Testing for people with coronavirus symptoms
This page explains how you can get tested for COVID-19 if you have any symptoms of the virus. It also explains how NHS contact tracing works to keep us all safe. You can find more information and support on the main COVID-19 page. If you don't have any symptoms, visit our rapid testing page to find out how to get a test.
The three main symptoms of coronavirus are
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature
- a loss or change in sense of taste or smell
As well as these three main symptoms, if you experience any of the below, we advise you also book a PCR test. Many people who have recently tested positive for Covid-19 have also displayed some other symptoms, including:
- Persistent headache.
- Runny or blocked nose
- Sore throat and/or hoarseness
- Shortness of breath
- Flu-like symptoms
- Nausea / vomiting
- Muscle ache or pain
If you have these or other covid symptoms, it is recommended you take a precautionary PCR test, and if that test result is positive you will then need to isolate for 10 days.
You can book your test online and where you are able to, select the option “My local council has asked me to get a test”.
How do I book a free test?
If you have coronavirus symptoms, however slight, you can book a free PCR test online at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119
There is a local drive-through testing centre at Twickenham Stadium (appointment only).
There are also three walk-through testing sites in the borough, which are open 8am-8pm seven days a week (appointment only):
- Milner Road, Kingston
- Hawker Centre, Kingston
- Cocks Crescent, New Malden
In addition, a Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) will visit Kingston's Cattle Market carpark on certain days throughout the next few months, operating between 9am and 3pm (appointment only). You will see these options in a drop down menu when you book your test.
You must have a confirmed appointment and an email confirmation with a QR code or booking number before you attend.
Who can get a COVID-19 test?
Everyone with any symptoms of COVID-19 can book a free PCR test. Symptoms include a high temperature, a new continuous cough or fever or a loss or a change in your sense of smell or taste. Anyone identified as a close contact of a someone with coronavirus can also get a free PCR test.
If you get any of these symptoms, you should book a test as soon as possible and you and your household should follow NHS guidelines on self-isolation.
By getting tested as soon as you have symptoms, you can help stop the spread of the virus and help keep your family, friends and the whole community safe.
What if I test positive for COVID-19?
If you test positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate, that means stay at home, for 10 days from when your symptoms started. You can find guidance on how to self isolate on the NHS website.
You will be contacted by NHS contact tracers and asked to share where you have been and who you have been in contact with. This will help trace people who may also have the virus to stop it spreading and keep our communities safe.
Keep Kingston Safe Test and Trace Team
Our local Test and Trace team supports NHS Test and Trace in the borough, stepping in when the national service cannot contact somebody who has tested positive for coronavirus. They also provide Kingston residents with vital information on support they might be able to receive whilst self-isolating. You can read more here.
Kingston Stronger Together
If you test positive for COVID-19, our Kingston Stronger Together Community Response Hub can support you if you don't have friends, family or trusted people available locally to call upon.
The hub offers a wide-range of support including:
- Providing information and advice on staying healthy at home
- Helping residents access food, medicine and other essential items
- Befriending and mental health support
- Providing advice on winter fuel payments
- Providing referrals to professional services
Self-isolation support payments
If you have a low income and are unable to work from home, and you need to self-isolate, you may be eligible for financial support. This will be a £500 lump sum.
To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, you must apply no later than 42 days after your period of self-isolation has started and:
- have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
- Be a parent/guardian who is not legally required to self-isolate, but needs to take time off work to look after a child or young person who is self-isolating;
- be employed or self-employed;
- be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating; and
- be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.
What if someone I have been in contact with tests positive for COVID-19?
If someone you have been in close contact with tests positive for the virus, you will be contacted by NHS contact tracers. You must follow NHS guidelines on self-isolation and stay at home for 10 days to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect your family and friends. You should book a test straight away if symptoms develop. Even if it comes back negative, you should continue to self isolate for the full 10 days. However, from 16 August 2021, if you have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine more than 14 days ago, you do not need to self-isolate if you are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19. Instead, you should get a free PCR test as soon as possible to check whether you have the virus.
NHS contact tracing app
The NHS Covid-19 app has been launched by the Government. The app helps prevent the spread of coronavirus by helping to identify people who’ve been in close recent contact with someone who’s tested positive for coronavirus, sending them an alert straight to their mobile phone asking them to self-isolate. To find out more, go to covid19.nhs.uk