Covid-19 testing

There are a number of ways you can get a test for Covid-19. If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus you should get a free NHS test as soon as possible and stay at home until you get the result.

We offer rapid testing at various venues for people who are unable to work from home. If you're a business, there are also options for testing your staff both remotely and in the workplace. Everyone is now also able to access regular, rapid testing via the Government’s universal testing programme. 

Getting tested if you have symptoms

Anyone feeling unwell or worried they may have coronavirus should get a free test for Covid-19 by calling 119 or visiting or via the NHS COVID-19 app. You should self isolate immediately to stop the spread of the virus. 

The three main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

Testing for businesses

Businesses in Lancashire with staff who cannot work from home during can register for workplace testing for employees not showing symptoms.

Free rapid testing is available for staff, as well as training for your workforce so they can continue to regularly test themselves in the future.

Find out more on Lancashire County Council’s website.

Universal testing - for anyone who is symptom free

Everyone can now access free, rapid coronavirus tests for themselves and their families to use twice a week. Alongside the rollout of the vaccine, regular testing is going to be an essential part of the easing of restrictions as it will help quickly suppress the spread of variants. 

Rapid testing is a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19, but who may still be spreading the virus. Taking a rapid test (also called a Lateral Flow Test or LFT) involves taking a sample from the back of the throat near the tonsils and from the nose, using a swab. The swab is dipped into an extraction solution. This is then dripped on to the device's paper pad, producing the reaction that gives the result. The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes. Those who test positive must immediately self-isolate to avoid passing the virus on to others.

Around one in three people who test positive for Covid-19 have no symptoms at all, so it’s important to test people without symptoms to identify these cases.  Rapid testing detects cases quickly, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately.

  • You can drop in for a test at any of our community venues (no appointment necessary) and also collect kits for home testing. 
  • A new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service has also launched, where people aged over 18 without symptoms will be able to visit a participating local pharmacy and collect a box of 7 rapid tests to use twice a week at home.

Find out more about your nearest venue on the NHS website.

Test and Trace

Lancaster City Council now has a greater role in reaching out to residents in the district who have either tested positive for coronavirus or been in contact with someone who has. 

Residents who have been identified as 'contacts' by someone who has tested positive, and who have not been successfully reached by the national system, will be contacted by us. They will be advised of the need to self-isolate in line with national guidelines. 

It is important that you follow the advice below if you're told by the national Test and Trace service, or by Lancaster City Council, that you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus (COVID-19).

What to do if you've been in contact with a person who has Covid-19 

 If you're told you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus: 

  • Stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days from the day you were last in contact with the person - it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear
  • Do not leave your home for any reason - if you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home
  • Do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family - except for essential care 
  • Try to avoid contact with anyone you live with as much as possible
  • People you live with do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms 
  • People in your support bubble do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms 

How we will contact you 

  1. If the national Test and Trace service is unable to contact you, we will attempt to contact you by phone. Calls will come from 01524 582000
    • Prior to this, if we have your phone number, we will also send you a text message. Texts will come from LancasterCC
  2. If we cannot reach you by text or phone, we will then try your email address. Emails will come from Lancaster City Council Test and Trace
  3. If you cannot be reached by these means a letter requesting that you contact us urgently will be delivered. All the details you need will be in the letter
  4. If this is unsuccessful, we will carry out a home visit to ensure contact is made. The staff member, who will carry a Lancaster City Council ID badge, will provide information, guidance and support as necessary

What do I need to do if I am required to self-isolate? 

For the latest information on what to do if you are required to self-isolate, see the NHS website: NHS - test and trace if you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus

What if I am asked to get a test?

If you are asked to get a test it is important you do so safely and book in advance.

Self-isolation support payment

If you have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace service, you may be entitled to a support payment of £500.

Important - we will never: 

  • Ask for bank details or payments over the telephone, by email or text
  • Ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media 
  • Ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone 
  • Ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087