Getting a COVID-19 test in Somerset
The national guidance around COVID-19 testing was updated on 11 January 2022
There are two types of test for COVID-19:
- Rapid lateral flow tests – they can be done by anyone at home and give a quick result using a device similar to a pregnancy test. You can order for collection at your local pharmacy, or order online to be sent to your home.
- PCR tests – these are done at a PCR testing site or can be ordered on the Gov.uk website. Once the test is done, they are sent to a lab to be checked.
Both tests are free.
What should I do if I get a positive lateral flow test?
If you get a positive rapid lateral flow test result, you currently do not need to take a PCR test to confirm the result.
However, you must report your result on GOV.UK and self-isolate immediately from the first day of your positive lateral flow test result.
You can stop self-isolating at the start of day 6 if you get 2 negative rapid lateral flow test results on days 5 and 6 and do not have a temperature. Tests must be at least 24 hours apart. If either test is positive, wait 24 hours before testing again.
This is a temporary measure while COVID-19 rates remain high across the UK. Whilst levels of COVID-19 are high, the vast majority of people with positive LFD results can be confident that they have COVID-19.
How do I get a PCR test in Somerset?
If you have symptoms associated with COVID-19 including a new continuous cough, high temperature or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell, you are must isolate immediately and request a PCR test, or call 119. Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP practice.
You can order a PCR test kit to be sent to your home or book an appointment at a local Somerset walk-in or drive-through test site
If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do.
You cannot book a test via the NHS111 system, or in person at your GP practice, pharmacy or hospital.
Can I have a PCR test if I don’t have symptoms?
Any person not displaying these symptoms should not request a PCR test, as doing so could mean somebody with symptoms is unable to receive their essential test in a timely manner.
Track and Trace
NHS Test and Trace:
- ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of Covid-19 can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus, and also includes targeted asymptomatic testing of NHS and social care staff and care home residents
- helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus.
Follow hands, face, space guidance
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.