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COVID-19 Testing


There are two types of COVID-19 test:

  • PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests
  • LFD (lateral flow device) tests

You can read about the different tests and when to have them on this page.

If you aren’t sure about which test to get you can find out more on the NHS website


PCR tests

You should get a PCR test if you are in one of these situations (even if you have had the COVID-19 vaccine):

  • you have any of these coronavirus symptoms, even if very mild - a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell
  • you’ve been asked to get a test by a local council or someone from NHS Test and Trace
  • a GP or other health professional has asked you to get a test
  • you’re taking part in a government pilot project
  • you’ve received an unclear result and were told to get a second test
  • you need to get a test for someone you live with who has symptoms 
  • you’re in the National Tactical Response Group


You can get a PCR test in the following ways:

Appointments are available at the following locations but must be booked in advance, you cannot just turn up:

- Cranworth Street car park in Thornaby, walk to or drive through, Saturday and Sunday only.

- Dairy Car Park, Bishop Street, Stockton, walk to or drive through, Monday-Friday.

- Learning and Skills Centre, The Causeway, Billingham, walk to or drive through, Saturday and Sunday only.

- Thompson Street East car park in Stockton, walk to or park on site, open every day.

If you are struggling to book a test please contact us online using this form so we can help you, or call 01642 528474.   

What happens next?

If you test positive you will be contacted by a Test and Trace advisor. The advisor will provide isolation advice and usually ask you to isolate for ten days. They will also ask questions about where you have been so that they can identify anyone you have been in close contact with to help stop further transmission of the virus. 

People who receive negative LFD results on day 5 and day 6 of their 10 day self-isolation period – with tests taken 24 hours apart – will no longer have to self-isolate for the full 10 days. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period. This does not apply to Health and Social Care workers who should speak to their employers for the most up to date guidance.

Those who leave self-isolation on or after day 6 are strongly advised to limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, work from home and minimise contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID- 19.


LFD tests

You can get a LFD test if you have no symptoms and are not eligible for a PCR test.

About one in three people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms but can still infect others so you may wish to take a rapid lateral flow test on days when you’re more likely to catch or spread COVID-19, such as before you mix with people in crowded indoor places or visit people who are at higher risk of severe illness if they get COVID-19.

Fully vaccinated adults and all children over 5 who are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 should take a rapid lateral flow test every day for seven days.

You can get a LFD test in the following ways:

  • By ordering a pack of LFD tests online using the GOV.UK website to be delivered to your home
  • By taking a test at the Wellington Square Community Testing site in Stockton or collecting a pack of tests to do at home. Opening times are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am-5pm, Wednesdays and Saturdays 9am-12pm
  • By collecting a pack of LFD tests from one of the Borough's libraries
  • By collecting a pack of LFD tests to do at home from a local pharmacy. You will need a Pharmacy Collect code which you can get from the NHS website.

If you choose one of the LFD home test options please remember to register your result online, regardless of whether it is positive or negative, following the instructions that come with the testing pack.

If you test positive following a LFD test you must self-isolate immediately and report the positive result and also inform your school or workplace.  


Tests for Travelling Abroad

You can read the latest requirements for travel abroad on the GOV.UK website.

You can find out about the latest rules you need to follow when returning to England on the Travel to England from another country webpage on the GOV.UK website.




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