Rapid community testing
Who can get a rapid test?
During lockdown, you should only get a rapid test if you have to leave home to go to work, school, or to volunteer.
You can get a free rapid COVID-19 test if:
- you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19
- you are over 12 years old (12 to 15-year olds will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian)
- you have to leave home to go to work, school, or to volunteer.
We are prioritising access to rapid tests for key workers. Key workers include:
- health and care staff who do not have access to testing at work
- emergency services staff
- early years, primary and secondary school staff
- supermarket workers
- delivery drivers
- essential voluntary workers.
Keyworkers can book 2 tests a week, 3 to 5 days apart.
If you can work from home
If you can work from home and do not have symptoms, you do not need a rapid test. You should stay at home.
We will be rolling out more testing centres in the coming weeks to make it even easier to access rapid community testing across Barnet.
How to get a test
You can book a free rapid COVID-19 test using our online booking form.
Rapid tests are currently available daily between 7am and 9pm at:
- Colindale Library: 7 Bristol Avenue, NW9 4BR
- Hendon Leisure Centre: Marble Drive, London NW2 1XQ
- Burnt Oak Leisure Centre: Watling Ave, Edgware HA8 0NP
A small number of walk-in tests will be available at each test site on a first come, first serve basis.
You can book up to 2 tests per week, but they must be 3 to 5 days apart.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms
You should not book a rapid test if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- high temperature
- a new continuous cough
- loss or changed to your sense of smell or taste.
If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, you should book a free PCR test at one of our local symptomatic testing sites.
What happens when you arrive for your test
You must wear a face covering.
You will need to tell the test site staff the time and date of your booking.
You will need to take a swab of your throat and nose yourself. There will be written instructions with diagrams and test site staff can help to talk you through the process if you are unsure.
You will be given a barcode and you will need to register your details and this barcode number on the NHS Test & Trace website.
You will be asked to provide a UK mobile number and valid email address for your test results to be sent to you later that day.
After receiving your results
If you test positive, you must self-isolate immediately and you will need to arrange a PCR test to confirm the result. You can access a PCR test on the national website
If you test negative, you still need to follow COVID-19 government guidelines
Why use rapid testing?
To help identify Barnet residents who are not showing symptoms of COVID-19 but are infected, we’ve introduced rapid testing.
It takes approximately 60 minutes to receive the results of a rapid COVID-19 test. It can detect COVID-19 if you are infectious at the time the test is taken. The test cannot tell you if you have been infected in the past.
Your personal data
No one at the test site can view your personal details or your test results. Our privacy notice has more information on how we are processing personal data in relation to the pandemic.