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You will get your test results by text message. If your test is positive, we will also call you. 

When you'll get your results

Most people will get their results within 2 days, but it can take longer. 

Patients who are most seriously ill and in hospital will get their results first. 

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus):

What your results mean

There are 3 types of result you can get:

If you have not received your test results

Test results are given 7 days a week up until 9pm.

Call the COVID-19 helpline if you are waiting more than 2 days (48 hours) for your results.

Do not contact your GP for test results. Their phone lines need to be kept open for people who need help with symptoms.

If you were tested because you had symptoms

If you have not received your test results you can stop self-isolating if both of these apply:

  • you have not had a high temperature (38 degrees Celsius or higher) for 5 days in a row
  • it has been 10 days since you first developed symptoms

If you were tested because you were a close contact

If you are a close contact and do not have any symptoms, continue to restrict your movements (stay at home) for 14 days. Do this from the last date you were in contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19. If you’re not sure when that was, restrict your movements until the date you were told by our contact tracing team.

Living with a close contact

If you live with someone who is a close contact, you do not need to restrict your movements while they wait for their test or test results.

But if they test positive for COVID-19, you will need to restrict your movements and should follow the advice for close contacts.

Follow the advice on living with someone who is a close contact

If you live with someone waiting for test results

If you live with someone who has symptoms, is self-isolating and waiting on test results, you should restrict your movements.

If their test comes back positive (COVID-19 virus found), you will become a close contact and should follow advice for close contacts.

If their test comes back negative, you can return to your normal activities.

Related topics

If you are a close contact of COVID-19

Keeping well during self-isolation

Protect yourself and others

Last updated: 17 November at 11.05am

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