North Somerset rapid testing

Please note rapid testing is for people who are not displaying COVID symptoms. 

About one in three people with Covid-19 do not have symptoms but can still infect others.

Anyone who lives or works in North Somerset can get free rapid Covid-19 tests. You should do a rapid test twice a week (every three to four days) to check if you have the virus.

Where you can do rapid COVID-19 tests

You can do the rapid tests at:

  • our mobile rapid testing units
  • through your school or your employer if you are part of a workplace programme
  • at home by collecting from our testing sites, some pharmacies or ordering online.

Mobile testing units

Our mobile testing units, which are specially adapted vans, offer home test kit collections and assisted testing services, where you can take a test and the staff will process the results for you.

There are two vans, the first runs a weekly timetable, the second moves around North Somerset to visit as many areas as possible between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and from 10am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The mobile unit will visit:
Date Sites visited
Thursday 2 December
  • Queen’s Square, Clevedon
  • Grounds in front of library, Portishead
Friday 3 December
  • Stock Way South car park, Nailsea
  • Broad Street opposite Post Office, Wrington
Saturday 4 December
  • Italian Gardens, Weston
  • Lake Grounds Esplanade, Portishead
Sunday 5 December
  • Italian Gardens, Weston
  • Queen’s Square, Clevedon
Monday 6 December
  • Hutton Moor Leisure Centre car park, Weston
  • Mendip Vale Surgery, St Georges/South Worle
Tuesday 7 December
  • For All Healthy Living Centre, Lonsdale Avenue, Weston
  • Tesco superstore car park, Clevedon
Wednesday 8 December
  • Lake Grounds Esplanade, Portishead
  • Community Centre car park, Long Ashton
Thursday 9 December
  • Queen’s Square, Clevedon
  • Properjob car park High St, Worle
Friday 10 December
  • Station Road car park, Nailsea
  • High Street shopping precinct, Yatton
Saturday 11 December
  • Italian Gardens, Weston
  • Lake Grounds Esplanade, Portishead
Sunday 12 December
  • Italian Gardens, Weston
  • Queen’s Square, Clevedon

School or workplace programme

The government has provided workplace testing for many sectors, including care homes and emergency services.

Staff in all schools and pupils in year 7 and above can get their tests through their school.

Home testing

Everyone can pick up test kits from:

  • Our mobile testing units at different locations in North Somerset, weekdays 8.30am-6pm and 10am-5pm at weekends.
  • Some pharmacies.

Collection points, including opening times, are listed on the NHS find a test centre map.

If you can't get to a one of these sites rapid Covid-19 test kits are available to be ordered online on the GOV.UK website.

Taking your test at a mobile unit

You'll need a smart phone with you to fill out a short online form so you can receive your results. If you don't have a smart phone, there are a small number available for you to use at the centre. 

You will take a swab of your own throat and nose and hand it to our testing staff who will process the result for you. Full instructions on how to take your swab are shown in the testing booth, where you will also find everything you need, including a mirror. It will take less than five minutes to carry out the test.

You will get an email or text with your results in around 30 minutes. It will include the test result and advice on what to do next.

Getting a test kit from a pharmacy

You'll need a collect code to pick up a home testing kit from a pharmacy.

You can get your code through the coronavirus testing website or by calling 119. 

Your collect code will be sent to you by email or text.  You can collect test packs for your household or another household. You’ll need a collect code for each household.

Take your collect code to the pharmacy. Someone will record your code and give you your test pack. You’ll need to get a new collect code for each collection.

Test results

If you test positive

If you test positive after taking a rapid Covid-19 test, you should stay at home and book at PCR test to confirm the result. You can find out how to order a PCR test on the GOV.UK website.

If the result is confirmed positive, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days. Members of your household, and other close contacts, will also need to self-isolate for 10 days unless exempt.

For details of financial and practical support available if you need to self-isolate visit our North Somerset Together pages.

If you test negative

It is very important that you continue to follow coronavirus safety guidance, even if you get a negative result.

With a negative test keep washing your hands frequently, wear a face covering if you're inside and can't spread out, make space where you can, stay outside as much as possible or let in fresh air if you're inside.

These are still the most important things you can do to stop the spread of the virus, and protect your family, friends and community.

If you have tested positive or you are a contact of someone who has Covid-19 you cannot use a rapid test to shorten your self-isolation period.

You must not visit one of our mobile units or use rapid tests if you have been told to self-isolate.

If you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace you must stay at home for the whole period. 

If you have Covid-19 symptoms

Rapid testing is only for people who have no Covid-19 symptoms. 

If you have symptoms of Covid-19 - a high temperature, a new and persistent cough, or loss or change in sense of taste or smell - you must not attend a rapid testing centre.

You should book a free test on the GOV.UK website or by calling 119. 

How a rapid test works

Rapid Covid-19 tests, called lateral flow antigen tests, are used to test a high number of people without Covid-19 symptoms. This means we can identify and isolate more people who are at high likelihood of spreading the virus. Each positive person we find through this type of testing is valuable because it will help to break the chain of transmission.

A lateral flow test detects the presence or absence of coronavirus by applying a swab or saliva sample to the device’s absorbent pad. The sample runs along the surface of the pad, and, once it’s fully developed, shows a visual positive or negative result dependent on the presence of the virus.