How and where to access a COVID-19 test

NHS Test and Trace prevents further spread of coronavirus by:

  • allowing people with coronavirus symptoms to get tested
  • for those who test positive, tracing their recent close contacts so that they can also self-isolate

If you develop coronavirus symptoms, please book a test online nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. You will be given the option to select a home testing kit, which will be posted to you, or a walk-through or drive-through appointment at a testing site. Your nearest options for accessing a test appointment will appear in a drop down box on the national portal, once you have entered your details.

Below are the addresses of testing sites in Camden and neighbouring boroughs.

Please do not turn up at one of the below sites unless you have an appointment because you will be turned away. If you are struggling to access a test, please keep trying and in the meantime, continue to self-isolate.

Drive-through testing centres across London:
•    Lee Valley Athletics Park, London N9 0AR
•    TFL Car Park, Edmund Halley Way, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 0PH
•    World of Adventures, Chessington, Leatherhead Rd, Chessington KT9 2NE
•    Heathrow Airport Car Park E2, Eastern Perimeter Rd, Hounslow TW6 2SQ

Mobile testing units: Please note that these are not permanent testing sites, and testing is only available at these sites on selected dates.  

•    Camden: 51 Greenwood Place, Kentish Town, NW5 1LB. (This test site is outdoors. If you walk there, enter from the O2 Forum end of Greenwood Place and it will be in front of you. If you drive, you'll find it on the second corner you reach. The test site is not at the Greenwood Centre so please do not enter that building.)
•    Barnet: Edgware Community Hospital, HA8 0AD
•    Barnet: Barnet House, N20 0EJ
•    Barnet: Brent Cross Shopping Centre, NW4 3FP
•    Brent: Car Park Opposite Neasden Temple, Brentfield Road, London, NW10 8HE
•    Hackney: Bentley Road Car Park, Dalston, N1 4BZ
•    Hackney: Yesodey School, Ederton Road, N16 6UB
•    Haringey: Alexandra Palace, Hornsey Gate, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY
•    Westminster: North Carriage Drive, Hyde Park, W2

If you’re struggling to access a test, please keep trying. Appointments and test kits should become available throughout the day.

You must get tested within the first five days of having symptoms, so if five days has passed and you still cannot get tested, you must isolate for the full 10 days as you may be infectious. Your household will need to isolate for 14 days too, which is the time it can take to develop symptoms. 
 
Regardless of whether you can access a test, if you develop symptoms, it’s vital that you self-isolate because this will prevent you passing it on to others.

We know that self-isolating is hard for many people, but we want to reassure you that Camden is here to help. If you need support to self-isolate, please call us on 020 7974 4444 (option 9) or for more general information go to camden.gov.uk/coronavirus.  We can offer a range of help including:

  • accessing a device to support your child to keep up with their education
  • help getting hold of essentials if you live alone.

Please only apply for a test if you have symptoms though. It takes time for coronavirus to reach levels that a test can detect. This is why you must wait until you have symptoms to get a test. Otherwise you might get a negative result even though you have caught coronavirus.  It also makes it harder for other people with symptoms to get tests. We need to make sure testing is kept available for people who really need it.

Visit nhs.uk/coronavirus for advice on symptoms, testing and self-isolation. If you're worried about your health or coronavirus symptoms call NHS 111.

Guidance for businesses and voluntary and community organisations

Please take the time to talk to your staff and service users to ensure they know what to do if:

  1. They develop coronavirus symptoms
  2. Someone in their household develops symptoms
  3. They are asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace

Understanding NHS Test and Trace

NHS Test and Trace prevents further spread of coronavirus by:

  • allowing people with coronavirus symptoms to get tested
  • for those who test positive, tracing their recent close contacts so that they can also self-isolate

What should my employees or service users do if they develop coronavirus symptoms?

  • Anyone who develops coronavirus symptoms must self-isolate for 10 days and organise a test by going to nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119. Self-isolating means not leaving your home at all, except to get a test.
  • Anyone who lives with others who have symptoms, will need to self-isolate for 14 days from the day the first person started having symptoms. They may be able to stop earlier than 14 days if everyone in their household with symptoms gets a negative test result.
  • Anyone who has had close recent contact with someone who has coronavirus, must self-isolate if the NHS Test and Trace service advises them to do so.
  • If anyone is worried about being able to self-isolate, help and support is available from Camden Council on 020 7974 4444 (option 9)
  • Visit nhs.uk/coronavirus for advice on symptoms, testing and self-isolation. If you're worried about your health or coronavirus symptoms call NHS 111

How can I keep my employees and service users safe to prevent them from developing coronavirus symptoms?

You can keep your employees safe by making sure they understand public health advice, which is:

  • Where possible, staying 2 metres away from others
  • Regularly washing hands for 20 seconds with warm soapy water
  • Taking other precautions – e.g. wearing a face covering and using hand sanitiser

Anyone who does develop symptoms must be encouraged to self-isolate immediately to prevent further spread.

What should I do if a staff member or service user tests positive for coronavirus? 

If one employee or service user tests positive for coronavirus, they need to self-isolate for 10 days and anyone they live with will need to self-isolate for 14 days. This means they can’t leave the house at all so please consider checking whether they need any support to isolate. If this is support you can’t provide, the council is here to help.

If two or more staff or service users test positive for coronavirus, call PHE (Public Health England) London’s Coronavirus Response Cell (LCRC) on 0300 303 0450 who will advise you on next steps. The Council is also here to support you so please call them on 020 7974 4444 (option 9) if you have any concerns or questions.

What should I do if a staff member or service user has coronavirus symptoms but hasn’t had a test?

