- 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.
If your child receives a positive test, the actions you need to take are:
- The child and any siblings must go home
- The child (showing symptoms) must self-isolate
- The rest of household must self-isolate
Who can get a test
You can ask for 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, including children
- for yourself, if you have been told to have a test before you go into hospital, for example, for surgery
- test centres are open 7 days a week
When to ask for a test
You need to have the test in the first 8 days of having symptoms.
On days 1 to 7, you can get tested at a test site or at home. If you’re ordering a home test kit on day 7, do it by 3pm.
On day 8, 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. Parents or guardians have to swab test children aged 11 or under.
How do I get a test?
You can apply for a test online.
Tests need to go to essential workers first, including NHS and social care staff.
If you cannot get a test now, try again later. Do not call helplines - you will not be able to get a test through the helplines.
Where to have a test
Test sites - You can visit a walk-through or a drive-through test site.
Home tests for the general public - Posted to your home and should arrive the day after you order it.
Home test for essential workers - Home test kits are prioritised for essential workers.
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.
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