Symptom-free COVID-19 testing available across the city

All residents across Plymouth can now access rapid lateral flow tests, enabling them to test themselves twice a week.

Rapid testing has so far been available to those most at risk and people who need to leave home for work, including frontline NHS workers, care home staff and residents, and schoolchildren and their families. Now rapid testing will be offered to everyone, with people encouraged to take regular tests to help prevent outbreaks and help us reclaim a more normal way of life.

To make it as easy as possible for local people to access these tests, there are a number of locations in Plymouth that tests can be conducted under supervision or, collected to be taken home and carried out there.

Free, rapid lateral flow COVID-19 tests are available through the mobile testing van which visits locations around the city each week. Test numbers are limited each day. Visit our book a lateral flow test page to book your test or for further information. In addition a new temporary site is opening in the city centre (in Place de Brest, near Barclays). This will open from the 12 April on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s from 10am to 4pm. Both the mobile van and the City Centre site offers assisted testing and take-home testing packs (as long as supplies allow).

In addition, home tests can be collected from symptomatic testing sites across the city, at certain times of the day. Find out more.

To ensure that businesses have access to the free tests for their staff, there is still time for employers to apply for work place testing. If you are a business and are interested in signing up, please apply here.

And finally, for people who are unable to access tests through their employer, one of the local test sites, you can order a box of tests online or through 119, which will be delivered to your home.

Ruth Harrell, Director of Public Health for Plymouth City Council, said:

“Rapid testing helps us find COVID-19 cases that we wouldn’t otherwise know about, helping to break chains of transmission. These tests are effective in detecting people that are infectious and therefore most likely to transmit infection to others. They are another tool we now have to help maintain lower infection rates.

“I encourage everyone to take up the offer of these free rapid tests – they are quick and easy to carry out in your own home.

“For all those people using these tests, please remember – if you test positive, you must isolate straight away, and then apply for a PCR test.”

A Lateral Flow Test (LFT) detects the presence or absence of coronavirus from a swab or saliva sample. The sample is mixed with a buffer solution, which releases and breaks up virus fragments. Some of the solution is then dropped on to the lateral flow device. The sample runs along the surface of the devices’ absorbent strip, showing at the end a visual positive or negative result dependent on the presence of the virus.

If you test positive with the rapid lateral flow test you will need to self-isolate for 10 days and apply for a PCR test. Eligible individuals who test positive will be entitled to the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment in the same way as a regular swab test through NHS Test and Trace.

More information about Testing.