As workplaces reopen, please remind your employees and service users that if they develop coronavirus symptoms, they should get tested and isolate with their household. If they are unsure or worried about getting a test or haven’t updated you on the result, please get in touch with the Council for advice: CIPHAdmin@islington.gov.uk. This inbox is monitored during working hours and on weekends. 

If they’re worried about self-isolating for whatever reason, the Council is here to help them so please ask them to call us on 020 7974 4444 (option 9).

Preparing for staff absence

There may be times when staff members or service users are asked to self-isolate because they’ve been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus symptoms. This might be from contact with a household member, a colleague, a friend or someone that they know. 

From a staffing point of view, you can prepare for this by making sure your Business Continuity Plans are up to date. For example, there may be times when several staff members are required to self-isolate at the same time so you might want to consider how this would impact your capacity and staffing levels so that you can plan for it. However, you can prevent staff and service users needing to self-isolate as a result of being in close contact with colleagues by ensuring that they stay 2 metres apart from each other at all times and that anyone who gets symptoms isolates at home immediately. 

Where can I go to find out more information?

Coronavirus resources library

We’ve developed some materials to help all Camden residents understand the latest public health advice, how to get a coronavirus test and what to do if you need support to self-isolate.

If you’re a business owner or a resident with a ground floor window, please consider printing off a poster and sticking it up to help us raise awareness of this information. Doing this will help keep our local communities safe. If you have a smartphone, you could also consider downloading it onto your phone and sharing it with friends and family so they’re aware of the advice as well.

We’ve translated the advice into five languages – Arabic, Bengali, French, Somali and Turkish - and we have also produced a version in EasyRead.

All PDFs

We have also created a toolkit with essential public health information so people can create their own content, including videos, to share with their networks. You can download it here (PDF).

Advice to protect yourself from coronavirus in shared housing

Preventing the spread of coronavirus can be more difficult when you’re living in close proximity to other people. If you live with other people, read this guide to help you all stay safe and protect yourself from coronavirus – including what to do if one of you develops symptoms.

If you’re a student read this guide.

London Region Good Practice Network Insight Report

In May 2020, a Good Practice Network of 11 councils from across the country was chosen to get feedback on NHS Test and Trace. 

In Camden, we’ve played a leading role in the London Region Good Practice Network. We have worked with the other three boroughs in the network: Barnet, Hackney and Newham. Together, we’ve been working openly and transparently to understand what barriers we need to overcome so that all Londoners feel safe, reassured and able to access it. 

In August 2020, we published the London Region Good Practice Network Insight Report and an Executive Summary. This includes a detailed overview of our shared work, learnings and achievements over the past few months. It’s split by three key themes:

  • communications
  • local and regional capacity
  • building trust and wraparound support. 

You can read these reports here:

NHS COVID-19 app

On Thursday 24 September, the Government launched its ‘NHS COVID-19’ app to support NHS Test and Trace. 

The app will help to prevent the spread of coronavirus by:

  • Helping to identify people who’ve been in close recent contact with someone who’s tested positive for coronavirus – including people they may not personally know.
     
  • Enabling people to scan a QR code to ‘check-in’ to a venue – e.g. a shop, place of worship or voluntary organisation.

If someone tests positive for coronavirus, the app will automatically identify people they’ve been in recent close contact with by sending a notification straight to their mobile phone asking them to self-isolate. It’s really important that users self-isolate if they are asked because this will help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In addition to keeping people safe, the app will help the NHS and local councils understand if the virus is spreading in particular areas. If that happens in Camden, we will rapidly update our communities and remind them how they can stay safe.

If you do not want to use the app, or if you don’t have access to a mobile phone, if you develop symptoms you can continue to access a test via nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. If you test positive, a contact tracer will call you to help identify the people you’ve been in recent close contact with so that they can self-isolate too.

For more information on the NHS COVID-19 app, visit covid19.nhs.uk
 

Preparing your business or venue

From Thursday 24 September all local businesses and venues – including shops, voluntary organisations and places of worship - are asked to download and display their own QR posters. This will enable everyone with the app to ‘check-in’ so that if a staff member, visitor or customer tests positive, people who came into close contact with them can be traced and asked to self-isolate. You can watch a video explaining the app here.

Notifications to NHS COVID-19 app users will not mention the name of your venue, just that the app user has recently been to a venue where they may have come into contact with the coronavirus.

How to create a free QR poster for your business or venue

  1. Go to: gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster
     
  2. To register, enter your contact details including your name and email address.
     
  3. The website will send a verification code to your email address. You will need to verify that your email address is valid.
     
  4. Enter the verification code that was sent to your email address into the website form. This will allow you to continue with registration.
     
  5. Next, enter your venue name and address and click continue. You can now add the contact details of the person responsible for the venue if that is not you. This will ensure that they can download the venue’s QR poster.
     
  6. You need to confirm your details are correct and then click “Accept and generate the poster”. Once your details have been submitted, you will receive an email with the QR poster. This poster is unique to your venue.
     
  7. Download and print a copy of the poster. You will need to print copies to display for every entrance in your venue. If you have more than one venue, you will need a different QR poster for each. Please repeat all the steps for each location.
     
  8. Display your poster in a visible and safe position at the venue and make sure it cannot be easily removed – e.g. this could be at the place where visitors are asked to sign in, on shop doors and at check-outs. 

Frequently Asked Questions and more information

The NHS have released an FAQ to support the launch of their app, covering any questions you might have including your responsibility to continue collecting data manually from customers without a smartphone and also data protection for your venue. You can find the FAQs at faq.covid19.nhs.uk

For more information, go to gov.uk.