Community testing frequently asked questions

Questions and answers about the community testing for coronavirus.


Is this classed as essential travel under lockdown restrictions?

Yes it is. It is still important to continue to offer testing for people without Covid-19 symptoms during lockdown, to identify and isolate positive cases, as we know around 1 in 3 people who have Covid-19 have no symptoms. This helps control the spread of the virus, and enables key workers to help keep essential services open. One person can attend to pick up tests for family members.

Why are you doing this now during lockdown?

This is just one way people can get tested and is part of the government's national mass testing programme. The availability of these tests was confirmed to us in the first week of January and stocks delivered a week later.

Do I still go to work as normal while I wait for the results?

Yes, you can continue to work. These tests are for people without symptoms only and you only should self-isolate if you have symptoms, or have been identified by Track and Trace as a close contact of a positive case. If your test result comes back positive, you will then need to self-isolate as per NHS guidance.

Can I do the test while I am there?

No - you need to take the kit away from the site, do the test and then register the test online, before returning the kit to the collection point during opening hours (Turpin's Indoor Bowling Club in Saffron Walden or Rowena Davey Centre in Great Dunmow).

Why are you not making them available elsewhere in the district?

Each district and borough in Essex has been given a limited supply of tests. Uttlesford is the only district with more than one collection point. This is just one way people can obtain a test. Community testing is being led by the Department of Health and Social Care and we are working with them and Essex County Council on arranging testing elsewhere in our district too.

Can I reserve tests for my family?

You cannot reserve tests. They are available without the need for an appointment.

Does each member of my family have to physically attend to collect a test kit?

No. You can collect tests for other members of your household or support bubble.

Is the drop off box available just in the stated hours?

Yes, it is only accessible when the test centre is open as we have to account for all tests handed out and returned.

Are the hours of operation likely to change?

We have been asked to set this up at short notice. The current hours are based upon availability of staff to resource these centres. We will review the opening hours based on demand and availability of tests during the first few days of operation.

Do I have to pay for the test?

No - the PCR test is free.