Coronavirus testing

Latest update on testing, if you have symptoms:  You can get tested at Charteris Rd and Gants Hill from 8am to noon but walk-ins are no longer available. Mildmay car park is still open between 8am-8pm. Book here


Testing in Redbridge

To receive a test for coronavirus, you must book an appointment or order an at-home testing kit. If you need a test in Redbridge, you can book an appointment to visit one of two permanent walk-through testing facilities. You must get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms. You should do a rapid test twice a week (every 3 to 4 days) to check if you have the virus. If people test regulalry, it helps stop the virus spreading.

For those with COVID-19 symptoms

Walk-through testing

We now have two permanent 7 days a week coronavirus testing facilities in the borough:

From 1 November Gants Hill and Charteris Road testing cetnres will operate from 8am to 6pm. 

Gants Hill Library Car Park
Please visit the Gants Hill Library testing centre page for full information on getting tested.

Charteris Car Park
Please visit the Charteris Car Park testing centre page for full information on getting tested.

Please book an appointment before attending the centres.

Mobile Testing Units

There is a Mobile Testing Unit in the borough for those with symptoms at the following site which can be booked here:

Mildmay Car Park, 1 Mildmay Rd, Ilford, IG1 1HW

Home test kits - door-to-door

If you have symptoms and would like to order a free home test kit you can do so here. If you have other problems using the online service, call 119.

In addition to this, residents may receive a knock on their door from Redbridge staff offering information and advice on COVID-19 in your area and the opportunity to receive a home test kit. More information is available on our door-to-door engagement news article

For those without COVID-19 symptoms

Rapid test sites

Redbridge Central Library,  Ilford IG1 1ZJ

Monday to Saturday, 10am - 5pm (last test 4:45pm)


You can collect COVID-19 tests from 50 pharmacies in Redbridge which can be found by searching online here.

From 4 October, to collect an LFD test kit from a local pharmacy you will need to:

    • register for a collect code via or 119 prior to making a collection from a pharmacy
    • receive no more than two test kits per request
    • be 16 years or older to collect an LFD test kit

Who can apply

If you have symptoms but are not a key worker 

Anyone who has coronavirus symptoms can ask for a test

Check if you have coronavirus symptoms on the NHS website.

If you are an essential worker or based in a care home

You can apply for a coronavirus test on GOV.UK if you:

  • are an essential worker, including NHS or social care staff
  • are applying for tests for the residents and staff of your care home
  • have a verification code from your employer​

Who should not apply

  • Employers: Employers can set up their own on-site testing programmes, outside of that which currently exists with the NHS Test and Trace service. You can also help by communicating the guidance around testing to your staff. 
  • Travel companies: you should not be directing clients to NHS Test and Trace to get a test for anything related to overseas travel.


When to get tested

You need to get tested within the first five days of developing symptoms to be effective. 

Only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested by a doctor or a public health professional or by your local council. The main symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

When you shouldn't get tested

  • Do not use this service to get a test in order to travel to another country. We do not provide certificates for travel purposes. You can pay for a private test.
  • If your employer, school, or travel company has asked for evidence of a negative coronavirus test result, we are unable to provide this service. You should only get tested if you have symptoms.
  • If someone in your household starts to have symptoms, then they must get tested and the rest of your household should self-isolate with them whilst they wait for the results. If you or other members of the household don’t have symptoms, then you should not get a test – only people with symptoms should get tested. Most people who are tested in person get their results the next day. Full guidance on self-isolation is available on
  • If you have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus you should not get tested unless you have coronavirus symptoms. A negative test result does not change the period of time that you will be required to self-isolate.  
  • Do not stockpile tests. If you develop symptoms in future you will be able to book a test. There is no need to order a test in case of future use.


What the test is

The test for coronavirus involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat using a long cotton bud. It tests if you currently have coronavirus. 

If you test positive you must share information about your recent contacts through the NHS test and trace service.


Testing options

  • Home test kits
  • Drive through test centres around London
  • Walk-through test centres
  • Temporary Mobile Test Units

You can book a test online or via your employer. If you book through your employer, only the drive-through test centre option is available.

Mobile testing units are operating across London. Slots are limited but if you are eligible, you can apply and book a slot at the nearest available unit.



If you have any questions or need more information, visit the government's testing pages or contact the Coronavirus Testing Call Centre.

  • Telephone: 0300 303 2713 (open daily, 8am to 8pm)


Apply for a test

Apply to get tested online.

You will apply for a test by providing your name and telephone number. If you are applying as an essential worker, you will be asked why you are getting tested.

You will then receive a text message confirming if you have been allocated a slot for a COVID-19 test and you will receive a link to an appointment booking form. 

If you are unable to book online or have difficulty with the online portal, you can ring 119 to book your test.


Apply for a test


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