Coronavirus testing is limited across the world, and the government are doing what they can to make the testing available to everyone. To get tested is not a long or costly task, but you will need to book in advance. Below we have answered some simple questions as well as given detailed instructions as to how you can book a test for yourself and family members.
What is the coronavirus test
The Coronavirus test is a simple saliva and mucus membrane swab test, which when analysed in a lab can tell us whether the person in question has COVID-19.
Who is eligible for the test?
At the time of writing, Essential Workers are eligible. As a carer, you can get tested at any time, so long as you or anyone in your household are showing symptoms.
Having said that, whether or not you or anyone in your household are showing symptoms is 100% self-assessed and self-declared, as such, no one has any way of challenging your claim.
As a result, the reality of the situation is that you can get tested regardless of whether anyone in their household is showing symptoms.
How can you get tested?
There are two ways to get tested, both of which can be booked via this link: https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/test-type. Detailed instruction on booking a test are laid out below:
1. Travel to a drive-through testing centre:
- Go to the self-referral portal
- Select your nation and continue
- Enter your name and continue
- Enter your phone number and hit submit
- You will be sent a text, in our case an hour later, with a booking code.
- Follow the instructions in the text:
- You will be asked to go to https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus,
- Then click on “Testing for coronavirus” to open that section
- Then select “Book a coronavirus test if you have a verification code”, and click it.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and hit “Start now”
- Enter the code into the boxes provided and hit “Continue”
- Enter your vehicle registration number and hit “Continue “
- Enter your date of birth and hit “Continue “
- Enter your name and hit “Continue”
- Select your gender and hit “Continue “
- Enter and confirm your email address and hit “Continue”
- Enter and confirm your mobile phone number and hit “Continue ”
- And finally your Postcode and hit “Continue ”
- You will then be asked if you know your NHS number. This is okay if you don’t as it does not matter if you do or don’t. Click either “Yes” or “No” to continue.
- If you click yes, enter your NHS number and hit “Continue ”
- In both cases, you are then presented with a checking screen. Check all the information you entered is correct and hit “Save and continue”
- You can then add up to 3 other people to join you to get tested, do that if you wish
- Then select “Book appointment”
- Enter your postcode again to find a local drive-through testing site
- Select the site you wish to attend, scroll to the bottom of the page and hit “Continue”
- Then choose a time, they often have slots that very same day!
- Check the information to confirm your appointment and then hit “Save and continue”
- This will book your test. You will also have been emailed a QR code and an ID number, which you should have access to digitally or physically when you attend. You should asl bring your Photo ID, and some antiseptic wipes of hand sanitiser.
- Attend the test (it only takes half an hour)
You should expect to get the results back within 48hrs, however, it could take up to 5 days. Having said that, some people have reported that they have had their results back on the same day.
2. Request a home testing kit (do not use private or incognito browsing)
Go to the self-referral portal
- Select “Request a home test kit”
- Check “I have read and understand” and hit “Request a kit”
- Scroll to the bottom the page and hit “Start now”
- Fill in the form with as many of the personal details as you can, including the address you need the test to, and hit “Submit”
- Go to your email to collect the confirmation code from the email sent to you. Be patient as it may take up to an hour for the email to arrive in your inbox
- Back on the website, hit “Continue”
- Enter the code into the field provided and hit “Confirm and continue”
- They will then ask to confirm your identity, so select “Yes, confirm my identity using TransUnion”
- You will see a loading screen, before being asked to enter your name. Once you have entered your name, hit “Continue”.
- Check your details on the Other Summary, then scroll to the bottom, select “Yes I confirm the above” and hit “Place order”.
- If the order was successful, you will receive a coronavirus testing kit to your home within the next 48hrs. They will send you an email to confirm the successful ordering of the home testing kit. Check your emails, remember that the email may take up to an hour to arrive.
- Once you receive the email, follow the instructions. you will be asked to:
- Check that everything is in the packet against the list of items given to you in a booklet
- Then, go online and follow the link given to you in the email to book got free royal mail courier
- Just before you talked the test, register your kit via the link provided to you in the email. This will enable your to receive a result back from the test so is 100% required. This must be within 24hrs of your courier’s expected arrival time.
- Take the test within 24hrs of your courier’s expected arrival time by following the instruction in the booklet provided and/or the ones given to you in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lo6g-TYZ-c&feature=youtu.be
- Place the barcodes on the tissue, the bag and on your own card receipt. Make up the little box, close the security seal and pack it all away with the tracking sticker on the outside of the box.
- An hour before the earliest time your carrier is expected to arrive, place the test in an accessible place, such as your doorstep on next to your door.
- When the courier arrives, ensure that he/she gets hold of the test correctly
- You should receive a result within 5 working days, but many receive the result much faster than that.
That is it.
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The author’s experience of the drive-through test:
The drive-through test couldn’t be simpler.
I was there, getting tested within an hour of booking the test.
All you have to do is turn up in your car, with the email containing your QR code at the ready. You are then directed to the test receipt area, where the orderly on duty there (in our case it was an army private) gives you the testing kit and some brief instructions.
You then go and park up and do the test according to the instruction booklet. Afterwards, you drive over to the test return area, they scan your QR code and test kit barcode, and off you go!
It really is as simple as that, all done inside 5 minutes, and the results came back the next day.
I was negative, in-case you were wondering.
Another Author’s experience of the home testing kit:
The home testing kit is a tiny bit more complex than the drive-through test, simply due to the requirement to book a courier to pick up the test and to register the test online right before you do it.
Aside from that, the procedure is the exact same as the drive-through test.
For me, the test came the next day. I immediately booked the courier for about 12 hours later, registered my test and completed. I was careful to follow the labelling instructions to the letter, before I packed it all up into the cardboard box provided and popped it on my front doorstep.
The results came back exactly 48hrs later.
The above represents the author’s understanding as of the 28th May 2020. We aim to keep this as up-to-date as we can, as we learn more.