Updated 23 December 2020
There are different ways to get a Coronavirus test in Kent and Medway, depending on whether you are currently receiving hospital care or not.
How do I get a test before my procedure?
If you are having a planned procedure (e.g. an operation) at a NHS hospital in Kent and Medway, the staff looking after your care will arrange with you to have a test. This may mean that a test kit is sent to you by post, or staff may arrange for you to have a test at hospital in the days before your procedure.
If you are under the care of a hospital outside of Kent and Medway, that hospital will discuss testing arrangements with you. This will mostly likely be a postal test, although other options may be available.
I'm not a hospital patient, but I need a test
Appointments at local testing sites are released when they are available. If there is nothing locally available when you try the website, please wait for a few minutes and try again.
You can only go to a testing site if you have an appointment. Testing kits sent to you through the post can also be booked on the website.
Local hospitals, GP surgeries and walk-in centres are not doing Covid-19 tests for the general public. Please do not go to local health services to ask for a Covid-19 test. If you have symptoms you should self-isolate and keep trying to book a test through the website.
If you would like to contact the national testing programme or raise a complaint about Covid-19 testing, please contact the Department of Health and Social Care on 020 7210 4850 or fill in their online form.
When should I get tested?
You need to have a test in the first five days of having Coronavirus symptoms. You should ask for a test if you have symptoms now.
On days one to four of your symptoms, you can get 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.
If you are not able to get a test in the first five days of having symptoms, you and anyone you live with must stay at home (self-isolate). Anyone in your support bubble must also stay at home.
Where will my test be?
For symptomatic testing available through the national testing programme, sites in Kent and Medway include:
- drive through centres, including those in Rochester, Canterbury, Margate and Folkestone,
- home testing by post, and
- mobile units operating in the county.
The information on this page will be regularly updated.