Coronavirus (COVID-19) tests for people who can't work from home/unpaid carers

As many as one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it.

Broadening testing to identify people who have no symptoms (asymptomatic) means we can find positive cases quicker and can break chains of transmission. Alongside tests for NHS front-line staff, social care and other critical settings, testing of asymptomatic individuals can help suppress coronavirus within our communities.

Rapid results tests

Coronavirus rapid results tests (also known as 'lateral flow' tests) provide a result in about 30 minutes without the need for lab processing. They're used to detect positive cases in people who don't have any symptoms.

If you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell) you should get a coronavirus test on NHS.UK and self-isolate immediately.

Booking a test

You can book a rapid results test using our online form below if you:

  • can't work from home; or
  • are an unpaid carer for someone

You also need to commit to attend for testing twice a week.

The testing site is at Barnsley Metrodome, Queens Ground, Queens Road, Barnsley, S71 1AN. The usual operating hours are:

  • 8.30am to 4.30pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • 8.30am to 7pm on Tuesday and Thursday

Occasionally these may be subject to change; all available booking slots are shown in the online form.

Please note, you shouldn't book a rapid results test if:

  • you have symptoms of coronavirus
  • you've previously tested positive for coronavirus within the last 90 days
  • you've been identified as a contact of someone who has coronavirus by NHS Test and Trace, and you've been told to isolate
  • you're clinically extremely vulnerable as you're at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus, and you've been advised to shield

Attending your test

You should arrive for your test within the 15-minute arrival time slot you've booked. Please don't arrive early as we'll still be testing other people.

When you arrive we'll give you a registration card and a test kit barcode. You'll need to register your test on the GOV.UK website to record your result. You can do this on your smartphone at the testing site, or our registration team can do it on your behalf.

We'll give you a packaged swab to take your own throat and nose swab. This takes about 30 seconds to complete. We'll give you instructions on how to do it correctly. Please tell us if you need these in a different language or braille.

You must leave the site after you've done your test and you'll receive the result in approximately 30 minutes. In total you'll be at the testing site for about half an hour.

Please note

  • You must wear a face covering whilst at the test site, unless you're exempt from doing so.

  • If you have the NHS COVID-19 app on your smartphone, you need to turn off the 'contact tracing' option before you attend the test site. Remember to turn this back on when you leave the site.

  • There are no drinks provided on site; please bring your own water if you think you may need this.

  • Please only use the toilet facilities on site if really necessary and maintain social distancing at all times.

Frequently asked questions

What is community testing?

Community testing is a new testing programme offer for regions across the UK, to help provide a route to move down tier levels for the highest risk areas.

Local authorities in the highest level of restrictions were invited to apply for a six-week testing programme to complement wider local strategies to tackle the virus and drive down transmission. As the initial six-week trial period was a success, the programme has continued.

What is a lateral flow device and how does it work?

Lateral flow devices are a new kind of technology that can be used to test a higher proportion of asymptomatic people. This enables us to identify and isolate more people who are at high likelihood of spreading the virus, thereby breaking the chains of transmission. 

A lateral flow device detects the presence or absence of coronavirus by applying a swab 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 dependent on the presence of the virus. 

Who can be tested? Can anyone get one?

We're offering rapid results tests to people who either:

  • can't work from home; or
  • are an unpaid carer for someone

Groups have been prioritised on the criteria of close contact, multiple contact and vulnerable contact groups. This is where testing will have the biggest impact – both in terms of reducing transmission of the virus and to support the delivery of key services.  

Community testing will be deployed alongside existing national rapid testing existing programmes, such as in the NHS and in care homes.

Asymptomatic testing works hand-in-hand with the existing testing service for those with COVID-19 symptoms as part of the comprehensive NHS Test and Trace testing offer.

People wanting to be tested need to commit to having two tests per week.

I've been identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable. Should I attend for testing?

No – please keep yourself safe by following the government’s guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and stay at home as much as possible.

Where is the testing taking place?

Metrodome Leisure Complex, Queens Ground, Queens Road, Barnsley, S71 1AN.

The testing centre is in the main hall and there are plenty of signs in place to direct you to the testing site. 

How long does it take to do the test and how long does it take to get the result?

It takes less than 15 minutes to administer the lateral flow device test. The test takes around 30 minutes to produce a result and you'll be notified of your result by email or text message.

How are the tests processed?

