People can ask for a test if they, or a member of their household, have the recent onset of any of the following symptoms:
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia)
The test needs to be done in the first 5 days of having symptoms (it is better to apply for a test in the first 3 days if possible).
Members of the public (who are not essential workers) who have symptoms of coronavirus should use the national booking system by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. Those who do not have any access to the internet, or who have difficulty with the digital portals, are able to ring a new 119 service to book their test.
People experiencing any of the above symptoms and their household members should self-isolate immediately. If you need medical advice about your symptoms use NHS 111 online or call NHS 111.
Testing for essential workers
Essential Workers, and members of their household, who have symptoms can use the dedicated local arrangement (by speaking to their employer) or should register for a test through the Self-Referral and Employer Portals on gov.uk.
Care Homes in England can continue to register for delivery of tests for all their staff and residents, whether or not they have symptoms: gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-care-home.
How to get tested in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin
Testing can either be done at home by applying for a home testing kit or by registering for an appointment at a drive-through testing centre.
Testing is provided at drive-through testing centres, currently by appointment only, and the correct booking procedures must be followed in order to avoid being turned away.
In Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin this may be at a Mobile Testing Unit based in a temporary location in Shropshire, or further afield, at a regionally based drive-through testing centre.
The test itself involves taking a swab of the inside of the nose and the back of the throat, using a long cotton bud. This can be done by the person themselves or by someone else. Results of the test and subsequent advice will be provided.
Victoria Rankin, Executive Lead for People for Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, said: “If you have symptoms of coronavirus you should book a test as soon as you can, ideally in the first three days.
“Testing will help keep NHS and other public services running smoothly, allow people to return to work as quickly as possible and help keep those who are vulnerable safe.
“The Mobile Testing Units based in temporary locations in the county have increased our testing capabilities, so we hope they will be well-used by those that need them.”