Free asymptomatic COVID-19 tests

Updated 23 September 2021

Book a COVID-19 test on campus

Free COVID-19 lateral flow testing is now available to everyone in England. All staff, students and postgraduate researchers are asked to take two tests each week to help prevent transmission of the virus.

You can choose to either take a lateral flow test at the test centre on campus, do a test at home or a combination of both.

Asymptomatic Test Centre on campus

The Asymptomatic Test Centre is located at Cromer Terrace studio.

The test centre is open seven days a week, 8am-1.30pm and 2.30-8pm.

You will need to book your appointment in advance and wear a face covering.

Where to collect home test kits on campus

The home test kit collection point is located at Cromer Terrace studio.

Opening hours are seven days a week, 8am-1.30pm and 2.30-8pm. You do not need an appointment to collect a home testing kit.

You can also collect home testing kits from the Brotherton Library, Edward Boyle Library, Health Sciences Library and the Laidlaw Library.

You will need to wear face covering and basic personal details will be required (name and phone number) and each box contains 7 tests, with all the instructions provided.

We recommend that people should have 3 tests at the test centre before converting to home testing.

Rapid lateral flow home tests

You can get rapid tests to do at home by collecting up to 2 packs of 7 tests from a local pharmacy or PCR test site. Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests.

Or you could get a pack of 7 tests sent to your home. Order free packs of rapid lateral flow test kits to be sent to your home in England.

The asymptomatic tests are easy to self-administer.

You must only take a lateral flow test if you aren’t showing any coronavirus symptoms. The test will help to identify if you are asymptomatic and carrying the virus – in which case you will need to self-isolate to avoid transmitting the virus to others. 

Testing if you have any symptoms

If you are showing symptoms, you must not book an asymptomatic test. Instead, you must book a PCR test through the usual NHS Test and Trace Service.    

If you test positive at any time for COVID-19 please remember to let us know so we can support you. If you test positive on a home lateral flow test, you must also report this to the NHS following the test instructions.

Frequently asked questions

Booking a lateral flow test on campus 

Your results 

About the tests 

Vaccinations and testing

 I have a question that isn’t covered in the FAQs 

Booking a lateral flow test on campus

How do I book a test? 

Use this form to book an appointment to take the lateral flow test.

Can I book both tests at once? 

Yes, you can book your second test in advance. To do this you will need to submit two separate bookings. Please remember to cancel your second test if the first result is positive. 

Do I need to book soon? 

To ensure you get the test dates you want we recommend you book a test as soon as possible. 

What should I bring with me to the test? 

  • Ideally a charged smartphone, laptop or device with confirmation of your booking. We can still support you if you don’t have a device.
  • Your student or staff ID card.
  • A face covering. Make sure it covers your mouth and nose. Wear it at all times except when your sample is taken. A staff member will tell you when you can take it off and put it back on again. 

Where do I go to get tested?

The asymptomatic testing facility is located at Cromer Terrace studio. Further details are on the booking form. 

How long do the tests take?

The testing process takes around 15 minutes.

What if I choose not to have an asymptomatic lateral flow test?

All staff and students are asked to take a twice weekly lateral flow test. This regular testing will help break the chain of transmission, identify asymptomatic infections and further ensure everyone’s safety on campus.

I have received the COVID-19 vaccine do I still need to take a lateral flow test?

Yes, there is no guidance at this stage to state that receiving the vaccine means you are exempt from taking a lateral flow test. We request that you continue to taking the twice weekly tests in line with the University’s guidance.

Your results

How do I report the results?

If you take a home lateral flow test, you must report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test to the NHS in line with government requirements. If you take a test at the University lateral flow testing facility on campus, this will be done for you.

What happens if I test positive? 

If you test positive, you must notify us and then book a PCR test through NHS Test and Trace. You will need to  self-isolate until you get the results of the PCR test.

What do I do if my results are negative? 

You need to continue with the twice weekly tests. Negative tests do not remove the risk of transmission – you must continue to follow good hygiene, wear a face covering (unless exempt) and observe social distancing measures. 

How long do the tests take? 

The testing process takes around 15 minutes.  

How and when will I get my results? 

You should receive a message with your results by text or email within an hour of taking the test. How you receive your results depends on which details you provided when you registered.  

What should I do if I don’t receive my result after taking a test?

If you haven’t received your test results within 12 hours, please retake the test in the next available slot or take a home test as soon as possible.

About the tests

Do I need to self-isolate between two tests? 

If you test positive on either of your tests you will need to self-isolate.  

If you test negative you do not need to self-isolate.

How long should I wait between two tests? 

The two tests should ideally be taken three days apart. Taking two tests close to each other will pick up cases that were not present in the first round of testing.  

I’ve recently had a positive test result, using the NHS Test and Trace service (also known as a PCR test), do I still need an asymptomatic test? 

If you have recently (within 90 days) tested positive for COVID-19 you are likely to have developed some immunity and government advice is that you should not be re-tested within 90 days of that test, unless you develop any new symptoms of COVID-19.

For travelling purposes is the asymptomatic test a PCR test? 

No. The asymptomatic test is a lateral flow test, not a PCR test. You will need to check government guidance around travel and your destination as to the rules and criteria they require for you to travel there. 

How long will the University provide testing facilities? 

The testing facilities are currently in place until further notice. This is under constant review by the Department of Health and Social Care. 

What is a lateral flow test? 

Lateral flow antigen tests are intended to detect the presence or absence of coronavirus by applying a swab or saliva sample to the device’s absorbent pad.  Lateral flow devices do not require a laboratory to process the test. The devices are designed to be intuitive and require minimal training to operate.  

Swabbing and processing of these tests will be conducted on campus as a self-test with supervision from trained personnel.  

What is the difference between the tests? 

PCR tests
These are for people with symptoms and booked through the NHS Test and Trace process. The PCR test looks for the virus’s genetic material (Ribonucleic acid or RNA). It requires a laboratory to be processed and it takes longer to receive the results. 

Asymptomatic (lateral flow) tests
These tests are for people without coronavirus symptoms. They use a lateral flow antigen test, which detects the coronavirus antigen that is produced when a person is infectious with coronavirus. These are quicker tests that produce a result within 30 minutes and do not require a laboratory to be processed. 

Vaccinations Q&A

Will I be expected to have a vaccine before I return to work?

No, you will not be expected to have had a vaccine before returning to work.  Free COVID-19 lateral flow testing (for people without COVID-19 symptoms) are available to everyone. You are asked to book two tests each week to help prevent transmission of the  virus.

If I’ve had the first (and second) vaccine and am required to be on campus. Do I still need to follow social distancing and face covering rules and take the twice-weekly Lateral Flow tests?

At the moment, even if people have been vaccinated, we still need to keep all the covid-secure measures in place, to protect everyone. The twice-weekly lateral flow tests for staff and students are still a key part of these covid-secure measures on campus.

I have a question that isn’t covered in the FAQs 

If you have a question that isn’t covered by the FAQs above, then please let us know by using this Microsoft form.