Rapid COVID tests | Central Bedfordshire Council

Rapid COVID tests

Rapid COVID-19 tests

Everyone in England can now access free, regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.

It’s free, easy and quick.

With around one in three people who have coronavirus showing no symptoms, testing is vital for those individuals who have regular contact with people who are not part of their household or bubble.

Regular testing will help identify more people who have COVID-19 and help to reduce the spread of the virus as they will know they need to self-isolate.

We recommend getting tested twice a week, 3 to 4 days apart.

Pregnant women and their partners prior to attending for key maternity appointments such as a 20-week scan are also encouraged to get tested.

School pupils, staff and members of their households or bubbles are also now advised to get tested.

Find out more about testing in the workplace.

Option 1: Having a test at home

Take a rapid Lateral Flow test twice a week and report the results, whether positive or negative.

You can get rapid tests to do at home. You can collect up to 2 packs of 7 tests from a local library, pharmacy, our testing centres or order a pack of 7 tests for home delivery.

Collect from a library

Find your nearest library.

Collect from a pharmacy

Find a pharmacy where you can collect rapid tests.

Order 7 tests for home delivery

Order rapid lateral flow home test kits on GOV.UK

Collect from our mobile collection points onboard at:

  • Ampthill Park: Mondays from 12:30pm to 4pm
  • Billington Car Boot, Stanbridge Road: Thursdays from 8am to 11am
  • Marston Moretaine Co-Op: Mondays from 8am to 11am
  • Maulden Village Hall: Fridays from 12:30pm to 4pm
  • Meppershall Village Hall: Wednesdays from 12:30pm to 4pm
  • Shillington Village Hall: Wednesdays from 8am to 11am
  • Toddington, Poplars Garden Centre Car Park: Fridays from 8am to 11am
  • Westoning Village Hall: Thursdays from 12:30pm to 4pm

If you do tests at home, you'll need to report your results online or on the phone. Your pack will include details of how to do this and what to do next.

Option 2: Having a test at a test centre

If you don't want to do a home test, come to one of our mobile test centres. We have mobile rapid Lateral Flow test centres across Central Bedfordshire for people to get tested, which can provide results usually within 30 minutes

The mobile sites are located at Biggleswade, Flitwick, Leighton Buzzard and Houghton Regis and from Monday 2 August all will provide supervised tests by appointment only.

Book your appointment

You can also pick up a home test kit from any of our testing buses.

Bookable test centres

Flitwick

Flitwick Village Hall
Dunstable Road
Flitwick
MK45 1HP

Opening hours:

  • Monday 8am to 12:30pm
  • Wednesday 8am to 12:30pm
  • Friday 8am to 12:30pm

There will be no testing facilities here outside of these hours.

Houghton Regis

Parkside Day Centre on Parkside Drive in Houghton Regis.

Opening hours:

  • Monday 1:30pm to 5:30pm
  • Wednesday 1:30pm to 5:30pm
  • Friday 1:30pm to 5:30pm

There will be no testing facilities here outside of these hours.

Biggleswade

Chestnut Avenue car park, Biggleswade.

Opening hours:

  • Monday 1:30pm to 5:30pm
  • Wednesday 1:30pm to 5:30pm
  • Friday 1:30pm to 5:30pm

Leighton Buzzard

Duncombe Drive car park, Leighton Buzzard.

Opening hours:

  • Monday 8am to 12:30pm
  • Wednesday 8am to 12:30pm
  • Friday 8am to 12:30pm

What is a rapid test and how does it work?

A rapid test, also called a lateral flow test, is a test for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. If you have symptoms, you should self-isolate at home and book a standard COVID-19 test online, on the NHS website, or call 119.

The lateral flow test is designed to detect the presence or absence of coronavirus by applying a swab or saliva sample to the device’s absorbent pad.

The test will involve you taking a swab of the back of your throat and inside of your nose. You will give the swab to trained staff at the test centre who will be able to process the results there.

The sample runs along the surface of the pad, showing at the end a visual positive or negative result dependant on the presence of the virus (similar to a pregnancy test).

It takes less than 15 minutes to do the test yourself.

What to do if you test positive

A positive result means it's likely you had coronavirus (COVID-19) when the test was done. You and anyone you live with must self-isolate immediately.

What you need to do next depends on the type of test you had and where you had it.

Testing centre: positive rapid test result

If you did a rapid lateral flow test at a testing centre and the result was positive:

Continue to self-isolate until you get the result of the PCR test. Follow the advice you're given when you get the result.

If you do not get a PCR test within 2 days of a positive rapid lateral flow test, you will need to self-isolate for 10 full days even if you get a negative PCR result.

At home: positive rapid test result

If you did a rapid lateral flow test at home and the result was positive:

Continue to self-isolate until you get the result of the PCR test. Follow the advice you're given when you get the result.

Find out how long to self-isolate

Find out what support is available, if you need to self-isolate.