2. Test

There are a number of reasons why you might need to book a PCR test for Covid-19. This page will take you through the reasons why as well as how to book your test.

When should I have a PCR test?

You are strongly encouraged to take a PCR test as soon as possible or no later than two days after:

  • you have had a positive lateral flow (aysmptomatic) test
  • you are symptomatic, or
  • you have been identified as a close contact or a household member of someone who has tested positive    

Check your symptoms:

The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

In addition, the Delta variant of Covid-19 (currently the most common) may bring on symptoms such as:

  • a headache
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • sneezing

In young people, Covid infection can get mistaken for a cold or even hay fever.

If you feel you have any of these symptoms, however mild, please get a PCR tested - not a lateral flow test.

What if I've had a positive PCR test recently?

If you've had a positive PCR test in the last 90 days, you do not need to be tested again in that time period. 

You are, however, still required to follow the national guidance for adults who have been identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case (unless you are below the age of 18 years 6 months).

In addition, should you develop symptoms during the 90 day period, you should follow the guidance for someone who is symptomatic.

Book your test

Go online to book a test or call 119 from any UK phone/mobile.

Book a test

Getting tested

  • You will be directed to your nearest test-site. The University now has a local testing site (LTS) at both Canterbury and Medway campuses.
  • The Canterbury campus LTS is located on the Rutherford Car Park and is open 08.00-13.30, seven days a week.  
  • The LTS on the Medway campus is located in front of the Jellicoe building, in the car park accessed by North Road. It is open from 08.00-20.00, seven days a week.
  • If you do not live within walking distance of test-site, you will be advised to request a home test kit to be sent to you. 
  • You should only leave your flat/house for the purpose of undertaking the test. Please wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before you leave and when you return and wear your face covering while you are out.  You should not enter any other premises on your way to/from the test.
  • You should only walk or cycle to the test centre or use your own car.  Do not use public transport.
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