Get a test if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) you should get a free PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test and self-isolate.

The symptoms are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell

You can also get a PCR test for someone you live with if they have any of these symptoms.

If you have symptoms, however mild, you must get a PCR test and self-isolate until you receive your test result. Check if the people you live with also need to self-isolate.

When to apply for a PCR test

You need to have the test within the first eight days of having symptoms.

On days one to seven of your symptoms you can get tested at a test site or at home. If you're ordering a home test kit on day seven, you need to do it by 3pm. On day eight of your symptoms you'd need to go to a test site to be tested as it's too late to order a home test kit.

What the test involves

The test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.

You can do the swab yourself (if you are aged 12 or over) or someone can do it for you. Parents or guardians have to swab test children aged 11 or under.

Testing sites in Barnsley

In Barnsley our main local testing sites are at:

  • Lower Courthouse car park, County Way, Barnsley, S70 2JW
  • Dorothy Hyman Sports Centre car park, Cudworth, S72 8LH
  • Summer Lane car park, Wombwell, S73 0DD

These sites are accessible by car and on foot. They're open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm.

We also currently have mobile testing site at:

  • Burleigh Street car park, Barnsley, S70 1LW. This drive-through testing site is open every day until Sunday 12 December, from 9am to 3pm. It will also be open on 25 December, 26 December and 1 January between 9am and 12pm.

You need to book an appointment to get a PCR coronavirus test on NHS.UK before visiting a testing site.

How to book a PCR test

You can book a PCR test on the NHS website or call 119 if you're not able to access the internet.

When requesting a test you'll be asked:

  • for details such as your name, mobile phone number and address
  • how you want to get the test – by going to a testing site or getting a home test kit

Getting your test result

You'll receive your results within 24 to 72 hours.

If you don’t have an email address or a phone number you can call 119 for your results.

Testing dos and don'ts

What you should do

  • Do get a PCR test if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
    • a high temperature
    • a new continuous cough
    • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

  • Do get a PCR test if:
    • you’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive
    • you’ve been asked to get a test by a local council or someone from NHS Test and Trace
    • a GP or other health professional has asked you to get a test
    • you’re taking part in a government pilot project
    • you’ve been asked to get a test to confirm a positive result
    • you’ve received an unclear result and were told to get a second test
    • you need to get a test for someone you live with who has symptoms
    • you’re in the National Tactical Response Group
  • Do self-isolate for at least 10 days if you can’t get a PCR test straight away.

What you shouldn't do

  • Don’t get a PCR test if you don’t currently have symptoms and none of the above reasons apply to you. You can get free lateral flow test kits instead to test yourself at home twice a week.

  • Don’t stop self-isolating if you have symptoms of coronavirus but can’t get a test; you must isolate for 10 days.

  • Don’t call 111 to book a test; either get a PCR coronavirus test on NHS.UK or call 119.