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20.05.2020

Coronavirus testing – New contact centre and common questions about testing information

Coronavirus testing contact centre

If you have questions about a test you’ve booked or are having trouble booking a test, you can call the customer contact centre from 7am to 11pm.

  • England and Wales: call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines)
  • Scotland and Northern Ireland: call 0300 303 2713 (charged at your standard network rate)

Here are answers to some common questions about getting a test to check if you have coronavirus now. 

Why does the website keep telling me there are no coronavirus tests available?

There is very high demand for tests. We have a limited number of home test kits and drive-through test appointments available at a time. 

If the website says there are none left, it’s because we have given out all the kits and filled all the appointments that are available at the moment.  

We are managing things carefully so people in hospital, NHS staff and other essential workers get priority. To help us do this, the website limits how many people can ask for a test at one time.

We make more tests available every hour.

The nearest test site to me is too far away. What can I do?

More test sites and mobile units will become available over the next few weeks. 

If you have symptoms now, you could try asking for a home test kit instead.

Can I get a test for my child? 

If you’re staying at home (self-isolating) because you live with a child or young person under 16 years old who has coronavirus symptoms, you can ask for a test for them.

A young person can apply for a test for themselves from the age of 16.

Under 5s

Do not use a test kit on a child under 5 years old.

If your child is under 5 and has coronavirus symptoms, call 111. 

Children aged 5 to 11 

If your child is aged 5 to 11 years old, they cannot do the test themselves. You (their parent or guardian) must swab test your child.

Some test sites cannot do tests for children aged 5 to 11. If a test site in your area cannot test children under 12 years old, you’ll get a warning when you’re booking the test.

Children aged 12 to 15 

Children aged 12 to 15 can swab test themselves or have their parent or guardian swab test them.

If you want a test for a child who is 13 or over, check that they are happy for you to ask for a test for them.

Can I order more than 4 home test kits?

We can only send a limited number of kits at the moment. You can get 1 for yourself and anyone else you live with who has coronavirus symptoms, but we have set the limit at 4. 

If you live in a care home, prison or other residential setting, there are plans to send mobile testing units to places where there may be lots of people with coronavirus symptoms.

I asked for a drive-through test. Why have I not received an invitation yet?

As there is very high demand for tests, the website limits the number of requests it processes at a time. It may take a while to hear from us, but you will get a text saying either: 

  • you can book an appointment for a test 
  • today’s appointments have all been taken

Why have my test results not arrived yet?

If you have a test at a regional test site, it can take up to 48 hours to get your results. It may take up to 72 hours for a home test. 

When your result is available, you will get a text or email that explains what your result is and what you need to do next.

Urgent advice:If your symptoms get worse, go to:

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