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Show full transcript for Coronavirus testing video
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Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can get a test to check if they have the virus. Some people without symptoms can have the test too. This test is called the "antigen" or "swab" test.

There is another type of test, an antibody test, that checks if you've already had the virus, but at the time of filming, this test is not widely available yet.

The antigen test usually involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.

You can do the swab yourself (if you are aged 12 or over) or someone can do it for you. Children aged 11 or under cannot do the swab themselves. Their parent or guardian will have to swab test them.

This test indicates if a person needs to continue to self-isolate, can return to work or needs to be re-tested.

There are 2 ways of getting a test. You can book an appointment at a drive-through or walk-through test site or ask for a home test kit which is delivered to your home in the post. If you get a home test kit, you will need to do the test and return the kit within the next 48 hours. You will be told how to do this.

Antibody tests can tell someone whether they have had the virus or not, but not about any level of protection or immunity from getting the virus again. Social distancing measures must therefore still be followed.

There are two ways of having an antibody test.  One is to have a blood sample taken by a medical professional.  This test is being offered to NHS and social care staff, and to NHS hospital inpatients and care home residents based on their clinician’s advice.

The other type of antibody test is a finger prick self-test which can be performed at home.  Currently, as of July 2020, these tests are not accurate enough and the Government is therefore not offering them at present, but they plan to offer these in the future once more accurate tests are available.

You'll get a text or email when your result is ready. If you went to a test site for your test, it can take up to 48 hours to receive your result. It may take up to 72 hours for a home test.