Coronavirus tests have become a contentious issue this week as people across the country have struggled to get tested because laboratories have reached “critical pinch point” in processing them. The UK is now seeing four times as many cases on average as in mid-July and cases are still rising. But are you allowed to use the tube, bus and train to travel to a test centre if you have symptoms?
Anyone who has coronavirus symptoms is permitted to get a test.
The symptoms of coroanvirus are:
- A high temperature
- A new, continuous cough
- A loss or change to your sense of taste or smell
You can also get a test for someone you live with if they have these symptoms.
You are not permitted to get a test for people you live with who do not have these symptoms.
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How to get a test
You should book a test as soon as you start experiencing symptoms and must get the test done within the first five days of having symptoms.
You can book to visit a test centre to get tested by a medical professional or you can order a home test kit if you cannot get to a test site.
If visiting a test centre, you should get tested on days one to four of your symptoms.
If you have ordered a home test kit you should do it by 3pm on day four of experiencing symptoms.
For those unable to get a test within the first five days of having symptoms, you and anyone you live with must self-isolate and anyone in your support bubble must also remain at home.
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Are you allowed to use public transport to get to a test centre if you have symptoms?
If you have coronavirus symptoms you and anyone you live with must stay at home until you get your result.
A number of drive-in and walk-in test sites have been established across the country.
Anyone experiencing coronavirus symptoms should not travel on buses, London Underground tube or trains.
Instead, anyone who has coronavirus symptoms lives with someone experiencing symptoms or in a support bubble with someone with symptoms should self-isolate.
What does the test involve?
The test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.
You can do this swab yourself if you are aged 12 or above or ask another person to do this for you.
Parents or guardians have to swab test any children aged 11 or under.
If you travel to a test centre, medical staff will administer tests.
How to get a test
You can get a test online by using the Gov.uk website here.
When getting a test you will be asked for your name, mobile number, email address and to explain the reason you are getting a test.
You will then be asked to insert your postcode to find out your nearest test centre.
However, you will be asked if you have a car or a small van to ensure you can travel to a test centre safely, otherwise, you will be asked to use a home testing kit.