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Rapid testing for COVID-19

The aim of rapid testing is to test people who do not have symptoms to find those who are positive so they can self-isolate. This will stop them from passing on the virus. As many as 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms (also known as asymptomatic) and may be spreading it without realising.

A rapid test is also called a Lateral Flow Test or LFT. It detects the presence of COVID-19 by checking a swab you take yourself from the back of your throat and your nose. Results are available in about 30 minutes.

View more information about LFT on GOV.UK.

The government has been purchasing these testing kits. The current position is that they are not available to individuals to buy.

Who can have the rapid test

Rapid testing is available to all people living or working in Bracknell Forest who have to leave their home to work, volunteer or undertake critical tasks (including caring for a vulnerable person or providing childcare as part of a childcare bubble) and who:

  • do not have any COVID-19 symptoms 
  • cannot access rapid testing through other routes

It is available to you even if you have recently received the COVID-19 vaccine. Having the vaccine does not stop you from being able to spread the virus.

The test is not mandatory. You do not have to take this test. However we hope that you will see the benefits of getting involved in local testing efforts, to reduce the spread of the virus in the community.

This test is only for asymptomatic eligible workers. If you have symptoms, you must book an NHS test online or by ringing 119. You must not book a rapid test.

Taking a test

Before your test

Do not eat or drink 30 minutes before your test.

You cannot take the test if you have had a nosebleed in the past 24 hours.

What to bring to the test centre

Arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before your appointment. You will need the following:

  • a smart phone that can read a QR code - if you do not have one, one will be provided to you at the site 
  • a mobile phone number or email address to be able to receive your result - you can give the mobile number or email address of a family member or friend if you don’t have your own
  • hand sanitiser, although some will be provided at the test site
  • a face covering (unless you are exempt)

Do not attend if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are self-isolating for another reason. If you have symptoms, please book an NHS test online or by calling 119.

At the test centre

When you arrive at the test centre, please keep to the instructions given:

  • if you need to queue, please keep to the 2 metre social distancing rule
  • face coverings must be worn at all times unless you are exempt
  • the test centre will operate a one-way system to manage the flow of people
  • please use hand sanitisers on entry and exit of the test site -there is ongoing cleaning of the site
  • our test team will check your booking and direct you to the registration point
  • at the registration point, you will receive a test kit, QR code, and three barcodes
  • you will be directed to a booth where you will swab your throat and nose and attach a barcode to the Lateral Flow Device with support from a testing helper
  • if you have a nose piercing, you must swab the nostril without the piercing 
  • if you have throat issues, swab both nostrils instead
  • a member of staff will take the sample for analysis

A video showing you how to carry out the self-test is at the bottom of this page.

After your test

Once the test is handed in, please leave the test site immediately. 

Your results will be sent to you by text or email in about 30 minutes.

Your result will be shared with Public Health England, NHS Test and Trace and Bracknell Forest Council.

Your result

Positive result

If your result is positive, return home (not using public transport) and self-isolate along with everyone in your household for 10 days.

NHS Test and Trace will contact you.

If you test positive with the rapid lateral flow test, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days. Eligible individuals who test positive will be entitled to the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment in the same way as a regular swab test through NHS Test and Trace.

Negative result

If your result is negative, you do not need to isolate.

As with all tests, there is some chance that the test has not picked up that you have COVID-19.

Please continue to be vigilant and follow national guidelines. You should regularly get tested if you are continuing with essential, public facing work. We recommend you get tested twice a week, every 3 to 4 days, to fit your working pattern – for example, every Monday and Thursday, Tuesday and Friday, Wednesday and Saturday, Friday and Monday.

If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms, make sure you book an NHS test online or by ringing 119.

Void result

If the test result was unable to give a positive or negative result, please book to come for another rapid test.

If you do not get your test result

All test results are managed by the national NHS Test and Trace Service. If you do not receive your test results following a test at any of our test locations within 6 hours, please call 119 and provide the advisor with the time, date and site ID of your test as shown below, with your mobile number or email address. If NHS Test and Trace cannot find your test results, you will need to re-book a new test.

Site IDs for Bracknell Forest testing sites

Site Name

Site ID

Brownlow Hall


Great Hollands Pavilion


The Morgan Centre


Sandhurst Community Hall


New Priestwood Community Centre


More information

Visit our coronavirus information and support pages for help and advice.

How to take your test