If you need to leave your home for any reason during the national lockdown, you can help stop the spread with a free COVID-19 lateral flow test up to twice a week at your local community testing centre.
Around 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 don’t have any symptoms and can spread it without knowing. Lateral flow testing is for those people who are not displaying any COVID-19 symptoms and provides rapid results within around 30 minutes.
These free tests are available to anyone with a valid reason to leave home during the national lockdown. This includes those leaving home for work, studying, volunteering, or supporting a vulnerable person.
Twice weekly testing is recommended to all those who are accessing our lateral flow test sites, especially those who are frontline workers in direct contact with local residents, volunteers, formal/informal carers and others who are not covered by other testing programmes. This includes those in the health and social care, education and transport sectors. Ideally you should book your tests 3 to 4 days apart.
Please note, criteria for lateral flow testing does not include those who require a negative COVID-19 test result prior to a flight departure. If you have a legally permitted reason to travel, you must use a private test provider. The Government’s page on travel advice during Coronavirus provides some more specific guidance.
The testing sites are located at:
Testing sites are open from 7.30am to 4pm on weekdays. Clarendon Hall (Richmond) and Civic Suite (Wandsworth) are also open from 10am to 2pm on weekends.
Bookings can be made for the next day and up to seven days in advance. Walk-in appointments are available at all sites from 12 noon every day.
Most London boroughs are offering similar tests for their residents. Please check your council website or see below for some of our neighbouring boroughs.
Lateral flow tests are designed to detect the presence or absence of coronavirus amongst people who are not experiencing symptoms (asymptomatic). The test cannot tell whether you have had the virus in the past, or if you have recently been exposed to the virus but are not yet infectious.
These tests are safe, inexpensive and do not require a laboratory to process the results.
Results are available in approximately 30 minutes.
If you are under 16 you must be accompanied by an adult and indicate this on your booking form. Please note:
Do not book a lateral flow test if you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus:
If you are experiencing symptoms, then you should visit GOV.UK to arrange a PCR test.
To book your appointment, you will need:
You will receive a confirmation email with details of your booking and information about what to bring to your appointment.
If you can no longer attend your appointment you must let us know.
You must not attend your appointment if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.
You should bring:
Whether you have booked, or are attending a walk in appointment, you should report to the reception desk on arrival.
Results will be sent to you via text message and/or email using contact details recorded at the registration or check-in process. The results will be communicated on the same day.
If you receive a negative test result you do not need to self-isolate, unless you are symptomatic or otherwise indicated by the Stay at Home Guidance available on GOV.UK.
It should be noted that a negative result does not rule out COVID-19 and there can be false negatives. This means you have the infection, but the test has not detected it.
If you receive a positive test result you must self-isolate immediately and follow the guidance from NHS Test & Trace.
In some situations, your result may come back as invalid. If your test indicates an invalid result you will need to rebook, and be retested at the lateral flow test site.
If the result is invalid a second time, you may need to be tested using a PCR test. A PCR test can be accessed by ordering a home testing kit, or by booking a slot via GOV.UK.
If you do not receive your result within 1 hour of your test, please email your barcode details, test site and time of appointment to firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance.
View our privacy notice to find out how we may use your information to protect and assist you, and others, during the outbreak.
If you have any queries please email email@example.com.
Our partner organisation Enable will be managing the test sites from 1 February but we will retain overall strategic control.
Up to: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Updated: 24 February 2021