Last Updated 1:00pm, 15 February 2021
When to get a test
If you have COVID-19 symptoms
If you start to display any of the symptoms of COVID-19 such as a:
- new and continuous cough
- high temperature
- loss of, or change to, your sense of taste or smell
it’s vital that you arrange a test as soon as possible.
You can book a visit to a test site to have the test or order a home test kit if you cannot get to a test site. You’ll be told when booking your test where your nearest centre is.
If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms
A community testing programme has been launched to provide free lateral flow tests that deliver rapid results – typically within 30 minutes.
This will help to find individuals who have COVID-19 but do not have symptoms and who may be spreading the virus without realising it.
We’ve provided some more details about lateral flow testing to help explain what the tests are and how they work.
Who can get a lateral flow test
The free tests are available for anyone whose job or volunteering work requires them to leave the house and be in contact with others, including people caring for others, either paid or voluntary.
With many organisations still open, and with employees and volunteers who can’t work from home having to go out to work, there is a risk of catching the virus and spreading it to others.
The staff of all organisations and businesses are encouraged to make use of the Community Testing Service.
For larger employers with over 50 employees, you can apply directly to NHS Test and Trace for support in setting up your own workplace testing. If companies have specific queries following that, they can contact the relevant team at the Department for Health and Social Care via P-and-PSector@dhsc.gov.uk.
You should not be asking members of staff to get tested before they come into the workplace. You can also help by communicating the guidance around testing to your staff.
Test site locations
Currently, there are two testing sites:
- County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD
- North Walk Car Park, Taw View, Civic Centre, Barnstaple, EX31 1EE
Further sites throughout Devon are being readied but exact locations are yet to be announced. Most will be fixed sites, but some will be mobile facilities that can reach more rural areas of the county.
Book a test
You must book an appointment to attend a testing site. We recommend you get tested twice a week, two to four days apart. This will help to identify infection early and reduce risk to others.
Map of test and vaccination sites
The sites displayed on this map reflect the latest information available. Visits to any of the displayed sites for a COVID-19 test or vaccination should only be made if you have a pre-booked appointment or have been invited for vaccination.
Guidance for schools
Please follow the official guidance on testing. It is very important that this guidance is followed.
Schools should not advise pupils or teachers to take a test unless they exhibit one or more of the listed symptoms.
If there is a confirmed case then schools should not advise entire classes or year groups to get tested. Only those with symptoms or those advised by their clinician or Local Authority should get a test.
Schools must not require students without symptoms to provide evidence of a negative test before letting them back to school.