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Getting tested for Covid-19

How and when people should test for Covid-19 has changed over the course of the pandemic.

Free testing for most people ended on 31 March 2022. Free testing for people who have symptoms is still available for some high-risk groups including:

  • Patients in hospital - where a PCR test is required for their care and to provide access to treatments
  • People considered most at risk from Covid-19 who are eligible for community Covid-19 treatments (people in this group will be contacted directly)
  • People living or working in high-risk settings where infections need to be identified quickly to prevent outbreaks

LFT tests for people with symptoms will also continue to be used to protect people in some high-risk settings including care homes, some supported living settings, patient facing NHS and adult social care staff working with those who are vulnerable.

Covid testing in adult social care settings - GOV.UK

People who are not eligible for free LFT tests will be able to buy them from local pharmacies and retailers.

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