Asymptomatic testing

From 9 April, everyone in England is able to take a free rapid lateral flow device (LFD) test twice a week. Alongside vaccine rollout, regular testing is at the heart of plans to reopen society and the economy, helping to suppress and control the spread of COVID-19.



Remember! You must book a confirmatory PCR test if you test positive using a lateral flow device.

If you test positive using a LFD then you must self-isolate for 10 days as per the current guidance.

However, since 30 March 2021, anyone who has had a positive result with an LFD test has been encouraged to take a follow-up PCR.

The follow-up test uses the lab-processed "gold standard" PCR test. This means that, if you have a positive LFD test and then a negative PCR within 48 hours you will no longer be legally required to isolate, and you and your contacts will receive a message from NHS Test and Trace informing you of this.

What is lateral flow device (LFD) testing?

The aim of testing people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms, is to identify individuals who may be unknowingly transmitting Coronavirus within the community. Rapid testing is used to speed up the process.

A Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test works by swabbing the back of your throat and the inside of your nose. The swab is processed on site and can return results within 30 minutes. LFD tests are less accurate than PCR tests and mostly identifies COVID-19 in those most infectious.

See more information about Lateral flow testing.

How to get a lateral flow test

There are several ways in which asymptomatic testing is being offered across Northamptonshire:

​Testing typeWho is it for?​
​How to get a test

​Community-based testing

Anyone over the age of 16 is able to access testing through Community-based Asymptomatic Testing sites.

​Schools testing

​All secondary pupils (aged 11+) and college students will be offered testing. Testing will be done either on the school site or a home test kit will be provided by the school.

Children primary school-age or younger do not currently need to be tested.

​Universal Home Testing Offer

Anyone over the age of 18 is able to access free, rapid lateral flow tests (LFDs) for themselves and their families to test from home twice a week.