Getting tested for Covid-19

When to get tested for Covid-19, with and without symptoms

With symptoms

‘PCR’ tests

When to take the test:

  • If you have Covid-19 symptoms
  • To confirm your positive lateral flow test result

How long it takes

  • These tests are processed in labs
  • Most results are returned the next day but can take up to 3 days

Get a test

  • At a test site
  • At home

Without symptoms

Rapid ‘lateral flow’ tests

When to take the test

Twice weekly when you do not have symptoms if you:

  • Volunteer
  • Are an unpaid carer
  • Can’t work from home
  • Participate in a testing scheme in your workplace or education setting

You may also be asked to take a test for other reasons, such as before attending an event.

How long it takes

  • Result processed by device
  • Around 30 minutes

Get a test

  • At home
  • From school or college
  • Collect from a test site
  • At your university
  • From work
  • From your nursery

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms should self-isolate and get a test

Coronavirus symptoms are:

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

Your local health board may offer you a test if you feel unwell, even if you don’t have coronavirus symptoms. Unless you develop one of the three recognised symptoms, you and your household do not have to self-isolate.

  • Do not visit your GP surgery or hospital to request a test, as you may infect others.

How to get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms

If you have coronavirus symptoms you need to take a test within the first 5 days of having symptoms as the test checks if you have coronavirus right now and not if you’ve already had the virus.

You can apply for a test for yourself or someone in your household with symptoms. This includes adults and children, including those under 5.

Who is eligible for testing and how to get a test

Further guidance on who is eligible for testing and how to get a test is available from the Welsh Government online