Updated 4 April 2023 

NHS COVID-19 rapid lateral flow tests are no longer free for most people.

You may still be able to get free COVID-19 rapid lateral flow tests from the NHS if:

  • you have a health condition which means you’re eligible for COVID-19 treatment
  • you're going into hospital
  • you work in some NHS or adult social care settings

If you want to get tested but are not eligible for free NHS rapid lateral flow tests, you need to pay for the test yourself. You can buy rapid lateral flow tests from some pharmacies and retailers, in person or online. You cannot report these results to the NHS.

You do not need to take a test or quarantine when you arrive in the UK. You should check travel advice for the country you are going to.

Find out more about testing for COVID-19, and order a test if you are eligible.

Testing in health and care settings

Testing guidance changed on 3 April 2023. All previous testing guidance has been withdrawn.

Information on COVID-19 testing in adult social care is available in the COVID-19 supplement to the infection prevention and control resource for adult social care.

What you can do instead of taking a COVID-19 test

Most people are no longer advised to get tested. Find out:

When to seek medical advice

Go to 111.nhs.uk, call 111 or call your GP surgery if:

  • you’re worried about your symptoms
  • your symptoms get worse

In an emergency, go to A&E immediately or call 999.

COVID-19 close contact scam alert

Some people have received suspicious text messages claiming to be from the NHS advising that you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and asking you to pay for a test.

To protect yourself and your family members from fraud and criminals, please remember that the NHS will not:

  • text you and ask you to enter personal details on a link
  • call you and ask you to press buttons on a keypad
  • ask for payment or for any bank details
  • ask to come to your home 

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. 

If you are suspicious about an email, forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk

If you are suspicious about a text message, forward it to the number 7726 (which is free-of-charge)

If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by visiting actionfraud.police.uk or calling 0300 123 2040.

If you have any information relating to NHS COVID Pass or vaccine certificate fraud you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting CrimeStoppers online at covidfraudhotline.org or call on 0800 587 5030.

If any money has been taken from your account please contact your bank or building society immediately and let them know what's happened..

Read more about How to spot and report scam emails, texts, websites and calls from GOV.UK