You should get tested in the first 3 days of coronavirus symptoms appearing, although testing is considered effective up until day 5.
The symptoms of 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); OR
- 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); OR
- a loss of or change in sense of smell or taste.
No testing should be undertaken after day 5, unless it’s for a specific reason which will be agreed on a case by case basis by local microbiologists.
Testing for all symptomatic individuals in Northern Ireland can be booked at www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test
Testing for the general public is currently conducted in drive-through sites operating at:
- SSE test centre, Odyssey Car park, Belfast BT3 9QQ
- Lycra car park (near The Rec Club), Maydown Works, 60 Clooney Road, Derry/ Londonderry, BT47 6TP
- Craigavon MOT centre, Craigavon, BT63 5RY
- St Angelo Airport, 62 Killadeas Road, Trory, Enniskillen BT94 2FP
All centres are open 9.30am – 5.30pm, seven days a week.
If you have questions about a test you’ve booked or are having trouble booking a test, you can call 119.