Lateral flow tests

Rapid lateral flow tests are a reliable test for COVID-19. They are used when someone DOES NOT have any symptoms. These tests give a quick result and do not need to be sent to a lab. 

If people test positive, they MUST self-isolate immediately and report the result online or by calling 119. You will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace so your contacts can be identified.

From 11 January 2022 people DO NOT need to book a PCR to confirm a positive lateral flow test result.

Taking regular lateral flow tests helps us all protect those around us, especially if we are planning to visit someone who is at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID, or we are going to be mixing with people we don’t normally. All of these actions help stop the virus spreading, and help keep ourselves, our family and friends, and our communities safer. 

If you do have symptoms of COVID-19 – a new persistent cough, a high temperature or a loss of sense of taste or smell – you MUST take a PCR test as soon as possible, and self-isolate while you wait for the result.

You MUST continue to isolate and follow current government guidance if your PCR test is positive.

Ordering lateral flow tests

Anyone can request a box of lateral flow tests. They are free and can be ordered online or collected from a local pharmacy, vaccination hubs, test centres or community collection points. You can also ring 119 to request a pack of rapid tests. 

Order online here. You will need your NHS login (which is what you use to see your vaccination status on the NHS App).

If you wish to pick a box of lateral flow tests from a local pharmacy, you will need a ‘collect code’. Register for your code here. It will be sent to you via email or your mobile phone, so you can show the pharmacy when you collect your test packs. The pharmacy will make a note of your test code.

Find a local pharmacy to collect lateral flow tests. Please note St Mary’s dispensary is NOT providing these tests.

You will need to get a new collect code for your next box of flow tests. Simply repeat the ordering process. 

Once you’ve done your lateral flow test, you must report the test results.

You should report your result every time you use a lateral flow test, and report it as soon as possible after you take the test. Please note you cannot report a result after more than 24 hours. You can only report one result at a time. 

If you do not have access to the internet, please dial 119* to report your test results. You will need the QR code or ID number printed on the test strip. 

If you are taking daily rapid lateral flow tests because you are a contact of someone who has COVID-19, you should report your result every day. 

*119 lines are open every day from 7am-11pm. They provide support in 200 languages. If you use BSL, you can access a FREE online interpreter service.

Lateral flow test
If you do a lateral flow test regularly, you help stop COVID-19 spreading.

Updated: 12.1.22