No symptoms Covid-19 Testing - FAQs

 No symptoms testing aims to protect those at highest risk of being seriously ill from Covid-19 by finding asymptomatic cases (people without any symptoms).

This helps to prevent and reduce the spread of the virus in the community. The more people we can test, the better we can fight the virus in our local area.

Let's keep being kind to keep each other safe. #LetsGetTested

Getting regular tests can help us keep family, friends, colleagues, customers and community as safe as possible. 1 in 3 people with Coronavirus don’t have any symptoms and are not aware that they are potentially spreading the virus. Testing remains one of the most powerful tools we have in fighting the virus in our local area alongside vaccinations, ventilation and maintaining good hygiene practices such as regular hand washing and wearing face masks in crowded places and public transport.

Yes, please do keep taking part in regular ‘no symptoms’ testing. Testing is one of the best tools that we have to help us to prevent future outbreaks and to reduce the risk of new variants emerging. Testing, vaccination, ventilation, continuing to follow good hygiene and taking sensible precautions such as wearing face coverings in crowded places will all help us to stay safe.

Whilst vaccinations significantly reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill or being hospitalised due to Covid-19, it is still possible to be infected and potentially pass the virus on to other people even after being vaccinated. There will also always be a number of people who can’t have the vaccine for medical reasons.

You won’t test positive for Covid-19 just because you have been vaccinated. The vaccination and tests work in different ways and don’t affect each other. So, if you test positive for Covid-19, you should self-isolate immediately. Please see below for more information - what happens if I test positive?

We advise that you get tested regularly – twice a week, especially if you have to leave home to work, volunteer or to care for a family member or friend. We also advise getting tested ahead of meeting with family and friends or attending events and activities.

1 in 3 people who have coronavirus don’t have any symptoms and may not be aware that they may be spreading the virus.

On the 14 December 2021 the rules for close contacts of COVID-19 cases changed. Adults who have not had two doses of the vaccine must still self-isolate for 10 days. However other close contacts are strongly advised to take a LFD test every day for 7 days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have symptoms or a positive test result.

Daily testing of close contacts applies to:

  • all adults who are fully vaccinated (2 jabs and over 2 weeks since 2nd jab)
  • all children aged 5 – 18 years and 6 months.
  • People who can prove they are unable to be vaccinated for clinical reasons
  • People taking part in an approved clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine

Children under the age of 5 don’t need to self-isolate or daily test.

All test results should be logged on the Gov.UK website here https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result. You will receive a confirmation e-mail/text with further information and advice.

If you get a positive result to a symptom-free test (lateral flow), you MUST by law self-isolate for 10 days.

From Monday 17 January, there is now an option to take lateral flow tests on Day 5 and Day 6 with negative results on both tests releasing people from self-isolation. The second LFD test should be taken at least 24 hours later. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result. You should stop testing after you have had 2 consecutive negative test results.

Report your LFD test results after taking each test.

This guidance also applies to children and young people who usually attend an education or childcare setting.

You will be unable to use either your domestic or travel NHS COVID Pass for 10 days following a positive test result.

For more information please visit the Government’s website here).

From Tuesday 11 January, people who receive a positive lateral flow device test won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test. This only applies if you have no symptoms of COVID-19 and is a temporary measure while COVID-19 rates remain high across the UK.

An important exception to this revised approach, applies to people who are eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment. To access this financial support people who are eligible, will still be asked to take a confirmatory PCR after they receive a positive lateral flow result.

There may also be people who are advised to take a PCR test because they are in a clinically vulnerable group who may need early access to treatment.

Whilst levels of COVID-19 are high, the vast majority of people with positive lateral flow results can be confident that they have COVID-19.

Anyone with symptoms should always get a PCR test immediately.

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Through ‘no symptoms’ testing, 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 of the disease.
No, it is a personal choice. However, we are hoping that many people will recognise the benefits of getting a test to help reduce the spread of the virus in their communities. Through more testing we will learn more about how the virus is spreading in our community which will help us over time to reduce the impact of Covid-19 and help us to protect the vulnerable.

There is financial support available to help those who need to self-isolate including the £500 self-isolation support grant or £500 self-isolation discretionary support grant from Halton Borough Council. There is also practical help available if required.
Please read our guide to the self-isolation support here.

For more information, including the eligibility criteria, please click below:

Please also see our guide to self-isolation here – www.halton.gov.uk/selfisolation.

 Care homes continue to require routine testing of staff and visitors. Please contact the relevant care home for details in advance of any visits.

We encourage all local businesses and staff to continue to do regular ‘no symptoms’ lateral flow tests (widely available as above).

Some larger businesses have been using the Government’s workplace testing scheme and may want to keep supported workplace testing in place. There is now a charge for this service – more information is available here - https://www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests.

Our public health team are also happy to support and advise further, please contact COVIDtesting@halton.gov.uk if you have any queries, feedback or you require further information.

From Tuesday 14 December 2021, contacts who were previously exempt from self-isolating will now need to do a daily lateral flow test for 7 days. This includes:

  • all adults who are fully vaccinated (2 jabs and over 2 weeks since 2nd jab)
  • all children aged 5 – 18 years and 6 months.
  • People who can prove they are unable to be vaccinated for clinical reasons
  • People taking part in an approved clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine

Please note that children under the age of 5 don’t need to self-isolate (unless they are a positive case themselves – please see more information on the Government’s website here) or daily test. If they live with someone who has COVID-19 they are not legally required to self-isolate but you should limit their contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19 and arrange for them to take a PCR test as soon as possible.

Anyone not vaccinated will still need to self-isolate for 10 days from the date of contact with the positive case – even if you test negative on a lateral flow test.

See www.gov.uk/coronavirus for more advice.

Please also see our guide to self-isolation, help available, things to think about and important numbers for support and advice – www.halton.gov.uk/selfisolation.

*PCR - Polymerase Chain Reaction – the tests used by the NHS at the COVID symptoms test centres.


From 15 December, you will need to show your NHS COVID Pass in places where large crowds gather like nightclubs and large stadiums. An NHS COVID Pass is proof of a negative test or full vaccination via the NHS App*.

You should take tests as late as possible before attending the event, ideally within 12 hours. This will strengthen the protection testing provides.

You will need to upload your negative test result on the Government website here - https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result. You will receive an e-mail/text notification of the negative result. You can then download the NHS COVID Pass App. The NHS App will give you a QR code which will be scanned in at the venue.

A valid text or email confirmation from NHS Test and Trace can also be used as proof that you have completed a negative PCR test or negative rapid lateral flow test within the past 48 hours.

The venue or event will check your COVID-19 status. If you do not meet the requirements, the responsible person is legally required to deny you entry to the venue or event.

Your access to the NHS COVID Pass will expire 48 hours after the time you took the test. You cannot report privately provided tests and must only use tests ordered from NHS Test and Trace.

Please do NOT take the test cassette with you as proof of a negative test. It won’t be valid for entry and should be disposed of safely in your household waste.

*The NHS App is not the same as the NHS COVID-19 App.