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Luton Borough Council

Coronavirus testing

Free rapid tests and home test kits are available at the mobile testing sites.

  • Keep Luton safe get a free rapid/lateral flow test (LFT) twice weekly at any of the mobile testing sites across Luton.
  • Also regularly collect free home test kits from the stall inside the Mall and at any of the mobile testing sites in Luton.
  • Home test kits can also be collected from Luton pharmacies.
  • Find a test site where you can collect rapid tests

Find out how to get a free test here.

Rapid/lateral flow testing - if you have no symptoms

Free community-wide rapid/lateral flow testing is available to anyone that:

  • is not displaying any coronavirus symptoms
  • lives, works and studies in Luton (unless self-isolating)

We're encouraging everyone to get a rapid/lateral flow test on a twice weekly basis, either at home with a home test kit or at one of the Luton mobile sites.

If you've tested positive, have COVID-19 symptoms, or have been asked to self-isolate, you should not attend any of the rapid testing sites or pharmacy to have a rapid test or collect home test kits.

Book a test poster

Mobile rapid/lateral flow testing sites

You don’t need to book – just ‘walk up’ to any of the mobile testing sites across Luton, open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, and weekends 9am to 5pm:

See below for where the mobile testing sites are located.

The testing sites are safe, and social distancing measures are in place at all times.

It takes less than 15 minutes to self-administer the test and you'll get your result within 45 minutes by text or email.

See the Luton pharmacies and test locations map

Open all

October 2021

Smith's Square (The Mall)
Inside the Mall, LU1 2LJ
Every day from 4 October
Mondays to Saturdays: 8am to 6pm
Sundays: 10am to 5pm

Central Square (The Mall)
Inside the Mall, LU1 2LJ
Wednesday to Saturday: 9am to 4pm
Sundays: 11am to 5pm

High Town Community Sports and Arts Centre
Concorde Street, LU2 0JD
Mondays: 8am to 6pm

Farley Community Centre
Delphine Close, LU1 5RE
Wednesdays: 8am to 6pm
Fridays: 8am to 6pm

Lewsey Community Centre
Landrace Road, LU4 0SW
Thursdays: 8am to 6pm

Chaul End Community Centre
515 Dunstable Road, LU4 8QN
Saturdays: 9am to 5pm

Elearning Centre
230 Sundon Park Road, LU2 0BA
Sundays: 9am to 5pm

Keeping safe this winter

If you've tested positive, have COVID-19 symptoms, or have been asked to self-isolate, you should not attend the rapid testing sites or pharmacy to have a rapid test or collect home test kits. You must stay at home and book a PCR test.

If this is the case and you require testing you should book a normal PCR test online at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

There are four Luton sites offering FREE bookable PCR tests if you have coronavirus symptoms, open from from 8am to 6pm. (these sites are no longer giving out rapid home test kits). The four locations are:

  • Vicarage Road Car Park (University Campus) Vicarage Street, LU1 3HZ
  • Hockwell Ring Community Centre, Mayne Avenue, Leagrave, LU4 9LB
  • Bury Park Community Centre, 161-161b Dunstable Road, LU1 1BW
  • Luton Airport Test Centre, Mid Stay Car Park, LU2 9QT

Stay at home and self-isolate

You can now collect home test kits from any of the mobile testing sites across Luton, during their opening times. You'll be offered the opportunity to be shown how to complete the test by one of the test centre personnel.

On request you'll be provided with two boxes of test kits to self-administer at home which will last you 7 weeks based on twice weekly testing or, if you can prove that you're collecting for a larger household, you can be issued with four boxes.

Home test kits can also be collected from Luton pharmacies. You can collect up to 2 packs of 7 tests from a local pharmacy or test site:

Home test kits will also be available to collect from The Mall every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm at a stall located opposite the information point.

You can get a pack of 7 tests sent to your home. Order rapid lateral flow home test kits on gov.uk.

For details please go to the government website. 

Please watch this YouTube tutorial for more information on how to use the home tests.

Video showing hot to take a lateral flow test

If your home rapid test is positive you should:
  • either call 119 or book a regular PCR test online
  • self-isolate and only go out to have the PCR test
  • self-isolate until the results are received from the PCR test

If that test is positive then you need to complete the 10 days isolation period. If it comes back negative then you can stop self-isolating.

