Where to get a lateral flow test in the UK?

07 October, 2021  |  Camran Khan

Where to get a lateral flow test in the UK?

At the present moment, there are several types of tests being used in the UK. These include the Lateral Flow Tests, PCR tests, and LAMP/LamPORE tests. :

Lateral Flow Tests (also known as rapid antigen tests) are the fastest tests that anyone can perform without the need for any special training or equipment.

PCR tests are not the quickest in terms of results, but do tend to be the most accurate, and are viewed as the gold standard of COVID-19 testing. 

LAMP/LamPORE tests are performed differently by using saliva samples instead of swab samples from the nose and throat. Although not as widely used, they are yet fairly accurate.

For most people inside the UK who do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, regular rapid Lateral Flow Testing is recommended, and in some cases required by the government. The primary usage of Lateral Flow Tests is to test people who don't have any apparent symptoms of COVID-19. One in three people who have COVID-19 do not show any symptoms but can still infect other people. The government health guidelines, therefore, recommend that unvaccinated individuals get tested using a Lateral Flow Test twice a week. As per updated UK government health guidelines, the use of the Lateral Flow Test has increased, and it is set to further increase by the end of October when the Lateral Flow Test replaces the RT-PCR test for a category of incoming travellers. Read on to know where to get the Lateral Flow Test.  

Where to get rapid Lateral Flow Tests

Order tests at home

You can order a rapid Lateral Flow Test kit at home through IQ Doctor. The home test kit will contain everything you require to take a swab sample and process it to show a positive or negative result. IQ Doctor further makes it easy by making available an online option for its customers to verify their results, and get a Fit to Fly certificate if they are travelling. 

Get the test from a pharmacy

You can get up to two packs of rapid tests (with seven tests in each pack) by sharing your 'collect code' with the pharmacy. This allows the NHS to match your details with the test. Visit the official government website to get the code.

Pick up the test from designated test sites 

Rapid Lateral Flow Tests are available for pickup from certain test sites. Some of these test sites have stopped providing home test kits in recent months. Therefore, if you can't get a test from a test site near you, you can still pick up tests from the collection points run by various community organizations, such as libraries.

Get tested at a test site

You can get a Lateral Flow Test at a test site. Some sites are appointment-only, so check before you go. Also, test sites have trained helpers who can help you take the test, if need be. When your test result is ready, you will be informed of the results through text or email.

Get tested at schools, colleges and nurseries

If you attend a school or college or work in any of these places, you can get the Lateral Flow Test through the institute. A biweekly testing regime is recommended. Moreover, students younger than 11 years old are not required to take the test.

Get tested at the workplace

Some employers are providing Lateral Flow Testing options to their employees. This helps maintain a safe workplace, and thus employees are recommended to take the test. Ask your employer if they are offering Lateral Flow Tests.

Report your test result to the NHS

Whether you get tested at home or anywhere else, always report the result of the test to the NHS irrespective of whether it’s positive, inconclusive, or negative. Visit the NHS website to get more information about how to report the results of the Lateral Flow Test for COVID-19. If you test positive, you will need to self-isolate and book a confirmatory PCR test. If your test result is inconclusive, you will need to retake the test. If you test negative, your movement will be unrestricted. However, you must continue to follow all other COVID-19 related government guidance, including regular handwashing, social distancing and wearing face coverings, where required.

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