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Coronavirus in Leicester (ALPHA Test site)

Get the latest information and advice

Your questions answered on testing

Find answers to common questions about testing for coronavirus, including when and how to get a test, and what to do if you can't get one quickly.

Book a test as soon as possible if you have one or more of the main symptoms of coronavirus. These are:

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

Please do not book a test if you do not have any of these symptoms. There is currently a shortage of testing capacity in laboratories and we need to keep the tests for people who really need them.

Book your test online at nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or call 119.

We are aware of the current difficulties people are having booking tests. This is a national issue and is outside the control of the city council. Please stay at home and keep trying until a test becomes available.

You need to stay at home, with the rest of your household, and self-isolate while you are waiting for your test.

We know that there are delays nationally in people being able to get tests. This is down to increased demand and a lack of capacity in laboratories, which are managed by central government. It is a frustrating situation and unfortunately not something that the council has any control over.

Here in Leicester we saw a rise in the infection rate in the summer. We carried out large scale testing to identify where the virus was and to prevent it spreading further.

Yes. Staff and volunteers continue to visit homes in target areas to talk to residents about coronavirus. If someone has symptoms, we will help direct them to testing facilities.

Leicester was the first area to see an increase in cases back in June and the strategy at that point was to test very widely, which included testing people without symptoms. As numbers fell, we reverted to the national strategy of only testing people with symptoms. It is possible that increased testing may take place in the event of localised outbreaks.

No. There is a national increase in demand for testing and this is impacting on the laboratories who process the tests.

Our volunteers are from a range of organisations including the city council, health services and local universities. They will all have ID as shown below.

Community testing identification badge

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, they will ask you to book a test. They will never ask for banking information.

No. A test might feel a bit uncomfortable for a few seconds, but it is quick and it is not painful. You need to take a swab on a long cotton bud from the back of your throat and up your nose.

Self-isolating means staying at home. You should not go to work, school, college or university, or go to shops or other public places. You must not use public transport or taxis. If you are self-isolating, you'll need to ask someone else to do your shopping and other errands for you.

If you are notified that you have been in close contact with someone testing positive for coronavirus, you must self-isolate at home for 14 days, even if you have had a negative test.