Adults and children over five with symptoms now eligible for coronavirus test

Published: 20 May 2020

Starting this week, the Government has opened up coronavirus testing to all adults and children over five in the UK, who have any of the following coronavirus symptoms:

  • A new continuous cough
  • A high temperature
  • A loss of or change in normal sense of smell or taste

The free test can be done within a matter of minutes and involves a swab sample being collected from the back of the throat and the nose, which is then sent to a lab for analysis.

It will enable those with symptoms to find out whether they have the virus.

The test can be completed independently at home, at a regional drive through centre, or at a temporary mobile testing facility, with results usually received within 48 or 72 hours, depending on where the test was taken.

For it to be effective the test must be taken within five days of displaying symptoms.

The test will not indicate if someone has previously had the virus.

Booking a test:

  • Care Homes in England who look after the elderly or people with dementia can continue to register for delivery of tests for all their staff and residents, whether or not they have symptoms:

Cllr Jas Athwal, Leader of Redbridge Council, said: “The widening of testing in the community is very welcome news, and an important step in helping us beat this terrible virus.

“Anyone with coronavirus symptoms in the borough should book in for a test as soon as possible now that this facility is open to all.

“Getting tested is incredibly important as it lets you and your household know for certain if you have the virus, so you can take the steps needed to look after yourself, protect others and reduce the spread.”

“I’ll be keeping a close eye on testing availability so we can make sure there are sufficient tests for local people in Redbridge.”

For assistance, or enquiries, relating to booking or taking a test, please call the Coronavirus Testing Call Centre on 119 between 7am and 11pm. This service can also be accessed by people with hearing or speech difficulties by calling 18001 119. Please note that the call centre cannot provide clinical advice.

For the latest Government advice and information on coronavirus visit:

For a full list of essential worker roles please visit:



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