What you need to know about booking and waiting for results

Mr Johnson said this would be critical to reopening theatres and sport stadiums, which could let in all of those who test negative in the morning and are not infectious.

Mr Johnson says the scheme will be piloted in Salford, in indoor and outdoor venues, from October.

A leaked memo in September revealed that the Prime Minister wants to increase testing to 10 million people a day who would swab themselves in the morning and get the results back within 20 to 90 minutes, like a pregnancy test.

How do I book an NHS test?

The NHS says that from day one to day four of showing symptoms people are able to be tested at a site or at home. 

“If you’re ordering a home test kit on day four, do it by 3pm. On day five, you need to go to a test site. It’s too late to order a home test kit,” the NHS explains.

It says that people are able to order tests for others in their household: “If other people you live with have symptoms, you can order tests for up to three of them.

“If you’re applying for a test for someone else, and the person is aged 13 or over, check they’re happy for you to get a test for them.”

Apply online at www.gov.uk or phone 119 if you have problems using the internet.

How long does the test result take?

A text or email will be sent when results are ready, with most people receiving results the day after the test.

“Some results might take longer, but you should get them in 72 hours,” the NHS says.

“There are three types of results you can get: negative; positive; and unclear, void, borderline or inconclusive.

“If you do not get your result, call the coronavirus testing contact centre on 119 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or 0300 303 2713 (Scotland). The contact centre is open from 7am to 11pm.”

What are antibody tests, and can I get one in the UK?

An antibody test is a blood test that checks if someone has had coronavirus. Free antibody testing is not yet widely available.

“It’s currently offered to NHS and care staff, as well as some hospital patients and care home residents,” according to the NHS.

Here’s what the NHS says about the test:

  • An antibody test checks for antibodies in your blood
  • Your body makes antibodies when you get an infection. They help fight the infection
  • If you have coronavirus antibodies in your blood, it’s likely you’ve had the virus before
  • It’s not known if having antibodies stops you getting the virus again

​In late July, The Telegraph reported that the hunt for a “game-changing” antibody test could be over after a version backed by the UK Government passed its first major trials with flying colours.