COVID-19: Getting tested

Click here to watch our video on taking a coronavirus self-test swab.

It is vital we continue testing  people who may have the symptoms of COVID-19. The latest detail of who is eligible for a test can be found below.

One of the most challenging things about coronavirus is the uncertainty: not knowing who has the infection or when it’s safe to return to normal life. Good-quality testing can help provide us with greater certainty. It’s a big part of how we’re going to defeat this disease.

In Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire there are several ways to book a test to find out if you have COVID-19.  Some are only available to those displaying symptoms like a high temperature or persistent cough, while other routes are open to specific population groups like the over 65s.

Our local testing facilities, like the one at Bristol Airport (pictured), are open seven days a week, with a large capacity, so please read on to find out if you should take a test and how to get it booked up.

There are several ways to find out if you are eligible and book a test:

1. Many people can book a test using the gov.uk online portal including:

  • Anyone aged over 5 with symptoms; including:
  • Any essential workers with symptoms
  • Anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home
  • Residents in care homes with or without symptoms*
  • Social care, care home and hospice workers with or without symptoms*
  • Household members with symptoms living with those identified above

*Care home tests can be booked by clicking here

2. People on the following list should email the Local Co-ordination Centre (often referred to as the Regional Testing Centre) and ask for a nomination/booking form:

  • Primary care staff with symptoms should click here
  • Independent health sector colleagues with symptoms
  • Personal Health Budget Holder’s Personal Assistants with symptoms
  • Social care, care home and hospice staff with or without symptoms*
  • Community care staff, Fire, Police, pharmacy and dentists with symptoms
  • Local VCSE staff and volunteers supporting community resilience with symptoms
  • Household members with symptoms living with those identified above

*Care home tests can be booked by clicking here

3. If you are unable to access the internet, you may be able to book a test or enquire about test results by calling 119 from a mobile phone or landline.  This service can also be accessed by those with hearing or speech difficulties by calling 18001 0300 303 2713

4. If you have symptoms and work for the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust you will find a booking form available on your local intranet

5. If you have symptoms and work for the North Bristol NHS Trust you will find a booking form available on your local intranet

Some people are eligible for more than one test booking route, in which case you should choose just one to avoid system duplication.

In most cases, booking requests should be submitted before 1330hrs for the possibility of next day test appointments.  It is essential that the information you supply is accurate including your phone contact details, so please double-check.

After testing, you will receive a text or phone call with your results as soon as they are available.  Workers should contact their employers as soon as they receive results to discuss next steps.

Further advice and guidance on what to do if you or someone you live with has the symptoms of coronavirus can be found here.

General advice on coronavirus can be found here.

To watch our video on how to take a coronavirus self-test swab, for example if you have been asked to test at home, click on the image below.