You can get a free PCR test if you are displaying any of the following symptoms:
- a high temperature
- a new continuous cough
- a loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste
You need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms.
If you have symptoms and need a test, you will need to book this prior to arriving.
Please do not just turn up as you will be turned away.
New self-isolation guidance says that close contacts of a positive case who have received both doses of the vaccine no longer need to self-isolate, but are advised to get a PCR test even if they have no symptoms – PCR tests are no longer only for people with symptoms.
You can book a PCR test online or by phoning 119.
What the test involves
The test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.
You can do the swab yourself (if you are aged 12 or over) or someone can do it for you. Parents or guardians must swab test children aged 11 or under.
If you’re getting a test because you have symptoms, you, and anyone you live with must self-isolate until you get your result. This also applies to anyone in your support bubble. You must also self-isolate if you cannot get a test.
NHS guidance on getting tested for coronavirus – Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested.
Symptomatic COVID-19 test site locations
Tests are available at a number of sites in Somerset and just across the border. These include drive-through regional testing sites (RTS) and walk-through local testing sites (LTS) which are available 7 days a week, and drive-through mobile testing units (MTUs) which operate on different days each week.
When you book a test you should be provided with a list of those venues closest to where you live even if these are in a neighbouring county. If you don’t see a testing site nearby please keep trying as availability is updated regularly.
You can also order tests to be delivered to your home if you are finding it difficult to access one of the testing sites, again you may need to keep checking GOV.UK – Get a free PCR test for Coronavirus for availability.
Symptomatic COVID-19 test site locations in Somerset
Local Test Sites (LTS)
- Shepton Mallet, Commercial Road
- Brean, Seagull Inn, South Road
Mobile Test Units (MTU)
- Cheddar, Winchester Farm
- Dulverton, Sports Field Pavilion, Millham Lane
- Wembdon Village Hall, Homberg Way, Bridgwater
- Wellington, Wellington Rugby Football Club, The Athletic Ground, Corams Lane
- Yeovil, Westlands Centre
- Yeovilton, RNAS Yeovilton
Regional Test Site (RTS)
- Taunton Racecourse
Other test sites you may be offered outside Somerset
- Trowbridge (MTU)
- Warminster (MTU)
- Weston-Super-Mare (MTU)
- Tiverton (MTU)
- Barnstaple (MTU)
- Dorchester (MTU)
- Bridport (MTU)
- Exeter (RTS)
- Bristol (RTS)
When you book your test you will be given details of the exact location of the site you have chosen.
Lateral flow tests - for people who do not have symptoms
Around one in three people with coronavirus do not have symptoms. Lateral flow testing is a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms, but who may still be spreading the virus.
Rapid testing is now being offered to everyone, with people encouraged to take regular tests (twice a week) to help prevent outbreaks and reclaim a more normal way of life.
More information and downloads
National advice and guidance
- NHS Testing for Coronavirus – Get a test to check if you have coronavirus, find out what testing involves and understand your test result.
- NHS test and trace: what to do if you are contacted – An overview of NHS Test and Trace, including what happens if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.
- Age UK – information on test and trace
- Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person
- Guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection – Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
- NHS: Important information to keep you safe while isolating at home
- How tests and testing kits for coronavirus (COVID-19) work – The different types of tests and testing kits for COVID-19, and the specifications for manufacturers.
- COVID-19 PCR home test kit instructions – Step-by-step guide available in different formats on how to use and return your PCR home test kit to test yourself for COVID-19.
- How to do a COVID-19 Self Test (rapid antigen test) YouTube video – How to test yourself for coronavirus using a self-test rapid antigen test kit, as well as how to read your result and report it to the NHS.
- How to do a coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow test at home – Find out how to do a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test at home for yourself (or a child) and report the results. Rapid tests are only for people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Coronavirus antibody testing – Information about the government’s coronavirus antibody testing programme. Antibody tests are to check whether a person has had the virus.
- What the NHS COVID-19 app does – Download this app to help control the spread of coronavirus and protect yourself and others.
Local information, graphics and guides
- How to dispose of used COVID-19 self test kits – Information on what to to with the waste from Somerset Waste Partnership.
- COVID Keep Safe Checklist – How have you kept safe today?
If you need Coronavirus help or support, contact Somerset’s Coronavirus helpline on 0300 790 6275
COVID Information in other languages
Diversity Voice also has lots of translated COVID-19 resources available
COVID-19 PCR home test kit instructions – Step-by-step guide available in different formats and languages on how to use and return your PCR home test kit to test yourself for COVID-19.