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Lateral flow tests

Lateral flow testing

Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms.

Rapid lateral flow tests help to find cases in people who may have no symptoms but are still infectious and can give the virus to others.

The test usually involves taking a sample from your throat and nose, or from your nose only, using a swab. You get a result in 15 to 30 minutes depending on the type of rapid lateral flow test you’ve taken.

For further information read Understanding lateral flow antigen testing for people without symptoms.

If you need guidance on how to take a test watch How to do a COVID-19 Self Test (rapid antigen test).

How to get a rapid lateral flow test

When collecting packs of tests, you can collect 2 packs at a time (14 tests in total).

Order by phone If you cannot order online, call 119. Lines are open 7am to 11pm and calls are free.

If you are a business and would like to enquire about home testing kits for your employees, please contact us by email at

When you receive your test kit you should

  1. take a rapid lateral flow test twice a week (every 3 or 4 days)
  2. report rapid lateral flow test results the day you or someone in your household takes the test on GOV.UK report COVID-19 result

Secondary school and college students will receive test kits from school. Children who go to primary school or younger children do not need to test.

Community test sites

In North East Lincolnshire our community test sites offer assisted lateral flow testing or home testing kit collection options for anyone over the age of 16. Please book an appointment on our Lateral Flow Testing website .

For information on test site access and requesting further assistance, see Lateral Flow Test location accessibility .

Grimsby Town Hall testing site

Getting tested at a local site

You must arrive at the time of your appointment (not before). Do not attend if you have any COVID-19 symptoms. Instead, immediately self-isolate and arrange to take a regular COVID test by visiting NHS.UK or calling 119.

Do not come to the testing site without first booking an appointment. Your appointment will last approximately 30 minutes.

You must bring:

  • confirmation of your booking, either on a mobile device or a printed copy
  • a mobile device to scan a QR code on the test kit (devices will be available if you do not have your own)
  • a face covering (unless you are exempt)

You will be directed to an individual test area to complete a self-administered swab test. Guidance will be provided and trained staff will be available to explain the process and answer any questions.

You will deposit your swab test at the processing station.

Negative test results

If you receive a negative test result you don’t have to do anything else.


A negative test result provides information about the level of the virus at one point in time there’s the potential for the test result to be ‘false negative’ if you’re infected with COVID-19 but don’t yet have a high enough level of the virus in your system to register on the Lateral Flow Device (LFD).

None of the tests currently available for detecting COVID-19 are 100% reliable. There is a risk of receiving a false negative, false positive, or inconclusive/invalid result.

It’s also possible to become infected in the hours or days after taking a rapid test so you must continue to follow Government guidance. Wash your hands regularly, maintain 2m social distancing when around other people outside of your household or support bubble, and wear a mask when in enclosed public spaces.

Positive test results

If you receive a positive test result you must self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test here

NHS Test and Trace will be in touch with you to identify your close contacts. 

Whilst self-isolating, you should not leave your household or mix with others. Try to arrange for food and supplies to be delivered to your home address and dropped off at your door. If possible, contact family members or friends for help with things that cannot be delivered or ordered online.

If you need any support whilst you are self-isolating, you can contact the Council’s Track and Trace team on 01472 313131 (option 0). You will need to give them your case ID number – you will be told your ID number when NHS Test and Trace contact you.

If you get a positive result on your first test you should not go for a second LFT – cancel your second test appointment by following the cancellation link in your booking confirmation email.

Invalid test results

If you receive an invalid test result, it means your test sample could not be read; arrange to take another test as soon as possible.

Frequently asked questions

Why should you get tested?

Rapid tests, or lateral flow tests, are a vital tool in helping to identify cases of coronavirus we would otherwise not find. With 1 in 3 people with coronavirus showing no symptoms and potentially spreading it without knowing, rapid lateral flow tests enable us to find these cases and prevent the spread of infection.

When will you get the results?

Lateral flow tests are easy to use and can give results in 30 minutes, so those who test positive can self-isolate immediately and avoid passing the virus on to others.

Are the test results accurate?

Extensive clinical evaluation has been carried out on the lateral flow tests. Evaluations from Public Health England and the University of Oxford show these tests are accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes. Recent analysis by NHS Test and Trace shows lateral flow tests have a specificity of at least 99.9%. This means that for every 1,000 lateral flow tests carried out, there is fewer than one false positive result.

Does a negative result mean you do not have COVID-19?

A positive test result is a red light, but a negative result is not a green light. We have always been clear that anyone receiving a negative test should recognise that no test is 100% accurate and further reduce the risk of onwards transmission by continuing to follow the social distancing guidelines for their area, following Hands, Face, Space, and avoiding risky behaviours.