What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19

Free testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) from the NHS has ended for most people in England. Free testing services have closed at:

  • pharmacies
  • test sites
  • community collection points such as libraries
  • schools, nurseries and universities

While you’re no longer legally required to self-isolate if you have COVID-19, you should try to stay at home and away from others to avoid passing on the virus.

The three main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) as as follows:

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

Who can get a free  COVID-19 test

There are a small number of people who will still be able to get free COVID-19 tests from the NHS.

If you have a health condition which means you're eligible for new COVID-19 treatments

If you have a health condition which means you're eligible for new COVID-19 treatments, you should be sent a COVID-19 test to use if you have symptoms.

You can order free NHS tests yourself, if you have not received any tests yet or have used the tests you've been sent.

If you're going into hospital for surgery or a procedure

You may need to get tested if you're due to have surgery or a procedure.

Your hospital will tell you how to get a test. Contact your hospital department if you have any questions.

If you work in the NHS or in social care

You are eligible for free tests if you're:

  • NHS patient-facing staff
  • staff who deliver NHS services through an independent healthcare provider, and have direct contact with NHS patients
  • a social worker
  • a personal assistant
  • a Shared Lives carer
  • a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspector

If you work in care homes, domiciliary care, extra care and supported living services, and adult day care centres, you can also get free NHS tests. 

If a significant number of cases of a COVID-19 variant of concern are found in the borough, we’re ready to roll out surge testing in affected areas.