Rapid testing for COVID-19
Anyone without coronavirus symptoms who needs to leave the home for work or volunteering can get a rapid COVID-19 test. A rapid test is also known as a lateral flow COVID-19 test.
If you are working outside of your home, out in the community or coming into contact with customers, you are thought to be more at risk of spreading the virus. Get tested regularly to help protect your family, friends and everyone in your workplace.
You can get a rapid at:
- the Civic Suite in Catford
- the Green Man in Downham.
Tests are processed on site, meaning that a test result can be returned quickly on the same day.
Test appointments must be booked in advance.
Book a rapid test
Book a rapid test if you don't have any symptoms but you:
- need to leave home for work or volunteering
- are in the same household or support bubble as someone who needs to leave home for work or volunteering.
Use the online form below to book a rapid COVID-19 test. Soon you will also be able to book a test by calling our customer service team.
What you will need to bring to the test site
When you come to your rapid test appointment you need to bring:
- a copy of your test site pass (and passes for any children/dependents getting a test)
- photo ID - a driving license or passport for each person getting a test
- a smart phone or tablet, which you will need for registration
- hand-sanitizer or antiseptic wipes - you will do the test yourself, so you’ll need clean hands
- a face covering for each person aged three years and over (unless you are exempt).
You may also want to bring a bottle of water as we cannot provide water at the test site.
There are no toilet facilities at the test site.
It’s a walk-in site only so plan your journey and allow plenty of time, walking or cycling if possible.
If you have symptoms
A rapid test is for people without symptoms. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you will not be able to enter the testing site.
Frequently asked questions
Why is rapid testing important?
Lewisham is now facing rapidly rising levels of COVID-19 infections. It is vital that we stop the spread of the virus.
It is thought that one in three people who have COVID-19 don’t have symptoms. These people will be spreading the virus without realising it, putting their friends and families at risk.
Rapid tests can help us identify those who may have COVID-19 without symptoms. This is an important step in helping to stop the spread of the virus.
What does the test involve?
When you arrive, we will ask you to register online so you can receive your results via text message and/or email. The swab test takes around 20 minutes. You will get the results quickly on the same day.
You will do the test yourself. You will use a long cotton bud to take a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat. Members of staff will be able to support you by talking you through the process. They won’t be able to physically assist you. Watch this video on Facebook explaining how to take a rapid COVID-19 test.
When will I get my results?
You will get your test results on the same day and often within the hour by text message and/or email. You do not need to self-isolate while you wait for the test results, unless you develop COVID-19 symptoms.
What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?
If you receive a positive test result you should go home to self-isolate immediately, avoiding public transport if possible. You should stay at home (self-isolate) and book a regular COVID-19 test (a PCR test) on the NHS website. You can also call 119 to book a test. This PCR test will be analysed at a laboratory to confirm your first, rapid test. Remember to let your manager know if you have been at work.
What happens if I test negative?
That’s great news. Getting tested regularly is important so remember to book another appointment soon
Even if you test negative you must continue to follow the current COVID-19 rules. Remember – hands, face, space.
Can everyone get a test?
Rapid tests are only for people who don’t have COVID-19 symptoms. If you have symptoms you must stay at home (self-isolate) and book a regular COVID-19 test (a PCR test) on the NHS website. You can also call 119 to book a test. Do not come to the rapid testing centres if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
During national stay at home restrictions, we are prioritising these tests for those who must leave their home for work or volunteering and those living, or in a support bubble with, those who must leave their home for these reasons. As these people are out in the community, they are thought to be most at risk of spreading the virus.