West Berkshire Council

Community Testing in West Berkshire (Lateral Flow Testing - Rapid Testing for Covid-19)

It's important to keep testing as one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it

As of 12 January 2022

2021 - community testing results in 30 minutes
2021 - community testing results in 30 minutes

What is Lateral Flow Testing?

Lateral flow tests are rapid Covid-19 tests for people without coronavirus symptoms.

If you experience any symptoms of Covid-19, you must book a PCR test immediately.

With 1 in 3 people with coronavirus showing no symptoms and potentially spreading it without knowing, the tests enable more cases to be found and prevent the spread of infection. To find out more, watch this NHS Video.

The recommendations for lateral flow testing, also known as rapid testing, have changed.

Rather than testing twice a week, it is recommended that you complete a test before:

  • visiting someone who might be more at risk or vulnerable to Covid-19
  • or going into an environment where the risks will be higher, for example, crowded and enclosed spaces where more people might be infectious, and there is limited fresh air

Even if you are vaccinated, you can still pass on the COVID-19 virus.

The tests are easy to use and can give results in 30 minutes. See below for more information on how to get a test done, pick up home test kits, and what to do after taking a home test.


If you receive a positive Lateral Flow Test

From January 11th, the guidance on what to do if you receive a positive lateral flow test has changed; these are the new guidelines:

→ You have no symptoms

→ Completed a positive lateral flow test 

→ Report your result, and self-isolate for 10 days - it's important to record your positive LFT so that NHS Test & Trace can contact you to identify close contacts.

You do not need to book a PCR test.  

Some exceptions where you will still be asked to take a follow-up PCR test include if you:  

  • are eligible for the Test & Trace Support Payment (TTSP) 
  • are in a clinically vulnerable group who may need early access to treatment 
  • are participating in research or surveillance programmes  
  • get a positive day 2 lateral flow result after arrival in England

You can reduce the 10 days of self-isolation to 7 days if you complete negative LFD results on days 6 and 7, with the tests taken 24 hours apart. You must take the first test no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period.

Those who leave self-isolation on or after day 7 are strongly advised to limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, work from home and minimise contact with anyone at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID- 19.

If you need any additional information please read our FAQs pdf icon Frequently Asked Questions for positive Lateral Flow Tests [379kb]

Lateral flow device after Covid-19 vaccination

If you have had your first, second or booster vaccination, you should continue to participate in regular lateral flow testing as recommended above.
Although we know that the vaccines offer good protection from death, severe disease and symptoms of Covid-19, they do not protect fully from catching or spreading the virus. 

We know that one in three people can have the virus without showing any symptoms and so continuing to test regularly can help keep you and others around you safe.

It's also important to remember that immunity is not immediate when you receive a Covid-19 vaccine, and it takes around three weeks for the vaccine to offer protection. The body requires time to make the antibodies needed to produce an effective immune response to fight future Covid-19 infection. Therefore, it's still possible to catch and spread Covid-19 during this time, so testing is another tool we can use to keep ourselves and others safe.

Where to get tested

There are several ways for everyone to access tests. 

You can pick up home testing kits online or your local participating pharmacy

If you get tests through your workplace or school, this is still the best route for you.

If you don't know how to take the lateral flow test at home, we recommend that you visit our mobile community testing van, and our experienced testing staff can show you what to do. This is called 'assisted testing' - a member of the team completes the test; this way, you know it has been completed properly, and it is a great way to learn how to do the test correctly.

You will have the LFT result within 30 minutes, so you are ready for the day ahead.

■ Obtain home testing kits from your local pharmacy or order online

You can pick up home test kits at your local participating pharmacy or order your home testing kits online.

■ Community mobile testing service

Our Community mobile testing service offers assisted testing and home test kits for collection for residents over 12 years old, with no appointments necessary. Young people under 16 years old need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

* For our assisted testing service, we are observing the following guidance for young people under 18:

  • Young people aged 16-17 can self-swab.
  • Children aged 12-15 may self-swab with the supervision of a parent or guardian.
  • If the child or young person refuses to take the test, their wishes should be respected.
  • If a young person under 16 years old attends a testing site without a parent or a guardian and wishes to get a test, the site staff should refuse the service.


West Berkshire Community Testing Route Schedule 

Occasionally we need to make changes to the published schedule - but we try to avoid this wherever possible. 

If you're popping along to the Community Testing Service, we encourage you to check this page before setting off to check the latest schedule.

Week beginning 10 January - All at Kennet Centre, Newbury;

  • Monday 10 - 9am to 12pm
  • Tuesday 11 - 9am to 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 12 - 8am to 12pm
  • Thursday 13 - 8am to 12pm
  • Friday 14 - 8am to 12pm
  • Saturday 15 - 10am to 4.30pm
  • Sunday 16 - 10am to 4.30pm

What to do after taking a LFT home test (self-test)

After you or family members take a self-test, please report negative, positive or void testing results as soon as possible to NHS Test and Trace. See more information about how to: pdf icon Report self testing results [58kb]

Please refer to the information above if you get a positive test result.


Symptomatic Testing (if you are displaying symptoms of Covid-19)

If you are displaying any of the following symptoms:

  • A high temperature

  • A new, continuous cough

  • You've lost your sense of smell or taste, or it's changed

You must book a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test and not a lateral flow/home test.

For information on obtaining or booking a PCR test (either through your local PCR testing site, which for West Berkshire is the Newbury Showground) or receiving a PCR test in the post, you should visit https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. This also contains helpful information on instructions to isolate and what additional support is available during your isolation period.