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Your questions answered on testing

Find answers to common questions about testing for coronavirus, including when and how to get a test, and what to do if you can't get one quickly.

Book a test as soon as possible if you have one or more of the main symptoms of coronavirus. These are:

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

If you have no symptoms, you can get a rapid result test at any of our rapid test centre sites. You do not need to book at these sites.

If you have symptoms

You must book your test online at or call 119.

If you have no symptoms

You can go to any of our rapid test centres without booking.

You need to stay at home, with the rest of your household, and self-isolate while you are waiting for your test.

Here in Leicester we saw a rise in the infection rate in the summer. We carried out large scale testing to identify where the virus was and to prevent it spreading further.

Yes. Staff and volunteers continue to visit homes in target areas to talk to residents about coronavirus. We may give out a home testing kit or direct you to testing facilities.

Our volunteers are from a range of organisations including the city council, health services and local universities. They will all have ID as shown below.

Community testing identification badge

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, they will ask you to book a test. They will never ask for banking information.

No. A test might feel a bit uncomfortable for a few seconds, but it is quick and it is not painful. You need to take a swab on a long cotton bud from the back of your throat and up your nose.

Self-isolating means staying at home. You should not go to work, school, college or university, or go to shops or other public places. You must not use public transport or taxis. If you are self-isolating, you'll need to ask someone else to do your shopping and other errands for you.

You can be fined up to £10,000 if you fail to self-isolate.

If you are notified that you have been in close contact with someone testing positive for coronavirus, you must self-isolate at home for 10 days, even if you have had a negative test.

However, if you have had both vaccinations and come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus, you are advised to take a PCR test. A 10 day quarantine period is not compulsory.