Everyone without symptoms should get tested twice per week. Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 have no symptoms, so get tested regularly to make sure you are not unknowingly spreading the virus.
There are several ways to get tested, you can:
- collect self-test kits from a pharmacy or collection point
- get tested at one of our test sites
- order self-test kits
- get tests from your employer (if you cannot work from home)
- get tested privately before you travel.
Tests before travel
If you're travelling abroad, you may need to get tested before you travel. Find out about travel restrictions and requirements on the GOV.UK website.
If you do need a test, it will be a PCR test which needs to be paid for privately. PCR tests are not available at our test sites.
Our test sites
As long as you don't have COVID-19 symptoms, you can book an appointment at one of our test sites, take a lateral flow test and get your results within 2 hours.
These sites are in addition to the regional and local testing sites for people who have symptoms.
Symptom-free testing sites have been set up using funding from central government to support local councils and help reduce rates of COVID-19.
The information on this page is also available in British Sign Language.
Test site locations
- Ashford - Unit 1 Eurogate Business Park, Thomson Road, Ashford TN24 8XW
- Maidstone - Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone ME14 1XQ.
To take a symptom-free test at one of our sites you need to:
- live or work in Kent
- be 5 years old or over
- have no COVID-19 symptoms (and not be self-isolating)
- not have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
If you're booking an appointment for a child who is 5 or over, please book a separate appointment at a similar time to you, as they will need your help completing the test.
Book a test
To take a test, you'll need to visit one of our test sites. View our easy read guide to booking and attending a symptom-free test (PDF, 139.1 KB).
If you live or work in Medway, find out more about Medway Council's symptom-free testing.
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms or feel unwell before your appointment, don't attend. Book a test for people with symptoms or call 111 instead.
What to expect
You’ll need to bring:
- your mobile phone (with a QR code reader or the NHS app already installed if possible)
- your booking confirmation
- proof of identity (photo ID). You can bring proof of address if you do not have photo ID.
All of our test sites are COVID secure. Our staff all wear PPE and are tested regularly and government guidance (including social distancing rules) is strictly followed.
Your temperature will be checked before you enter the site.
The test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat (tonsil), using a long cotton bud. You will do the swab yourself in a booth and the booths will be cleaned after each use. View our easy read guide to taking a symptom-free test (PDF, 155.1 KB).
Results and next steps
You will get your result within 2 hours. If the result is positive, you will be told to self-isolate, follow the national guidance and you will be instructed to have a PCR test to confirm your positive result. If you are told to self-isolate, you may be eligible for support from the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme.
If the result is negative, you must still continue to observe social distancing guidelines, wear a mask in public and regularly wash your hands.
Please keep following the rules. It's important to self-isolate, not only after receiving a positive test result but also while you wait for the results.
If you have any queries about symptom-free testing you can email us at ASTHQ@kent.gov.uk.
British Sign Language video explaining symptom free testing
We have made this British Sign Language video available as an alternative format of the content on this page.