Getting tested if you don't have symptoms

Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms. You can get a free rapid COVID-19 test at a local site in Croydon, and get the results the same day, usually within 30 minutes. This is called lateral flow testing. 

Getting tested frequently can help to reduce the spread of the virus. Testing identifies people who do not have symptoms but are infectious and could pass the virus to others without knowing. By getting tested and self-isolating if you have COVID-19, you can help to protect your friends, family and the wider community.

Who can get a rapid COVID-19 test?

You can get a rapid COVID-19 test if: 

  • you do not have any COVID-19 symptoms 
  • you live or work in Croydon

People who need to leave their home to work or volunteer are encouraged to get tested twice a week. Regular rapid testing is most effective to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

This scheme is not designed for those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who is experiencing any of the three main COVID-19 symptoms can book a free NHS test.

If you've been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, do not book a rapid test, self-isolate for 10 days in line with the government guidance.

How to get a rapid COVID-19 test

We have a number of pop-up testing sites operating and open to the public across the borough. Our Keep Croydon Safe Champions are on hand to discuss and talk about how you can protect your loved ones, communities and self’s against Covid-19. They will also be on hand to offer assisted lateral flow tests on site from our testing vans.  

You can simply turn up during our open hours to access this service. Find a pop-up testing site and its opening times.

NHS Test and Trace sites

There are local testing centres in car parks at:

  • Croydon Arena, Albert Road, South Norwood, SE25 4QL
  • Central Parade, New Addington, CR0 0JL

They operate as testing sites in the morning only. In the afternoon you can pick up rapid lateral flow test kits for use at home.

Find a local testing centre on the NHS website.

Pharmacy collect

Some pharmacies have signed up to offer pharmacy collect – find out which pharmacies are offering this near you on the NHS website.

Home delivery

You can now order a box of seven tests to be delivered to your home. Order tests from GOV.UK or call 119.

Workplace testing

Some employers are now offering tests, either supervised at a test site, or testing kits you can collect to do at home.

Attending a test site

When you attend a test site, you must arrive wearing a face covering, unless you're exempt or have a reasonable excuse (according to the latest government guidelines). If you are exempt, please show proof of this to our check-in team.

Parents and carers of school-age children 

Regular rapid testing is available to your household, childcare bubble or support bubble if at least one member:

  • is a school, nursery or college pupil
  • works in a school, nursery or college (this includes temporary workers or volunteers)

If you do not have symptoms, you can book an appointment at one of our rapid testing sites, or order rapid home test kits to be delivered to your home or a community collection point. 

Children under 16 must be accompanied at test sites. The test for younger children must be done by the parent.

Rapid testing in partner boroughs

Croydon is also part of a South West London partnership with Wandsworth, Kingston, Merton, Sutton and Richmond. Residents from these areas can access rapid (lateral flow) testing at sites across any of these boroughs. Please check their booking systems below for details.