To receive a test for coronavirus, you must book an appointment. You cannot be tested without an appointment.
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
When to get tested
You need to get tested within the first five days of developing symptoms to be effective.
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.
The options for testing are:
- Home test kits
- Drive through test centres around London
- 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.