NHS Test and Trace is making rapid lateral flow antigen testing available alongside standard lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. These tests play a different, but crucial role in the fight against COVID-19.
Around 1 in 3 individuals with COVID-19 do not display symptoms. Opening testing up to catch those showing no symptoms will help to find positive cases earlier and to break hidden chains of transmission.
Lateral flow antigen testing
Lateral flow device (LFD) testing is a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus. The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes. Those who test positive must immediately self-isolate to avoid passing the virus on to others.
You can order free rapid lateral flow tests to test your employees twice a week in the workplace.
If you have 10 or more employees, from early April you’ll be able to order tests for your employees to collect from their workplace and use at home twice a week. You can do this if you cannot provide testing in the workplace.
You must register by 11:59pm on 12 April 2021. If your business is closed or you cannot provide tests now, you should still register so you can order tests in the future.
You can register to order tests if:
- your business is registered in England
- your employees cannot work from home
Your employees can also find out if they can get a rapid lateral flow test from a local test site instead.
Do not use this service if you or your employees have symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should order a PCR test and stay at home.