There are two types of Covid-19 tests
These tests are sent to a lab to be analysed and are usually used for people who are showing symptoms. But they may also be used for people who do not have symptoms, during a period of “enhanced” testing. This is because they help with detecting what variant of Covid-19 a person has.
They can also be used in an area when there is a localised rise in cases, as a precaution so that variants can be checked for if needed.
Rapid or lateral flow tests
The second type of tests are rapid or lateral flow tests. These do not need to be sent to a lab and can give a result in 30 minutes. They are normally used for non-symptomatic testing, which means you must not be showing any symptoms when you visit one of our testing centres.
If you have symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your taste or smell – you must start self-isolating immediately, while you book your test.
How to book a test
Tests must be booked in advance through the GOV.UK website, NHS app, or by dialling 119.
Non-symptomatic rapid testing
Around 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 don’t have any symptoms, but they can still pass it on. You can get a quick free test at a local site or collect test kits to use at home. Both return results within an hour.
This community testing is a crucial part of our efforts to reduce cases in Lambeth. The rapid test also known as a lateral flow test will help to identify anyone who unknowingly has the virus, and enable those who test positive and their contacts to self-isolate, stopping the spread of the virus. The tests take around 30 minutes and you get your results usually within two hours of leaving the testing site via text or email, or waiting 30 minutes to read your result if you have self-tested at home.
Surge testing in Clapham, Brixton, Stockwell, Vauxhall and West Norwood
As of 19 June 2021, people living and working in these areas are currently being encouraged to have a PCR test, regardless of whether they have symptoms, due to a rise in Covid-19 cases of the Delta variant. Temporary PCR testing sites have opened in Brixton, Clapham, Stockwell, Vauxhall and West Norwood.
Get a PCR test in these areas