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.
Regular testing and reporting your results helps monitor levels of infection in the community and helps early detection of new variants.
Testing options if you don't have symptoms
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. It’s important to report your result, even if it’s negative, you can do this online – reporting your results online.
If you develop symptoms, no matter how mild and even if you’ve been vaccinated, you need to book a PCR test – you can do this online or by calling 119 between 7 am and 11pm
Locations for supervised tests and home test kit collection
The council operates an asymptomatic test site at Somerstown Central, where you can get supervised tests or pick-up home test kits if you don’t have symptoms. Open Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm and Sat 8am-12pm.
Many pharmacies across Portsmouth offer asymptomatic test services: bookable appointments for regular twice-weekly asymptomatic tests and/or home test kit collection.
Home test kit collection
- Anyone over the age of 16 can collect up to two boxes of seven test kits from participating pharmacies or test sites to use at home
- There’s no need to book an appointment, but you’ll need a ‘collect code‘ for pharmacies
Collect code can be obtained online at www.gov.uk/get-collect-code, by scanning the QR code from the leaflet in your last box of home test kits, or by calling 119.
Each collect code you get will match your details to the test kits you collect from a pharmacy.
Where can I get home test kits?
Find your nearest site for supervised asymptomatic tests or home test kit collection using the NHS map. Enter your postcode to check services offered and opening times.
Keep an eye on social media for dates and times of pop-up sites offering free home test kits for collection visiting your area.
How to do home tests if you don't have symptoms
All tests are easy for you to do at home. Step-by-step instructions are included with the test kit. You can call 119 and request a translation service.
To get started:
- Check if you have a ‘throat and nose’ test pack or a ‘nose only’ test pack
- Choose the right ‘How to’ video guide depending on your test pack type
- Read the instructions supplied in the test box
- Take your test
- Report the result
Set diary alerts on your phone or mark your calendar to remind you when to do your next test.
Make sure you always have enough tests at home to keep you going – if you run out there are plenty of places locally to collect test easily.
Remember – it’s important to test twice a week and to report your results online whether positive or negative.
Get testing support and guidance in 200 different languages online; or call the NHS on 119.
What to do with your test result
- Report your result online or by phone. Instructions on how to do this are included in the test kit
- If the result is positive: you must self-isolate and you must book a confirmatory PCR test
- If you need help to self-isolate, information and support can be found online or by calling 023 9283 4092
- 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. If you don’t have online access, call 023 9261 6708 to book an appointment. Availability is good so bookings are not always necessary.
- Register for a testing account before attending your first test 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. If you don’t have access to a smart device on the day, support will be available in the registration area.
- 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 and await test results
- 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 test 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. If you don’t have access to a smart device on the day, support will be available in the registration area.
- Walk or cycle if possible
- If you have to drive and are using satnav, the postcode for Somerstown Central is PO5 4EZ
- Please wear a face covering to your appointment and please keep a 2 metre distance from others
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