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Free coronavirus asymptomatic testing is available to anyone without symptoms

How community testing helps fight coronavirus

Around one in three people who are infected with coronavirus have no symptoms so could be spreading the disease without knowing it.

Regular asymptomatic testing means those who test positive for virus but who don’t get symptoms will know to self-isolate straight away to avoid spreading the virus.

Testing options

Supervised tests can be taken at a test site by booking an appointment online.

Tests can be taken using home test kits, where you do your own tests at home twice-weekly, recording your results online.

Pick up home test kits from your nearest collection point or by ordering online.

Locations for supervised tests and home test kit collection

The council operates a test site at Somerstown Central, where you can get supervised tests or pick-up home test kits. Open 8am-8pm Mon-Fri and 8am-1.30pm Sat/Sun.

Many pharmacies across Portsmouth offer asymptomatic test services: bookable appointments for regular twice-weekly asymptomatic tests and/or home test kit collection.

Find your nearest site for supervised asymptomatic tests/home test kit collection using the NHS map: enter your postcode to check services offered, opening times and whether you need to book.

Keep an eye on social media for dates and times of pop-up sites offering free home test kits for collection visiting your area.

You can watch this ‘How to’ video guide for home testing.

What to do with your test result

  • Record your result online or by phone. Instructions on how to do this are included in the test kit
  • If the result is positive: you and your household must self-isolate and you must book a confirmatory PCR test
  • If you need help to self-isolate, information can be found online
  • If the test is negative: continue with twice-weekly asymptomatic testing and follow Covid-19 guidance

There is more information about test results and what to do on the NHS website.

Download your pdf guide for asymptomatic testing – when you don’t have symptoms

Collecting kits from a pharmacy for home testing

  • Anyone over the age of 18 can collect test kits from participating pharmacies for themselves and their families to use at home
  • There is no need to book an appointment
  • Testing should be done twice a week – it is important to record the result even if it is negative
  • Step-by-step instructions are included with the test kit.  You can call 119 and request a translation service.

How community testing works at Somerstown Central

  • Book online for the first available appointment or choose a convenient time. Availability is good so bookings are not always necessary.Register for a testing account before attending your first appointment – remember to bring your account username and password to all appointments to save time and allow you results to be email/texted to you asap
  • On arrival you’ll be signposted to the registration area
  • Use your smart device to scan a card you’ll be given on the day
  • Take the test
  • Leave by the one way system
  • Test results will be delivered to you within the hour
  • A negative result means you can simply re-book for your next test – you’ll need two tests per week, at least 48 hours apart
  • A positive result means you must self-isolate and book a confirmatory symptomatic PCR test:
    • If your PCR test result is also positive, you should continue to isolate (view our self-isolating guidance).
    • If your PCR test is negative you can end self-isolation and continue with twice-weekly asymptomatic testing


  • If you don’t have access to a smart device on the day, support will be available in the registration area.
  • If you don’t have online access, call 023 9261 6708 to book an appointment.
  • If you need to bring children to your appointment, the registration staff know so they can guide you to an accessible test booth. You will need to keep children with you at all times

Prepare for your appointment

  • Bring your own drinking water with you for afterwards
  • Bring a smart device that can scan barcodes/QR code
  • Walk or cycle if possible
  • If you have to drive and are using satnav, the postcode for Somerstown Central is PO5 4EZ – there is free parking for community testing nearby, which will be clearly signposted
  • Please wear a face covering to your appointment and keep a social distance if queuing

Don’t attend the test site if you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or if you have any of the following symptoms, no matter how mild:

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

If you have any of these symptoms, ask for a test at UK/get-coronavirus-test or call 119

Download this pdf guide for when you have any of the above symptoms