Free and convenient rapid Covid tests now available for everyone
Everyone can and is encouraged to take twice weekly Covid tests, even when we have no symptoms.
With restrictions easing further we can now meet more people, get our hair done, go to a pub garden. Wouldn’t you like to do those things confident that everyone around you is doing all they can to make sure they’re not spreading Covid without knowing?
Around 1 in 3 people who have Covid show no symptoms. As lockdown measures begin to relax and we resume parts of life we have all missed, regular rapid testing is fundamental to helping us quickly spot positive cases and stop any outbreaks.
If we all get into the habit of taking regular tests, reporting our results and self-isolating if we’re positive, we can get back to seeing the people we love and doing the things we enjoy.
It’s easy to take the tests.
In Brighton & Hove you can get tested in several convenient ways. Please choose what’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 collect tests from various locations across the city.
Pharmacy Collect and Community Collect
Thousands of pharmacies across England have signed up to offer pharmacy collect meaning people will be able to go to a participating pharmacy and pick up a free test kits to use at home.
Across Sussex, local authorities are also setting up test kit collections sites from libraries. Staff will be on hand to distribute kits during their normal library opening hours.
Search NHS England’s site finder website to find pharmacies or sites nearby that offer collection of LFD test packs.
In Brighton & Hove you can currently collect kits from:
- Jubilee Library – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday 10am–5pm, and Sunday 11am–5pm
- Hove Town Hall – Monday to Saturday 8am–5pm, and Wednesday until 8pm
There’s no need to book, just find a site near you, check the opening hours and collect your tests. Over the coming weeks more sites will be added.
Only people over 18 years old should use Community and Pharmacy Collect. People can collect two boxes at a time, each box contains seven tests. You can also collect on behalf of other family members aged over 18, or people you care for.
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.
NHS Test & Trace sites
These are across the country and operate as symptomatic testing sites in the morning but are currently providing an afternoon collect option, where you can pick up test kits to use at home.
This week in Brighton & Hove you can collect test kits from the following sites Monday to Sunday, 2.30–8pm:
- Portslade, Disused school site - junction of Mile Oak Road and High Street, BN41 2PG
- Preston Park, Preston Lane, BN16SD
- East Brighton Park Tennis Courts, BN2 5UA
Secondary and college students are already being given tests to use at home twice a week, throughout term time and the holidays.
Order online through LFD Direct
For people who can’t access tests through the other routes, you can order test kits online or by calling 119, which will be delivered to your home.
Tests can be booked at participating community 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 people don’t feel confident taking the test themselves at home, or they are taking one for the first time, we would recommend booking an assisted test where staff can answer any questions people may have.
Book a symptom-free test at a community pharmacy or Hove Town Hall. Tests must be booked in advance.
Alistair Hill, Director of Public Health for Brighton & Hove City Council explains why symptom free testing is so important.
“Last week we saw a 50% decrease in new Covid cases on the previous week. This is great news but we must not drop our guard.
“The number of confirmed cases reported are only those that we know about. Because some people with Covid-19 do not get any symptoms, more people in the city will have the virus than these figures show. As the city opens up and we’re mixing with more people it’s important to make sure we’re not spreading the virus without realising it.
“If everyone takes twice weekly symptom free tests we can find the positive cases and self-isolate to avoid passing the virus on. This will help to keep the numbers of cases low and stop outbreaks, so we can get back to seeing the people we love and doing the things we enjoy.
“Even if you’ve had your vaccine, please self-isolate following a positive result, keep social contacts within the rules and get your vaccination as soon as you’re invited. And if you have any symptoms of Covid please immediately self-isolate and get a PCR test.”
“We’ve come this far by supporting and caring for each other. Let’s keep going while the vaccination programme rolls-out. Then we can stay on track to enjoy the next step out of lockdown when restrictions ease again in May.”
What should someone do if they get a positive LFD result?
Anyone who gets a positive result from an LFD test must take a follow-up PCR test within 2 days.
For example, if you test positive on Monday, you have until the end of Wednesday to get your follow-up PCR test.
If you receive a positive LFD test result, you and your household must self-isolate immediately and you will need to book a follow-up PCR test within two days. 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. You should continue to follow the national guidance.
If you have symptoms, book a PCR test
Support to self-isolate is available
You can get free delivery from a local pharmacy during your 10-day isolation period if you have no other way to get their medicines. You will need your NHS Test and Trace Account ID when requesting the service.
If you are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or you are the are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate, you may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme
Everyone can also get advice or support from our community hub.
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