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Booking a COVID-19 Test at a Sheffield Testing Centre

Covid-19 testing centre
Covid-19 testing centre

The NHS test and trace national booking system is reaching capacity. This is due to laboratory testing reaching national capacity on the day.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms you need to book a test. Testing remains a vital part in our fight against the spread of Covid-19 in our city and to help reduce the rate of people contracting the virus. However, you may experience a delay in being able to book a test using the national system. If you can’t get a test on the day, try again later or try the next day. Listen to the guidance you are provided at the point of arranging a booking.

To make it clear, people should only book a test if they have symptoms of Covid-19. If you have coronavirus symptoms, you need to get a test done within the first 5 days of having symptoms. If you have symptoms you must self-isolate at home and only leave your home to get a test.

If you have symptoms call 119 or follow the testing information on the NHS website to arrange a test.

If you are showing any of the following symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, you need to get tested as soon as you can:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.

Important Information:

PLEASE CHECK YOUR TEST BOOKING FOR WHICH SITE TO ATTEND: When you book your test using the national portal or call 119, you will be provided with a test site address in the city to attend at a designated date and time. Please DO NOT attend at any other site other than your allocated test centre as you will be turned away to go to the location listed on your test booking. 

NO DROP-IN APPOINTMENTS: We are no longer accepting walk-ins at our Local Testing Centres. You can only attend if you have an appointment. Please continue to book an appointment online or by calling 119. If you cannot get an appointment right away, stay at home and continue to self-isolate until an appointment comes available for you. 

BOOK A TEST USING THE NATIONAL PORTAL: As a reminder, all our testing centres are only accessible if you have booked an appointment. Please do not attend a site unless you have booked a test as you will be turned away and asked to book an appointment.  

Director of Public Health at Sheffield City Council Greg Fell, said:

“If you are unwell and are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms you need to get a test. If the booking system is not allowing you to book at the time you call, please try again later. It is important that you remain in your home and isolate to protect other people, including those who live with you. The best way to prevent the spread of the virus is to stay at home. If you cannot book a test, do not attend your doctor’s surgery. Wait for a test booking slot to come available and stay at home. I cannot stress this clearly enough.”

“It's really important that anyone with Covid-19 symptoms can get a test. This will help us stop the spread of the virus.”

If you don’t have Covid-19 symptoms and you are trying to book a test, do not book a test – you could be taking a test away from someone who really needs it. This is increasingly important as we head into autumn and winter and more people will get colds and the flu. Please only book a test if you have one of the 3 symptoms.

If someone in your household starts to have symptoms, then that person must get tested and the rest of the household should self-isolate with them whilst they wait for the results. If you or other members of the household don’t have symptoms, then you should not get a test – only people with symptoms should get tested. The vast majority of people who are tested in person get their results the next day. Full guidance on self-isolation is available here.

If you do not have symptoms but have been advised to self-isolate or you are in quarantine, then a negative test result does not mean you can end isolation early. The virus can take time to develop and so a test early on does not prove that you won’t go on to develop the virus. That means you could still be at risk of spreading the disease to other people.

If you have symptoms and need to book a test you can do this online or by ringing 119. If you are worried about your symptoms use the NHS 111 or online service You can call 111 for anything other than arranging a test, if you cannot get help online.

Do not go to places like a GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy if you have symptoms of Covid-19.

Greg Fell added:

“UK-wide, it is clear we are seeing a steady rise in coronavirus cases. The Department of Health and Social Care has designated Sheffield as an ‘area of concern’. This means we are seeing a rise in cases in our city and that we need to continue to be careful to avoid a further spike in cases in our communities. By careful we mean, continuing to wash your hands or use hand sanitiser, keep your distance and wearing a face covering if you are travelling on public transport or entering an enclosed space such as shops, including supermarkets.

“Most importantly, if you are feeling poorly or think you have symptoms, no matter how mild, you must stay at home and contact NHS test and trace to arrange a test.

“Our message is simple, COVID-19 has not gone away and we need our communities’ support in stopping the spread and to help protect our loved ones.”

The Council’s focus throughout the pandemic has been to keep people safe, protect the most vulnerable and reopen the city as and when it has been safe to do so. This still remains the case and these continue to be at the forefront of all the decisions we make.

To keep our city safe, please continue to follow the safety measures in place. We can all play our part to help prevent the spread of the virus by:

  • Staying at home if you have symptoms, even if they are mild (this is what makes the most difference). We know that 50% of people with symptoms don’t stay at home so this is the biggest difference you can make.
  • If you have symptoms, get a test
  • If you are asked to isolate, it does mean you must stay at home.
  • Keep your distance, 2m where possible
  • Wash your hands with soap and hot water
  • Wear a face covering (if you can) when using public transport, entering shops and when you can’t keep a safe distance from others.

Together we can help keep our communities safe by following the COVID-19 guidelines and by getting tested if we have symptoms.