
  • Scotland: call 0300 303 2713 (charged at your standard network rate)

If no tests are available online, do not call the contact centre to get a test. No extra tests are available through the contact centre.

Urgent advice: If your symptoms get worse, go to:

  • England: 
  • Scotland: 
  • Wales: 
  • Northern Ireland: get advice from a GP or GP out-of-hours service

Page last reviewed: 28 October 2020
Next review due: 4 November 2020