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Testing for people without Covid-19 symptoms

Regular rapid testing for people without Covid-19 symptoms

Not everyone who has Covid-19 feels unwell, with 1 in 3 people showing no symptoms at all. Regular testing of people who don't have any symptoms can help find those who may be carrying and spreading the virus without knowing it.

To help find cases that would otherwise have gone undetected, rapid coronavirus testing (often referred to as lateral flow testing) is now available to everyone in England who do not have symptoms. This includes people who have already received a dose of Covid-19 vaccine, as there is still a possibility that the virus can be carried and transmitted to others.

The tests are free and are taken twice a week, 3 to 5 days apart. There are a number of different ways of accessing these tests in Sunderland.

Assisted testing sites

We recommend that everyone attends a site for their first test so that staff can help show the correct way to administer and report the test result. Once this has been done, additional tests can be collected from the site to be completed at home. Appointments for testing sites can be booked using our online form. You must be 16 or over to attend.


Free tests can be picked up from a number of pharmacies across Sunderland. Enter your postcode on the NHS test and trace website page to find your nearest collection point. You must be 18 or over to collect tests from a pharmacy.

Postal kits - LFD Direct

If you are unable to access rapid tests through any of these routes, tests can be delivered directly to your home. This can be done either online or by calling 119.

Workplace testing

Your workplace may offer rapid testing to you or make tests available to collect at work for home use. Contact your employer to find out more.


Secondary and college students are already being given tests to use at home twice a week throughout term time and the holidays.

Your test results and what they mean


You must isolate immediately and get a PCR test within 48hrs to confirm the result. The NHS Test and Trace team will advise you what to do next once the result of the PCR test is known. The follow up PCR test can be booked using the GOV.UK online form.


A negative result does not mean you definitely do not have COVID-19. You must continue to follow all current guidance around washing hands, wearing face coverings, social distancing, and meeting up outside.

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