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Cervical screening during the COVID-19 pandemic

Cervical screening is continuing as normal, but there may be a delay in:

Repeat tests due to expired samples

About 200 women are being asked to book a repeat cervical screening test due to a delay in testing samples for abnormal cervical cells.

Read information for women affected by this issue

Delay to test results

Results are currently taking between 8 to 10 weeks. This is due to the high number of people attending for cervical screening.

We are sorry about these delays. We are making every effort to improve the situation.

Delay to booking new appointments

A high number of people are looking for cervical screening appointments at GP practices and screening clinics. Because of this it may take longer than usual to get an appointment.

You should still try and book your cervical screening appointment if your test is due. You do not need to wait to get an invitation letter to book your test.

Your GP or clinic will give you an appointment as soon as they can.

Read more about how to book a cervical screening test

If you are worried aboutsymptoms that might mean you have cervical cancer phone your GP. Never ignore symptoms.

Going for your screening test

The way your cervical screening sample is taken is the same during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You will be asked to wear a mask during your appointment. You may also need to wait outside until it’s time for your appointment.

Plan to wait a little longer at the surgery for your test, if needed. You should also bring your own pen to sign the screening form.

When you should reschedule an appointment

Phone your GP surgery, screening clinic or colposcopy clinic to reschedule your appointment if you:

  • have symptoms of COVID-19
  • have tested positive for COVID-19
  • are self-isolating because you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • need to postpone your appointment

Aged 25 to 30 and having your first test

If you 25 to 30 years of age and having a test for the first time, check the CervicalCheck register to make sure we have all the details we need to invite you for screening.

Enter your PPS number and date of birth to check that you are on our register

Colposcopy clinics

Colposcopy clinics are running as usual. But you may have to wait a little longer than usual for an appointment.

Your hospital clinic will contact you before your appointment and advise you of what to expect when coming to the clinic.

page last reviewed: 27/03/2020
next review due: 27/03/2023