Testing for people with coronavirus symptoms
This page explains how you can get tested for COVID-19 and how NHS contact tracing works to keep us all safe. You can find more information and support on the main COVID-19 page. This page is about testing for people with coronavirus symptoms. Those without symptoms can get regular, rapid tests, visit our rapid testing page for more. You can read more about our local Keep Kingston Safe Test and Trace Team here.
If you have any coronavirus symptoms, however slight, you can book a test by calling 119 or online at nhs.uk/coronavirus.
How do I book a free test?
To book a free test visit nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 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.
To book an appointment at any of these sites visit nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119. 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 symptoms of COVID-19 is now eligible to be tested. Symptoms include a high temperature, a new continuous cough or fever or a loss or a change in your sense of smell or taste.
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.
Problems getting a test?
We are aware the national website sometimes has limited availability but if you have symptoms it is vital that you self isolate and get tested as soon as possible If you cannot book a test now, or the location or time are not convenient, try again in a few hours as new slots are released throughout the day.
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
Our COVID-19 Community Response Hub is supporting residents who are self-isolating and 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.
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