Testing without symptoms
If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms
One in three people with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms and could be spreading the virus without realising.
Rapid twice-weekly testing is available for everyone in the borough and can be accessed in a number of ways:
From 16 August, those who are fully vaccinated (14 days after their final dose) will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are a close contact of a positive case, unless they have symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive themselves.
Close contacts who are fully vaccinated are advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible, so that they can have certainty about their condition.
In line with the approach for adults, anyone under the age of 18 who is a close contact of a positive case will no longer need to self-isolate. Instead, they will be given advice about whether to get tested, dependent on their age, and will need to self-isolate only if they test positive. In most cases individuals will be advised to take a PCR test.
Book a PCR test
No symptoms (asymptomatic) testing centres
The Council's testing centres are at:
The testing centres are open for all to be tested on site or pick up kits to test at home.
You do not need an appointment to get tested. You can arrive at a time that suits you - although if the test centre is busy you may have to queue.
The test centres do not offer assisted swabbing, although staff can assist with the recording of results. Anyone who cannot carry out a physical test themselves is advised to bring an advocate with them to help.
Opening times for all asymptomatic testing centres
- Monday - 9am until 3pm
- Tuesday - 9am until 3pm
- Wednesday - 9am until 3pm
- Thursday - 9am until 3pm
- Friday - 9am until 3pm
- Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays - closed
Pop-up testing unit
Residents can get tested or pick up LFT kits to do at home at the Council's pop-up testing unit.
This is a walk-in site and no appointment is necessary.
As of 18 October, the pop-up testing units, which also offer free kits for people to use at home, will be located at:
- Public car park, near to Iceland Food Warehouse, Mercer Walk, 56-58 The Port Arcades, Ellesmere Port CH65 OAP open every day from 9am to 4pm between Monday, 18 October and Friday, 22 October
- Public car park, Greville Drive, opposite Catalan Close, Winsford CW7 3EP open every day from 9.30am to 2.45pm between Monday, 18 October and Friday, 22 October
The pop-up testing units do not offer assisted swabbing, although staff can assist with the recording of results. Anyone who cannot carry out a physical test themselves is advised to bring an advocate with them to help.
You can collect COVID-19 home testing kits for people without symptoms at these locations:
At a testing centre
You carry out the Lateral Flow Test (LFT) test yourself using a swab which you will rub at the back of your throat and in one nostril. The test is not painful, although it may be slightly uncomfortable.
The swab is analysed at the test centre, and your results will be sent to you by text message or email approximately half an hour after you have done your swab. If you do not have a mobile phone or email address, you can telephone 119 to receive your results instead.
You should aim to get tested twice a week. When you come to the test centre, please wear a face covering.
In a home test (called a Lateral Flow Test, or LFT) you will test yourself using a swab which you will rub at the back of your throat and in one nostril. The test is not painful, although it may be slightly uncomfortable.
If your Lateral Flow Test (LFT) done at the test centre or at home is positive
- You must self-isolate immediately for 10 days and book a PCR test to confirm your result. If this confirmatory test is negative you do not need to self-isolate and you can carry on your daily activities as normal. If it is positive you must self-isolate for 10 full days, starting on the day after your positive LFT.
- Anyone you live with should also book a PCR test and self-isolate if this result is positive. If their result is negative they do not need to self-isolate provided they have had two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days earlier or they are under the age of 18. Anyone over the age of 18 who is not fully vaccinated has to self-isolate for 10 days.
- There is no requirement for any contacts outside of your household to self-isolate unless you receive a positive test result from a Local Testing Site.
If your result is invalid/void, it means it cannot be read and it is not possible to say if you had Coronavirus when the test was done. You should take another test as soon as possible at one of our Council asymptomatic testing sites.
If the LFT result is invalid a second time, you should book a further test, known as a PCR test, though the national portal.
Book a PCR test if you have received an unclear result
While awaiting a follow-up test you only need to self-isolate if
- you have or develop symptoms
- someone you live with tests positive (or has symptoms and has not been tested yet)
- you have been traced as a contact or someone who tested positive
If your result is negative, you do not need to self-isolate and you can carry on your daily activities as normal. Like everybody else, you still need to practice the preventive measures:
- Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitiser, regularly throughout the day
- Use a face covering when out and about
- Keep at least two metres apart from others.
The LFT test kits supplied for home testing of people without symptoms are not suitable for people with COVID-19 symptoms. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you must make an appointment to visit a Local Test Site or Mobile Testing Unit, or order a PCR home test kit which is specifically for people with symptoms.
Testing for children
Testing for children with symptoms
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell) should self-isolate at home immediately and book a PCR test.
Testing with symptoms
Testing for children without symptoms
Pupils in secondary schools and colleges are encouraged to take a test twice a home test twice a week. Testing kits and instructions will be provided to pupils and students by the school or college.
Children and young people under the age of 18 can also attend the Council's testing centres for regular and rapid COVID-19 testing if they do not have symptoms. These centres are at Stanney Oaks Leisure Centre, in Ellesmere Port, and the Dingle Centre in Winsford.
- Children aged 11 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who can carry out the test on the child and is comfortable doing so.
- Children aged between 12 and 15 may carry out the test themselves under supervision of their parent or guardian.
- Young people aged between 16 and 17 can carry out the test themselves and do not need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Find out more about testing centres for people without symptoms.