Symptoms consistent with the coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • high temperature – this means they feel hot to touch on their chest or back
  • new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • loss or change to their sense of smell or taste – this means they've noticed they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

You can use the NHS online service to help you with any questions you have about coronavirus symptoms or telephone 111

The actions you now need to take are:

  • The child and any siblings must go home
  • The child (showing symptoms) must self-isolate for 10 days or until a test result is negative
  • The rest of household must self-isolate for 14 days or until a test result is negative

For children under 5 years old in England and Wales who have symptoms of coronavirus, the test must be performed by a parent or guardian

COVID-19 Testing

Who can get a test

You can get a test:

  • for yourself, if you have coronavirus symptoms now (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • for someone you live with, if they have coronavirus symptoms
  • for yourself, if you have been told to have a test before you go into hospital, for example, for surgery

You can get 1 test for each person with symptoms or one for yourself if your hospital tells you that you need it. 

If you're applying for a test for someone else, and the person is aged 13 or over, check they're happy for you to get a test for them.

When to ask for a test

You need to have the test in the first 5 days of having symptoms.

Book a visit to a test site to have the test today. Or order a home test kit if you cannot get to a test site.

On days 1 to 4 of your symptoms, you can get tested at a site or at home. If you're ordering a home test kit on day 4, do it by 3pm.

On day 5, you need to go to a test site. It's too late to order a home test kit.

What the test involves

The test usually involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.

You can do the swab yourself (if you are aged 12 or over) or someone can do it for you. Children aged 11 or under cannot do the swab themselves. Their parent or guardian will have to swab test them.

How do I get a test?

You can apply for a test online. This service is for everyone.

You will be asked:

  • how you want to get the test – at a drive-through or walk-through test site or by ordering a home test kit
  • for details such as your name, mobile phone number and address

Please note: We recommend that you select the option of going to a testing site where possible. The test result will be processed more quickly.

NHS test and trace

How it works

The NHS test and trace service:

  • ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus, and also includes targeted asymptomatic testing of NHS and social care staff and care home residents
  • helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus

If you're contacted after testing positive for coronavirus

In England, you’ll be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

You'll be asked where you've been recently and who you've been in close contact with.

This will help the NHS contact anyone who may have caught the virus from you.

How you'll be contacted

You'll be contacted by email, text or phone.

Text messages will come from NHStracing. Calls will come from 0300 0135000.

Children under 18 will be contacted by phone wherever possible and asked for their parent or guardian's permission to continue the call.

What you'll be asked to do

You'll be asked to sign in to the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing website.

On the contact tracing website, you'll be asked for information including:

  • your name, date of birth and postcode
  • if you live with other people
  • any places you've been recently, such as a workplace or school
  • names and contact details of any people you were in close contact with in the 48 hours before your symptoms started (if you know these details)

If you cannot use the contact tracing website, you'll be asked for this information over the phone.

Important - The NHS Test and Trace service will not:

  • ask for bank details or payments
  • ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
  • ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  • ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087

How your information will be used

All information you provide to the NHS Test and Trace service is confidential.

No one who is contacted will be told your identity.

Anyone you've been in close contact with will be told to stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days. This is because it can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear.

If you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus

If you're told you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus:

  • stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days from the day you were last in contact with the person – it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear
  • do not leave your home for any reason – if you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home
  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for essential care
  • try to avoid contact with anyone you live with as much as possible
  • people you live with do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms
  • people in your support bubble do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms

If you get symptoms of coronavirus

If you get any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste):

  • get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible
  • anyone you live with must self-isolate until you’ve been tested and received your result
  • anyone in your support bubble must self-isolate until you’ve been tested and received your result

What to do when you get your test result

If you test negative (the test did not find coronavirus):

  • keep self-isolating for 14 days from when you were last in contact with the person who has coronavirus – as you could get symptoms after being tested
  • anyone you live with can stop self-isolating if they do not have symptoms
  • anyone in your support bubble can stop self-isolating if they do not have symptoms

If you test positive (you have coronavirus):

  • self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started – even if it means you're self-isolating for longer than 14 days
  • anyone you live with must self-isolate for 14 days from when your symptoms started
  • anyone in your support bubble must self-isolate for 14 days from when your symptoms started