My Account

As part of the Government roadmap, COVID-19 testing will be vitally important in identifying and managing the virus in the community.

Types of test

There are two types of coronavirus tests:

(Symptomatic) PCR tests

These tests are for people who are displaying symptoms or have been advised to take a PCR test by NHS Test and Trace.

(Asymptomatic) rapid tests, or lateral flow tests

1 in 3 people with coronavirus show no symptoms and are potentially spreading it without knowing. Rapid lateral flow tests (LFDs) enable us to find these cases and prevent the spread of infection. All people in England are now able to access twice-weekly rapid flow tests, allowing us to identify cases we would otherwise not find.

Coronavirus symptoms

It is important to remember that if you display any symptoms of COVID-19, or test positive, you must self-isolate immediately. 

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new continuous cough
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

How to book a test if you have symptoms or have been advised by NHS Test and Trace

If you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 you can book a test on the GOV.UK website or call the NHS on 119.

There is a walk-in testing site at the St Mary’s University Broom Road sports campus in Teddington, and occasional centres at Old Deer Park in Richmond. When you book a test you will be given the option of a test centre based on nearest location to you and availability.

Watch a YouTube video explaining the process for drive-through testing.

Alternatively you can request a home testing kit online. Watch a YouTube tutorial supporting the instructions on your home-testing kit.

How to test if you do not have symptoms

We want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to take up the offer of twice-weekly rapid testing if they are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19.

There is currently high demand for Lateral Flow Tests. See news item for further information.

The following routes are available:

Collect a home test at a local library

Testing kits are available from the libraries in East Sheen, Hampton, Twickenham and Whitton.

See Libraries opening hours

Book a supervised test at a local pharmacy

Eight local pharmacies in Teddington, Twickenham, Barnes, Ham and Richmond are offering supervised tests. This service is available for anyone aged 18 years and older. Appointments must be booked in advance. Operating hours vary between pharmacies. Book a test at a local pharmacy

Collect a home test locally

Home tests are available at local pharmacies and some testing sites. Find your nearest location

Order them online for free

For people who can’t collect tests from a local site, you can order a box of tests online, or through 119, which will be delivered to your home. Order your box of tests

Workplace testing

Thousands of 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 still the best route for you to access rapid tests. If you are a business, find out how you can purchase tests.

Are lateral flow tests less accurate?

Lateral flow and PCR tests have different characteristics and different uses. PCR tests have higher specificity and sensitivity but require a laboratory to process results and are therefore slower and more expensive. They are therefore well suited to specific use cases, such as those with COVID-19 symptoms.

While lateral flow tests have lower sensitivity than PCR, they deliver results far faster and do not require a lab, making them more scalable. As such, they allow us to test far larger numbers of asymptomatic people and get them their test result faster than with PCR technology. This will enable us to capture a large percentage of people who are infected and infectious, but not showing symptoms and unaware of the fact that they are possibly spreading COVID-19.

Receiving your results

PCR testing

Whether you visit a testing site or use a home-testing kit, you will receive advice on what to do in order to obtain your test results. Results will be sent out by text within 48 hours from a testing site, and within 72 hours of collection of a home test.

If you or your household member tested positive, you should all continue to follow the Government's stay at home guidance.

If you receive a positive result from a PCR test, you must:

Asymptomatic testing (rapid test for those without symptoms)

If you receive a positive result from a rapid test, you must:

NHS Test and Trace

NHS Test and Trace ensures that we can protect each other by helping to identify, contain and control the spread of the virus.

Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within two metres for more than 15 minutes.

If you are alerted by NHS Test and Trace

You may be alerted by NHS Test and Trace if you have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus.

We are supporting the NHS Test and Trace Programme with local case tracing.

The scheme has local Council staff supporting the efforts to find people who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

If the NHS system cannot make contact with a local resident after two days, their details will be passed onto our service to help find additional contacts.

While on the phone, call handlers will address any queries or questions around welfare and wellbeing as well as helping with any test and trace support payments.

Financial support for people self-isolating

The Government has announced a new payment to support people who face financial difficulty if they have been instructed to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020.

Visit our NHS Test and Trace support payments page for more details.

Updated: 07 January 2022

Stay up to date! Make sure you subscribe to our email updates.