Community testing: get a test if you have no symptoms

Uttlesford District Council is supporting testing capacity in the area by handing out swab testing (PCR) kits from Wednesday 13 January 2021.

Community testing helps prevent and reduce transmission in the community by giving people who do not have symptoms an opportunity to be tested.

Around 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms so could be spreading the virus without knowing. This testing is designed to identify these people and make sure they self-isolate.

Community testing means anyone can get a test and play their part in keeping others safe.

Who is eligible for community testing?

Anyone without symptoms can pick up a free test for themselves or people in their immediate family/support bubble. They are particularly targeted at key workers, those who have informal caring roles and those who cannot work from home, although no-one will be prevented from taking a test.

You should only collect one test each for yourself, and/or members of your immediate family.

Testing sites

Tests can be collected and dropped off Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm from:

PCR sites are being set up in every district/borough in Essex, although Uttlesford is the only district with two sites.

You do not need to book an appointment, just turn up during the opening times.

The district council has set these sites up with very short notice and opening hours are initially in line with availability of staff. The council hopes to extend the opening hours should demand and test kit availability permit.

People are reminded that they must stick to social distancing rules and wear a mask while on site.

PCR tests

The test involves a swab from the nose and mouth, which is done by you at home (not on site). You will then need to drop it back off at the test centre via the drop-box. No physical interaction will be required when dropping off the test.

Please follow the instructions within the test kit on how to register your test online and how to package it once the test is done. Anyone who does not register will not receive their test results.

For those without internet access, a carer or support bubble member can register on their behalf, visit a testing centre or call NHS 111 to discuss what options are available to them.

Please do not attend site if you have any coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to isolate. If this is the case, refer to the NHS advice on what to do if you have symptoms.

Community testing is just one of the 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.

Getting your results

The tests are PCR tests, which need to be sent away to a laboratory for analysis.

You should get the results 2 days after the home test sample is collected, although this could take up to 5 days. Results will be sent by email and text to the number you provided when you registered for the test online.

You should not have a test if you have previously tested positive via a PCR test in the last 12 weeks, as this can give a false result.

It is likely that there will be further changes to the testing programme as the government scales up its testing regime.


Additional information

Community testing frequently asked questions

Community testing explained on GOV.UK

Coronavirus Test and Trace Support Payments