Coronavirus testing including Test and Trace

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms should self isolate and get tested now, so we can control the virus and protect each other.

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

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

Visit GOV.UK Stay at home guidance for those with possible or confirmed symptoms of Coronavirus.


Who should get tested?

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms should self isolate and get tested now, so we can control the virus and protect each other.

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

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

British Sign Language NHS Facebook page video explaining Test and Trace.

How do you book a test?

Anyone who has symptoms can book a test by visiting Visit or call NHS on 119 to get a test.

  • Essential Workers - If you are an essential worker you can apply for a test using the GOV.UK testing for essential workers web pages..
  • Care Homes - A digital portal for care homes is available to enable care homes to access coronavirus test kits. All registered care homes can now register for testing of the whole care home. This includes all residents and asymptomatic staff, including agency staff. This can be done through the Government's portal for care homes.

Where can I get tested?

There are two ways that you can get tested to confirm if you currently have coronavirus and both are provided free of charge. The test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat, which can be done by the person themselves (self-administered) or by someone else (assisted).

1. Driving to a regional or mobile drive-through test site - There are a number of test centres across Surrey, when you book you will be given the option of a test centre based on nearest location to you and availability.

Watch a YouTube video explaining the process for drive-through testing.

2. Requesting a home testing kit.

Watch a YouTube tutorial supporting the instructions on your home testing kit.

Can I get a home testing kit?

If you are too unwell to travel to a test centre, you can request a home testing kit when you register. Please bear in mind that availability of home testing kits is currently limited, but more will become available.

When using a test site, there is no option to use public transport – you must drive or arrange for a household member to drive you. If this is not an option you can request a home testing kit. If you have problems ordering the home testing kit when registering for a test online at you can call NHS on 119 to arrange for one to be delivered.

Should I buy a home testing kit online?

Some manufacturers are selling products containing COVID-19 testing kits that allow a swab or other type of sample to be taken at home or in the pharmacy setting, followed by a very rapid result within about 10 minutes.

The current Government view is that use of products that give a very rapid result is not advised because there is little information on the accuracy of these tests and no published evidence about the suitability of these tests for diagnosing COVID-19 infections.

For more information, see Government guidance on the rapid point of care tests.

Receiving your results

Whether you visit a testing site or use a home testing kit, you will receive advice on what to do in order to obtain your test results. Results will be sent out by text within 48hrs from a testing site, and within 72hrs of collection of a home test.

When you receive your results, you should confirm them to your employer. We will not release data to employers on individual's test results or an individual's engagement with the test programme.

If you or your household member tested positive, you should all continue to follow the Government's stay at home guidance.

There are different rules on self-isolating depending on if you took a test because you had symptoms and if you took a test because you were alerted by NHS Test and Trace.

For those who took a test because they had symptoms - if you or your household tested negative and you are fit and well enough to work, you should arrange your prompt return to work with your manager.

For those who were tested because of a Test and Trace alert, a negative test result does not mean you are able to stop self-isolating immediately – see the section below – 'What happens if I get alerted by NHS Test and Trace?

What tests are available?

Swab test

This test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat, which can be done by the person themselves (self-administered) or by someone else (assisted).

Antibody testing

Antibody testing can tell someone whether they have had the virus that causes COVID-19. The test requires a blood sample to be taken by a qualified healthcare professional and processed in a laboratory.

We do not know how long an antibody response lasts. There is no strong evidence yet to suggest that those who have been proven to have had the virus are immune. The value of antibody tests therefore is currently limited to answering the question of whether someone has had the virus or not. Antibody tests will be prioritised for NHS and care home staff. Clinicians will be able to request the tests for patients in both hospital and social care settings if they deem it appropriate.

Patients who are in hospital and having a blood test as part of their assessment may be asked if they would like an antibody test alongside other tests. Where patients are attending as a day patient and a blood test is part of their assessment the antibody test may also be offered.

The programme of testing will continue to be rolled out at pace to cover care settings and social care.

NHS Test and Trace protecting each other if you test positive

NHS Test and Trace ensures that we can protect each other by helping to identify, contain and control the spread of the virus.

Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace (GOV.UK) and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.

What happens if I get alerted by NHS Test and Trace?

