COVID-19 testing if you have symptoms

When to book a test

Follow NHS self-isolation guidance and book a test if:

  • you have one of the three main symptoms of the virus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell and taste)
  • you are advised to do so by NHS Test and Trace

Book a coronavirus test online or call 119.

You can also have a free test if:

  • you’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive
  • you’ve been asked to get a test by a local council or contact tracers
  • a GP or other health professional has asked you to get a test
  • you’re taking part in a government pilot project
  • you’ve been asked to get a test to confirm a positive result
  • 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

Testing options in Hampshire

There are several ways to get tested. You must book an appointment first.

From 29 March the Regional Testing Site and Local Testing Sites are open in the mornings for symptomatic testing. The sites are closed from 1:30pm each day for a deep clean: this is to facilitate collection of home test kits during the afternoon for people without symptoms. Please note that opening times may differ between sites and are subject to changeFor full opening times check the NHS test site finder map.
  • A permanent Regional Testing Site at Southampton Airport
  • Three Mobile Testing Units which travel to areas of greatest need across the county
  • Eight appointment only walk-through Local Testing Sites in Hampshire at:
    1. Aldershot – Parsons Barracks car park
    2. Basingstoke – Churchill Way long stay car park (due to open from 11 April 2021)
    3. Fareham – Cams Alders car park
    4. Gosport – Walpole Park car park
    5. Havant – Havant Civic Centre car park
    6. Winchester – Worthy Lane car park
    7. Andover – Shepherds Spring Lane car park
    8. Ringwood – The Furlong car park

You will not necessarily be offered an appointment at the Local Testing Site nearest to where you live. Anyone unable to travel to a testing site by private car or walking should consider booking a home test. If you’re having difficulty booking a test, keep trying. More tests are made available throughout the day.

Make sure you complete the form in full, including reading and agreeing to the terms and conditions.

What happens at your test

You will receive a swab test to check if you are infected. These are called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests or an 'antigen' test. The swab sample is taken from the nose and throat and then analysed in a lab.

What to do after your test

  1. While you are waiting for the result, you must continue to self-isolate. If you have attended a testing site, return directly home.
  2. If your test is positive, you and your household must continue to follow the guidance on self-isolation.
  3. Help is available for people who are self-isolating. Visit the NHS website to find out about getting support for everyday tasks, like collecting shopping or medicines. You might also be able to get sick pay or other types of financial assistance if you're not able to work. Visit the Government website for more information. You can also call the Hampshire Coronavirus Support and Helpline on 0333 370 4000.

Where can I find out more about the tests?

The most up-to-date and validated information will be from official sources such as the Government website and NHS website.

It is best to avoid unreliable sources, whether that’s on the internet, from social media, or from a well-meaning friend. Misinformation can lead to vulnerability and scams that aim to take advantage of people’s uncertainty and anxieties about the pandemic.

You might find it helpful to watch this video to see what happens at a Local Testing Site - from the Department of Health and Social Care.

Testing arrangements

Hampshire County Council are working closely with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum partners.

The Department of Health and Social Care lead the provision and availability of testing.