If you're testing at home you'll need to register your results online or by calling 119.

Use this service to order free packs of rapid lateral flow tests to be sent to your home in England.

A pack of tests contains 7 tests. You can order one pack per household each day. For details, please go to the government website.

You can only use this service if:

  • you do not have coronavirus symptoms
  • you live in England
  • you’re 18 or older
  • you have not been told to self-isolate
  • you cannot get tests from your work, school, college or university (ask them for rapid lateral flow tests)

Do not use a rapid lateral flow test if you have coronavirus symptoms. Get a PCR test and self-isolate.

If you’re not sure, you can find out which coronavirus test you should get.

Secondary school and college students will now be tested twice a week, receiving three initial tests at school or college before moving to twice weekly home testing. Kits will be available from each school.

Primary school children will not be regularly tested if they have no symptoms (asymptomatic). They will however continue to need a PCR test if they have symptoms.

If you're contacted by the NHS test and trace service because you've been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus you will be alerted by the NHS test and trace service who will tell you to begin self-isolation for 10 days from your last contact with the person who has tested positive.

Your household doesn’t need to self-isolate with you, if you do not have symptoms, but they must take extra care to follow the guidance on social distancing and handwashing and avoid contact with you at home.

You are now required by law to self-isolate if you test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a fine of up to £10,000.

You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme in Luton if you're required to stay at home and self-isolate.

Share contacts

If you test positive for coronavirus, the NHS test and trace service will send you a text or email alert or call you with instructions of how to share details of people with whom you have had close, recent contact and places you have visited. It is important that you respond as soon as possible so that appropriate advice can be given to those who need it.

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NHS Covid-19 app image 

The government is urging all those over 16 years old to download the NHS COVID-19 app to help control the spread of coronavirus and protect themselves and their loved ones as case numbers rise.

The app is an important tool to work alongside traditional contact tracing to help reduce the spread of the virus.

You can download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play by selecting the following buttons.

App Store

Google Play

Businesses, places of worship or community organisations that are open to the public must create a QR code to display at the venue for visitors to use in conjunction with the NHS app.

Create a coronavirus QR code

See more information about the app and Q and A on the NHS website which explain how to use the app, technical queries and includes information about your privacy and data.

The government has also produced videos:

What is a rapid test (lateral flow test) and how does it differ to the current test you book online?

People who do not have COVID-19 symptoms (and are not self-isolating) can take a lateral flow test which is designed to detect the presence or absence of coronavirus by applying a swab or saliva sample to the device’s absorbent pad.

The sample runs along the surface of the pad, showing at the end a visual positive or negative result dependant on the presence of the virus (similar to a pregnancy test).

These tests are safe and do not require a laboratory and return rapid results within 45 minutes. Rapid tests presents an opportunity to identify cases of coronavirus that would otherwise be missed. Identification of cases will help contain the spread of coronavirus so they can self-isolate and prevent the virus from spreading.

See the GOV.UK website or call 119.

What happens at the test site?

The test will involve you taking a swab of the back of your throat and inside of your nose. You will give the swab to trained staff at the test centre who will be able to process the results there and you will receive test results within 45 minutes by text message or via email.

What should I do when I get my result?

Positive result

This means that the test detected coronavirus in your body on the day of your test.

It is very important from when you receive the confirmation of a rapid positive test, that:

Contact tracing for non-household contacts (such as within workplace or school settings) will take place following a positive test.

If you do not have any other support you can access and need help while self-isolating please view our coronavirus support online.

You may also be eligible for financial support.

Please also see I need to self-isolate or cannot attend work.

Negative result

This means the test did not detect you had coronavirus on the day you were tested. You must still follow the current government guidance.

If at any point in the future you develop Covid-19 symptoms (a continuous cough, high temperature or loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste) you should self-isolate and book a standard (laboratory) COVID-19 test online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119. People who you live with must also self-isolate for 10 days.

What if I don’t get my test result?

If you haven’t received your rapid test result within 24 hours call 119. The operator will ask you for your barcode number and will advise you of what action you should take.

Can the rapid test detect the new COVID-19 variant?

Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed that lateral flow devices (LFDs) used in mass testing can detect the new COVID-19 variant.

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© 2021 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