Redbridge residents who are eligible are urged to get tested for coronavirus

Coronavirus testing is available to anyone who has symptoms. Picture: PA/Andrew Milligan

Coronavirus testing is available to anyone who has symptoms. Picture: PA/Andrew Milligan - Credit: PA

Starting this week, the Government has opened up coronavirus testing to all adults and children over five in the UK who have coronavirus symptoms with Redbridge residents urged to get tested.

You should get tested if you have symptoms of a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of or change in normal sense of smell or taste.

The government has two different websites for booking tests, one for essential workers and their households, and a separate one for residents who are experiencing symptoms.

The free test can be done within a matter of minutes and involves a swab sample being collected from the back of the throat and the nose, which is then sent to a lab for analysis.

The test can be completed on your own at home, at a regional drive through centre or at a temporary mobile testing facility, with results usually received within 48 or 72 hours, depending on where the test was taken.

The test must be taken within five days of displaying symptoms to be effective and it will not indicate if you previously had the virus.

The next day the mobile testing facility will be in Redbridge isn’t confirmed yet but it will be published on the council’s coronavirus page once available, in the meantime residents can book a test online.

Leader of Redbridge Council Councillor Jas Athwal urged anyone with coronavirus symptoms in the borough to book in for a test as soon as possible.

He added: “The widening of testing in the community is very welcome news, and an important step in helping us beat this terrible virus.

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“Getting tested is incredibly important as it lets you and your household know for certain if you have the virus, so you can take the steps needed to look after yourself, protect others and reduce the spread.”

He added that he would keep a close eye on testing availability to ensure there are sufficient tests for everyone who needs it.

For assistance or enquiries relating to booking or taking a test, please call the Coronavirus Testing Call Centre on 119 between 7am and 11pm.

This service can also be accessed by people with hearing or speech difficulties by calling 18001 119. Please note that the call centre cannot provide clinical advice.