COVID-19 testing

There are different tests you can get to check if you have COVID-19. The test you need depends on why you're getting tested.

The 2 main tests are:

  • PCR tests – mainly for people with symptoms, they're sent to a lab to be checked
  • rapid lateral flow tests – only for people who do not have symptoms, they give a quick result using a device similar to a pregnancy test

PCR tests 

PCR tests, if you do have coronavirus symptoms, can be booked at local test sites, or a home test kit can be requested if you cannot get to a test site.

Find more information including dates and locations for Mobile Testing Units in Sefton on the Sefton Council website here.

Rapid lateral flow tests

Everyone in England can now access free rapid lateral tests, which are tests for when you do not have symptoms. It is recommended that you do a rapid test twice a week (every 3 to 4 days) to check if you have the virus, even if you're vaccinated. 

Rapid test kits can be collected from various locations in Sefton for free with no appointment needed. You can find out more about this on the Sefton Council website here. They are also available from all Sefton’s pharmacies, and they can be ordered online at

See the five easy stages of taking a rapid lateral flow test below. 

More information

Find out more about the different types of test on the NHS website here.