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Testing for people without Covid-19 symptoms

Testing for people who do not currently have symptoms of Coronavirus is important

We know that not everyone who has Covid-19 feels unwell. By testing people who don't have symptoms we hope to find people who might be carrying the virus without knowing it, and therefore help protect staff, vulnerable people and reduce the spread of the virus in our communities.

This testing is only for people who DO NOT have symptoms of coronavirus. If you have symptoms check the Got Symptoms? Get a Test information.

Important information about your result

If you test positive you will need to self-isolate for 10 full days after your test and you may need to get a follow up test of the kind offered to people with symptoms.

If you have taken an assisted test at a local testing site or your own workplace and you receive a positive result you must follow the advice you receive and self-isolate immediately by law for 10 days and everyone you live with must also self-isolate for 10 days.

If you have taken your test at home and you test positive, you and everyone you live with will need to self-isolate immediately and you should take a follow up test of the kind offered to people with symptoms to confirm the result. This test can be booked at

If you test negative, although it is likely you weren't infectious when the test was done, you could still go on to develop Covid-19. So even though your test result is negative you must continue to follow the preventative measures currently recommended for stopping the spread of the virus. To protect yourself and others, you must continue to follow the guidance around social distancing, wearing a face covering and washing your hands for at least 20 seconds regularly, as well as following the national restrictions.

Who can get symptom free testing and how?

Frontline workers

Local community testing programme - Following recent government announcements about access to testing for front line workers who are unable to work from home, we are currently offering access to lateral flow testing for:

  • Targeted groups of frontline staff who cannot work from home and are working with vulnerable people
  • Early years providers who don't have access to regular testing through their place of work
  • Those who are not able to work from home and don't have access to regular testing through their place of work

The programme will be kept under review to ensure testing capacity is targeted appropriately. 

This programme of testing is only for those staff who DO NOT have Covid-19 symptoms and who are not eligible for symptom free testing through any other route. 

Those eligible to take part in this targeted programme will be contacted directly by their employer or Sunderland City Council. 

If you have not been contacted but fit the criteria above you or your employer can enquire about testing by emailing                                                                                                            

National workplace testing programme - Employers in the public and private sector with 50 or more staff can request to establish their own testing sites in the workplace for people without symptoms. Find out more on the GOV.UK get workplace coronavirus tests web page.

School and College Testing

All school staff, secondary pupils and college staff and students will be offered access to regular testing. Pupils in year 7 and above will take their initial 3 tests at school after which they will be able to test at home. 

Household members, support bubbles and childcare bubbles of school pupils and staff

People who live with school age children or staff or are in a bubble with them, can also get home testing kits to enable them to carry out testing twice a week at home. 

Kits can be collected from home test kit collection points and you can find out the nearest one to you here COVID test finder (  

Home test kits can also be ordered online - Schools testing: Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow home test kits - GOV.UK (

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