1 Carry out a test at home
Order kits to your home
You can order free packs of rapid lateral flow test kits to be delivered direct to your home and carry out the test there yourself when you don’t have symptoms.
Collect kits to test at home
You can collect test kits to carry out the test at your home yourself when you don’t have symptoms.
Collection points are available at community sites and rapid test sites across West Sussex, and you don’t need to book.
Use the site finders to locate a collection point close to you. They are updated regularly as new sites come on board.
2 Book an assisted test
Assisted symptom-free tests are available at participating pharmacies and centres via the Sussex Community Testing Programme. You need to be 18 or over and living or working in Sussex.
If you don’t feel confident taking the test by yourself at home, or you are taking one for the first time, an assisted test is recommended as staff can answer any questions you may have.
This programme is run as a partnership between West Sussex County Council, East Sussex County Council and Brighton & Hove City Council.
You can use the site finder to locate a testing site or participating pharmacy close to you.
Before you take your first assisted test you will need to register your personal details so that results can be shared with you. This can only be done when you attend the site for your test. This is because you will need to enter the barcode of the test device to register.
If you own a smartphone, you can download the smartphone app below in advance, which will help to speed up the registration process.
3 Other testing
Testing is still available through national schemes at specific settings such as workplaces, schools, colleges, universities and the care sector.
More information about testing in general is available on the NHS's Getting tested for coronavirus.
4 Post-test support
Positive test results
If you test positive you must self-isolate immediately, along with everyone in your household, for 10 days after the day of the test.
Contact tracing will be initiated through NHS Test and Trace and any contacts will be advised to self-isolate as well. For this reason, it is very important that you provide correct and full details to NHS Test and Trace.
If you take a PCR test within two days of the positive rapid test result and the PCR result is negative, you will no longer be required to self-isolate.
Further stay at home information is available on GOV.UK's guidance for households with possible COVID-19 infection.
Negative test results
If you test negative this does not completely rule out infection with COVID-19, as there can be false negative results.
To protect yourself and others, you must continue to follow the current restrictions in place and remember: hands, face, space, fresh air.
- Hands – wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water often, and as soon as you get home. Use hand sanitiser or gel if soap and water are not available.
- Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult and you will meet people you do not normally meet.
- Space – stay at least two metres away from anyone you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble.
- Fresh air – letting in air by opening a window can disperse COVID-19 particles, while fresh air outdoors dilutes the virus and you have more space to physically distance.
Support if you need to self-isolate
If you need to self-isolate, support is available from the West Sussex Community Hub.
You may also be eligible for support under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. See the GOV.UK website for full details about the scheme.
You can also get free delivery from your local pharmacy during your 10-day isolation period if you have no other way to get your medicines.
You will need your NHS Test and Trace account ID when requesting the service
5 Further information
Testing if you have symptoms
If you have any of the COVID-19 symptoms (fever, new persistent cough, or loss of taste or smell), you must self-isolate immediately and book a COVID-19 test. You can do this online or by calling 119. These tests are arranged specifically for people with symptoms and delivered in a way to avoid spread of the virus, so please make sure you make it clear that you have symptoms.
For more information, see Symptomatic testing.
Vaccinations and testing
Testing is in addition to the vaccination programme, which is led by the NHS. When you are invited to do so, it is extremely important that you book to have your COVID-19 vaccination.
You should still be tested if you are able to, even after you have been vaccinated.
Please also remember to stick to the hands, face, space, and fresh air guidance after your vaccination.
See the NHS website for more information about testing in general.