You may be alerted by NHS Test and Trace if you have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus. What you need to do next is:-

  • ISOLATE - You will need to isolate for 10 days after close contact.
  • SYMPTOMS - BOOK A TEST – If you develop symptoms you will need to book a test and members of your household isolate for 10 days.
  • POSITIVE RESULT? – You begin new 10 day isolation and household completes their 10 day isolation.
  • NEGATIVE RESULT? – Your household stops isolating if they do not have symptoms. You keep self - isolating for the rest of the 10 days from when you were last in contact with the person who has coronavirus – as you could get symptoms after being tested.

Locally Supported Contact Tracing

We are supporting the national Test and Trace programme by contacting residents in the county who have tested positive for COVID-19. Contact tracing is one of the most effective ways of slowing the spread of COVID-19.

If the national Test and Trace service is unable to contact you within 24 hours, your details will be referred to Surrey's local contact tracing team. The local contact tracers are part of Surrey County Council's customer services team, and they have all completed the national Test and Trace training programme.

Surrey residents who test positive will be contacted via email or SMS message informing them that they will shortly receive a call from Surrey County Council. The message will say that they need to speak with you urgently. The only number the team will call you from is 01483 404939. If you miss the call, you can call the team back on that number or you can ring them on the Surrey County Council Community Helpline number 0300 200 1008, between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday, and 11am to 2pm Saturday. SMS: 0786 0053 465 for Deaf and hearing impaired residents only (Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm).

If you are under 18 years old, we will need to speak to your parent or guardian.

Once the team have made contact, they will complete a contact tracing questionnaire with you. The questionnaire will include questions such as what symptoms you are experiencing and details of the people you've been in close contact with while being infectious. Those close contacts will then be alerted by the national Test and Trace programme and given the appropriate advice. The team will also offer any relevant welfare support or financial assistance advice for the period of your self-isolation.

Relevant data sharing agreements are in place between Public Health England and Surrey County Council to support the programme. Privacy notices for COVID-19, the Local Tracing Partnership and Customer Services have been updated.

If you are currently self-isolating and been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and living on a low income, help is available via the self-isolation payment scheme. More information on the payment and how to apply can be found in the Low income financial support section below.

Beware of scams. We will never ask you to dial a premium rate number, make a payment, supply your bank details, or provide information such as your social media identities or login details. Trading standards has seen a significant increase in Coronavirus related scam complaints since the start of the pandemic. More information about scams and how to report a scam can be found on the Rogue traders scams and cold callers webpage.

Low income financial support if you are asked to self-isolate

If you're asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and you're on a low income, unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, you may be entitled to a payment of £500 from your local authority under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. The scheme will run until 31 January 2021.

More information about the scheme can be found on the web pages Test and Trace Support Scheme Financial Claiming.

If you're eligible Local Financial Support is available from your local district or borough council:

What does Test and Trace mean for businesses?

The NHS Test and Trace service will support businesses and economic recovery by:

  • Providing free testing for anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus
  • Asking those that test positive and their close contacts to self-isolate to stop the spread of the virus in the workplace
  • Enabling the government to go further in safely lifting lockdown measures.

Our business page provides information about what businesses need to do and our resources that can help you to communicate with employees and others.

Latest Test and Trace scams - September 2020

There have recently been some Test and Trace scams operating within the county which we wanted to make you aware of.


The App when downloaded onto smartphones allows a number of things it will:

  • support traditional test and trace methods
  • inform the public of rising rates in their postcode area
  • alert them if they've been in contact with someone who has tested positive (even if they don't know them)
  • provide a 'checking in' function based on QR codes displayed in venues and public spaces
  • allow people to check their symptoms, and book a test if they need one

Are there issues with my privacy being protected?

Some people have had concerns about what the App means for their data privacy. Here is some information on what it can and cannot be used:-

  • App users are anonymous and the app cannot force them to self-isolate or identify them if they are not self-isolating.
  • The App cannot be used to track your location, for law enforcement, or to monitor self-isolation and social distancing.
  • However, it is hoped that users will follow App advice to self-isolate to protect their loved ones and stop the spread of the virus.

Further details on the app's privacy protection features can be seen on the NHS website.

More information for residents about the NHS COVID-19 App can be found here:

Introduction to the new NHS COVID-19 App YouTube video
What the NHS COVID-19 App does NHS webpages

What do businesses need to do to be prepared for the NHS COVID-19 App?

Further information on what businesses need to do to be prepared for the NHS COVID-19 App can be found on the our coronavirus Business Support pages.

Privacy notice

This privacy notice describes how we may use your information during the COVID-19 outbreak.