Testing for people with symptoms (PCR tests)

If you have any symptoms of Covid-19, you must self-isolate immediately and get a coronavirus test.

The main symptoms are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result. Please only leave your home to have a test.

You can order a home test to be sent to you or for the fastest result, book an appointment at a PCR test site.

There are currently three sites in Brighton & Hove:

  • Disused School Site - junction of Mile Oak Road and High Street, Portslade, BN41 2PG
  • Preston Park, Preston Lane, BN1 6SD
  • East Brighton park Tennis Courts, BN2 5UA

Essential workers (including NHS workers, teachers, social care and transport staff) will be prioritised for appointments.

You can find full details about testing for people with symptoms on the NHS website

Testing for people without symptoms (LFD tests)

One in three people with coronavirus show no symptoms and could be spreading it without knowing. Twice weekly rapid testing will help find these cases and prevent the spread of infection.

Rapid tests using lateral flow devices (LFD) are easy to use. The test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat and gives results in 30 minutes, so those who test positive can self-isolate immediately and avoid passing the virus on to others. 

If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 the symptom-free (lateral flow) tests are not the right one to take, you should book a free PCR test and follow the self-isolation guidance.

How to get a symptom-free test

There are different ways to take up the offer of twice weekly symptom-free testing. Please choose the best that's best for you.

Pick up a test pack to take at home

If you’re happy to do the test yourself at home, you can drop-in and collect test kits to take at home. 

There’s no need to book, just find a site near you, check the opening hours and collect your tests. You will usually be given two boxes of seven tests.

Within the test kit you will receive instructions on how to take the test, how to record the test result and what to do if you test positive. You should record both positive and negative results.

Watch a video showing how to do a Covid-19 symptom-free test at home

Order test packs online

If you can’t get to a collect point or access tests through the other routes, you can order a box of home test kits online or through 119.

Book an assisted symptom-free test

Tests can also be taken at participating pharmacies across Sussex or at a dedicated testing centre at Hove Town Hall. These tests are taken under supervision of a member of staff who will then process your result for you on site within 30 minutes. 

If you don’t feel confident taking the test by yourself at home or you are taking one for the first time, we recommend booking an assisted test where staff can answer any questions you may have.

Get a test through your workplace

Many employers are offering testing in the workplace. This includes testing sites where you can take a supervised test, and workplace collect where you can pick up a box of tests to use at home. If your employer offers workplace testing, this is the best route for you to access rapid tests.

Other testing routes

Testing is also available through settings such as schools, colleges, universities, and the care sector.

Secondary and college students, as well as school staff, are being given tests to use at home twice a week, throughout term time and the holidays. Children under 12 should not be tested using an LFD test. 

Watch a video showing how to test your child for Covid-19 at home

More information about symptom-free testing is available on the GOV.UK website.

If you receive a positive result from a LFD you must take a follow-up PCR test within 2 days

If you receive a positive LFD test result (through any route), you and your household must self-isolate immediately and you must book a follow-up PCR test within two days. For example, if you test positive on Monday, you have until the end of Wednesday to get your follow-up test.

While waiting for your follow-up result you and your household should follow the stay at home guidance.

If your follow-up test is negative, you and your household can stop self-isolating.

If you receive a negative test result

If you test negative, this does not completely rule out infection, as there can be false negative results. To protect yourself and others you should continue to follow the national guidance for stopping the spread of coronavirus and remember: Hands. Face. Space.

Support if you need to self-isolate

If you are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace:

If you’re not legally required to self-isolate, but you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate, you could also be eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment or a discretionary payment.

Everyone can also get advice or support from our community hub