If you do not have symptoms (lateral flow tests)
Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not show symptoms, but are still infectious and can pass the virus to others.
Everyone without symptoms should test themselves twice weekly with free lateral flow device tests (LFD) to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Who can get a rapid LFD test
LFD tests should only be used if you don’t have symptoms.
You must not use a LFD test if you:
- have symptoms - you must self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test
- have been asked to self-isolate because you are a close contact of a positive case. You must self-isolate and book a PCR test
- have tested positive for coronavirus in the last 90 days
You need to be 18 or over to collect or order the test kits. We do not recommend regular testing for children who go to primary school, or who are younger than primary school age.
If you have been vaccinated, you should continue to test regularly. While vaccines reduce the risk of infection, no vaccine provides 100% protection against the virus. People who have been vaccinated can still carry and transmit the virus to others.
Get a rapid LFD test
You can either order or collect a LFD test kit (containing 7 tests).
If you currently get rapid LFD test kits from your nursery or childcare provider, school, college, university or workplace you should continue to do so.
Order online for home delivery
Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests on gov.uk for home delivery
Your order will be delivered to your home in one to two days.
If you cannot place an order online, you can order by calling 119.
Collect a rapid LFD test kit from your nearest pharmacy
Find your nearest participating pharmacy where LFD tests can be collected
One pack can be collected per person.
You do not need to book an appointment, but should check the opening hours of your local pharmacy.
Collect a rapid LFD test kit from your nearest COVID-19 test site
Find your nearest COVID-19 test site where LFD tests can be collected
You can collect a pack of LFD tests from a COVID-19 test site between 8am to 8pm. You do not need to book an appointment.
How to take a rapid LFD test
You should take a LFD test twice a week (every 3 or 4 days).
The test will involve taking a swab from your throat and nose, or from your nose only. You will get a result in 15 to 30 minutes.
Throat and nose swab test kits have a blue and white box (COVID-19 Self Test - rapid antigen test).
Nose-only test kits have a blue and white box (ACON Flowflex) or a green and white box (Orient Gene).
Before taking a LFD test you should always read the instructions that come with your test kit, as it may be different to one you've used before.
Watch this video on how to take a rapid LFD test (video) on NHS Inform.
Report your rapid LFD test results
Your LFD test is not complete until you report your result, either online or by phone, and receive a result confirmation notification.
You must report your result the day you take a rapid LFD test. You should report your lateral flow test results on gov.uk.
Information on what to do if your result is positive, is available on NHS Inform.
A negative LFD test result is not a guarantee that you do not have COVID-19. You must continue to follow COVID-19 protective measures.
All businesses and organisations with 10 or more staff in Scotland (including employees and formal volunteers) can sign up for asymptomatic workplace testing.