There are two types of Covid-19 test
There are two main types of Covid-19 tests. The first is a PCR test. A PCR test is sent to a lab to be analysed and is usually used for people who are showing symptoms. During 'enhanced testing' for variants of Covid-19, it is also used for people who are not showing symptoms as PCR tests can be checked to find out which variant of Covid-19 someone has.
The second type of test is a rapid or lateral-flow test. This does not need to be sent to a lab and can give a result in 15 minutes. It is 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.
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 15 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.