Lateral flow devices do not require a laboratory to process the test. Swabbing and processing of these tests must currently be conducted at a dedicated testing site by trained personnel. The devices are designed to be intuitive and require minimal training to operate and we're looking at how this test could be self-administered. 

Is it compulsory to take this test?

No. We're hoping that many people will recognise the benefits of getting involved in local testing efforts to reduce the spread of the virus in their communities.

Why should people take part?

We aim to identify people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms but who are infectious and could spread the infection to others unknowingly. Identifying and supporting infectious people to isolate before they develop symptoms will help reduce spread. 

What will this test tell me?

If you get a positive result, it's likely that you were infectious at the time the test was taken.

The antigen test cannot detect very low levels of coronavirus in a sample, so if you've only recently been infected, are in the incubation period, or if you have mostly recovered, the test may not give a positive result.

If people are being sent away from the site to wait for their result, will this mean that they should not return to work until they receive a text with their result?

At the moment it's taking about 10 minutes for the NHS system to send a text to the individual with their result. As this is asymptomatic testing, people can go about their daily routine as normal.

What should I do if I test positive?

If your test is positive you must self-isolate for 10 days from the date of your test, along with all those you live with.

If my rapid results test is positive, do I still need to have another confirmation test through the NHS?

No. Public Health England has temporarily suspended the need for routine confirmatory tests (PCR - polymerase chain reaction tests) for people who've received a positive lateral flow/rapid results test while prevalence or coronavirus is very high nationally. This change is in place from 27 January 2021.

This means that you'll no longer be asked to go for separate confirmatory PCR test if your lateral flow test shows a positive result.

Under the new system, a positive lateral flow test triggers the legal duty to self-isolate, eligibility for Test and Trace support payments, and contact tracing for those who do not report their own results.

This change isn't intended to be a long-term arrangement and we'll update this webpage with any further changes.

Routine confirmatory PCR tests will remain for those who self-report, including:

  • NHS England staff
  • adult social care staff
  • primary school workers who test at home
  • hauliers
  • those in pilots using self-test reporting tools

What financial support is available if I have to isolate?

A government scheme and local discretionary scheme are available.

Find out more about the Test and Trace support payment. 

What happens if I test negative?

You need to continue to follow the preventative measures currently recommended for stopping the spread of the virus. 

A single negative test is not a passport to carrying on your daily live 'virus-free'. Please don’t let a negative COVID-19 test give you a false sense of security. 

If you're tested shortly after becoming infected but before the virus has reproduced enough copies of itself, a test could fail to detect the virus and produce a false negative result.

You might also be in the early, undetectable stage of infection, or you might get infected after you took the test.

Please continue to follow the Hands, Face, Space guidance to protect yourself and the people around you.

  • Hands – wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water often, and as soon as you get home. Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

  • Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • Space – stay at least 2 metres away from anyone you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble.

How will the process work?

Book a coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid results test online and download the NHS COVID-19 app.

Appointments are available at quarter past each hour.

On the day of your test

  1. Arrive within the first 15 minutes of your appointment.
  2. You'll fill in a questionnaire to make sure that you don’t currently have any of the symptoms of COVID-19.
  3. You'll be shown how to take your own swab.
  4. Once you've handed over the swab, you'll be asked to leave the test site and wait to be notified of your result by text or email.
  5. If your test is negative, you can continue to work and book in for your next test.
  6. If your test is positive you must self-isolate for 10 days from the date of your test, along with all those you live with.

How do I prepare for my test?

  • Wait at least 30 minutes after you last ate or drank anything before starting the test.
  • Don’t start it if you’ve had a nosebleed in the past 24 hours.
  • If you have a nose piercing, swab the other nostril or remove the piercing and swab if you have a piercing on both sides.
  • If you can’t take a throat swab (eg if you’ve had a tracheostomy) swab both nostrils instead.
  • Wear a face covering to your appointment and on site.

Do I only have to book one test in the first instance and then subsequent tests after receiving my test result? How should I space my twice weekly tests?

Bookings can only be made seven days in advance. Please space out your tests as evenly as you can throughout the week; for example three days between the two weekly tests.

What's important is that you attend twice a week for testing.

Do I still have to go for testing if I've received the COVID-19 vaccination?

Current advice for those vaccinated is that they continue with all current guidance and advice with regards to COVID-19 restrictions; this includes testing.

What should someone do if they have coronavirus symptoms?

Free testing continues to be available to everyone in Barnsley.

Please get a coronavirus test on NHS.UK online or call 119 if you have any symptoms of coronavirus:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough
  • a loss of/change in taste or smell