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Anyone can catch coronavirus and anyone can spread it. We all have a crucial part to play in keeping the number of new infections down and protecting our loved ones. Please continue to get tested regularly to stop transmission of the virus.
If you have symptoms
Get a PCR test and stay at home if you have any of these symptoms:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
Regular lateral flow tests if you don't have symptoms
Anyone can get regular rapid lateral flow tests without having symptoms.
About 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have symptoms but can still infect others.
There are several ways for people who live and work in Merton to get a rapid lateral flow test. Please choose the one that works best for you.
- Workplace testing is offered by many employers. This may be the best option for you if you are leaving home to go to work. Ask your employer if they provide rapid tests.
- Secondary school and college students are being given tests to use at home twice a week, throughout term time and the holidays.
- Book a supervised test at a location near you:
How to book a lateral flow test
- Collect test kits to use at home. You can collect up to 2 boxes of 7 rapid tests to use twice a week at home from:
- Merton libraries
- pharmacies: find a pharmacy where you can collect rapid tests
- NHS Test and Trace sites: find a test site where you can collect rapid tests
We recommend that you have a supervised test before you start testing yourself at home. How to book a lateral flow test
- Home delivery. If you can't use the other options, you can order a box of tests online or by calling 119
If testing at home, you will need to register the results online or by calling 119.
If your lateral flow test is positive
From 11 January 2022, people with no symptoms, who receive positive lateral flow device (LFD) test results for coronavirus (COVID-19) will be required to self-isolate immediately but won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test, unless eligible for Test and Trace Support Payment or taking part in research.
Lateral flow tests are taken by people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who develops one of the three main COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate and take a PCR test. They must self-isolate if they get a positive test result, even if they have had a recent negative lateral flow test – these rules have not changed.
Under this new approach, anyone who receives a positive LFD test result should report their result on GOV.UK and must self-isolate immediately but will not need to take a follow-up PCR test.
After reporting a positive LFD test result, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace so that their contacts can be traced and must continue to self-isolate.
It is now possible to end self-isolation after 5 full days if you have 2 negative LFD tests taken on consecutive days. The first LFD test should not be taken before the fifth day after your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you did not have symptoms). The self-isolation period remains 10 full days for those without negative results from 2 LFD tests taken a day apart.
When and how to self-isolate (stay at home)
See the NHS website for guidance.
- When to self-isolate and what to do (NHS)
- How long to self-isolate (NHS)
- Look after yourself and avoid spreading COVID-19 to people you live with (NHS)
Get help if you're self-isolating
You may be entitled to a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment if you have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
Merton Community Hub can provide both emotional and financial support, as well as deliveries of essentials such as shopping or prescriptions.
Lateral flow tests (rapid tests) for key workers
You can email us on: Public.firstname.lastname@example.org from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and we’ll do our best to direct you to your nearest lateral flow test collection point.
You can also pick up a box of rapid tests to use at home from a range of places, including some community pharmacies (you will need to get a collect code), Centre Court, the Wilson Hospital and our libraries.
Remember, if you have any symptoms you should stay at home and get a PCR test.
For future rapid tests, we encourage you to check the home delivery website regularly as new options are added throughout the day.