Coronavirus (COVID-19) tests are available for everyone who lives in Thurrock.
Tests are provided free by the NHS. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, or you've had contact with someone who has tested positive, you'll get the type of test that is sent to a lab (called a 'PCR' test). Otherwise, you'll get a rapid swab test (called a 'lateral flow' test).
Lateral flow tests are designed for rapid testing of people who don't have symptoms of COVID-19 but could be carrying the virus without knowing – 1 in 3 people with coronavirus don’t show symptoms. By getting a regular test you can help the NHS and avoid spreading COVID-19 to family, friends and colleagues. You should get tested even if you've been given a vaccine.
You can still get tested if you've been asked to self-isolate for 10 days by NHS Test and Trace or by our own Public Health team, but you must complete your period of self-isolation, even if you test negative.
If you've tested positive
If you take a lateral flow test and get a positive result, you must have it confirmed by a PCR test within 48 hours. You can do this by following the instructions under 'How to get a PCR test', below.
If you've previously had a PCR test that gave a positive result, you should not get re-tested within 90 days unless you develop any new symptoms of COVID-19.
If you do have a lateral flow test within 90 days of a positive PCR test, however, and the lateral flow test gives a positive result, you and your household should all self-isolate.
Advice on self-isolating is given at the end of this page.
If you don't have symptoms of COVID-19 and haven't been contacted by NHS Test and Trace
Everyone can get tested twice a week – you can get a lateral flow test even if you don't have symptoms of COVID-19 and you haven't been contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
All students at secondary school or college (ages 11 to 18), and anyone who works in a primary school, secondary school or college, will be provided with home test kits by the school or college.
If you are in any other employment, you should – where possible – get your home test kits through your employer.
Otherwise you can either drop-in, or book in advance via Shift Partner: COVID-19 test appointments, to get a test carried out at the following sites, 7 days a week between 7am and 6pm:
- Corringham Baptist Church, Central Avenue, Corringham, SS17 7NG
- Tilbury Red Cross, Bermuda Road, Tilbury, RM18 7DA
Alternatively, you can drop-in and collect home test kits from:
- a 'Community Collect' site – Corringham Baptist Church or Tilbury Red Cross (details above)
- a pharmacy in the 'Pharmacy Collect' scheme
- a walk-through test site
To find your nearest collection site, go to NHS: find where to get rapid lateral flow tests.
You can order home test kits to be sent by post at GOV.UK: order coronavirus rapid lateral flow tests.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should get a PCR test as soon as possible.
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
If you or anyone you live with has any of these symptoms, you must stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
If NHS Test and Trace says you've had contact with someone who has tested positive
If you don't have symptoms of COVID-19 but NHS Test and Trace says you have had contact with someone who has tested positive, you should self-isolate and order a PCR test kit by post.
To order your test kit, follow the instructions below for 'how to get a PCR test' and choose the options for a getting a test by post. Do not go to a drop-in testing site or book a drive-through or walk-through test.
You must complete your period of self-isolation, even if you get a negative test result.
If you test positive, you must continue to self-isolate for 10 days from the date of your test.
For general advice, go to GOV.UK: NHS Test and Trace – what to do if you are contacted.
How to get a PCR test
You should get a PCR test only if you have any symptom of COVID-19 or have received a positive result from a lateral flow test.
To get a PCR test, either:
- go to a drop-in testing site
- book a drive-through or walk-through test
- ask to get a test by post
Most people get their PCR test results the next day, but it can take up to 3 days. Go to NHS: your coronavirus test result for details.
Get a PCR test at a drop-in site
You can get a drive-through test at the car park in Crown Road, Grays, without booking online.
Drop-in between 9am and 3pm on any day during the week or at weekends.
Book a PCR test at a drive-through or walk-through site, or by post
Go to the government's website, below, to:
- book a drive-through test at sites in Corringham
- book a walk-through test at sites in Grays, Orsett Heath or South Ockendon
- ask to get a test by post
You will be asked a series of questions and must be able to provide a mobile phone number.
Places where you can get a test are listed within the booking system. You can choose your preferred place, but book early for the same day as spaces may be limited.
Next-day appointment slots for sites in Thurrock are usually made available during the evening before. If you need to make a booking for the next day, it may be best to try after 8pm, otherwise you may be offered a booking somewhere further away.
Testing sites are open on weekdays and weekends.
You must self-isolate immediately if any of the NHS's reasons for self-isolating apply to you. If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you must only leave your home to get a test.
For guidance, go to NHS: when to self-isolate and what to do.
If you are employed or self-employed on a low income and have to self-isolate at home, you may be entitled to a one-off Test and Trace Support payment.