People who are off to meet friends or extended family this weekend are being urged to get a free rapid Covid-19 test first – to double check they don't have the deadly virus.

One in 3 people with Covid-19 have no symptoms – but they could still spread the virus to others. Rapid testing helps to idenfity these asymptomatic cases and reduce the spread of infection.

Anyone aged 18 or over, as well as secondary school pupils and college students, can get a free rapid test and are being encouraged to do so twice a week.

Following recent changes to the Covid-19 restrictions, 6 people from different households, or members of 2 whole households, can now meet up – but they must only do so outside. People who don't live together should also continue to practice social distancing and stay two metres from each other.

John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "Infection rates in Wolverhampton have fallen considerably in recent weeks, and that's thanks to the efforts of everyone in following the Government guidelines.

"But the virus is still out there and, as we know only too well, it won't take much for it to start spreading rapidly again – so we need to be on our guard.

"If you are planning on meeting up with people outside of your household, I strongly recommend you get a rapid Covid-19 test before doing so, to give you extra reassurance that you don't have the virus. This is quick and easy, and you will get your result within the hour.

"And remember that even if you have had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, you could still pass on the virus to others. So please don't let your guard down; follow the Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air guidance to protect your friends and loved ones and keep everyone safe."

Free rapid testing is available for people without symptoms of Covid-19 at:

  • The Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm and Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 6pm
  • The Jamia Masjid Bilal, Newhampton Road West, 10am to 7pm daily
  • Pendeford Library, Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 6pm
  • The Hub at Ashmore Park, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9am to 6pm and Saturday, 10am to 6pm
  • St Joseph’s Church, Willenhall Road, Monday to Friday, 2pm to 6pm

Meanwhile people can collect free Covid-19 home rapid test kits from:

  • The Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 6pm
  • Pendeford Library, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 6pm
  • The Hub at Ashmore Park, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9am to 6pm, and Saturday, 10am to 6pm
  • PCR test centres at Showell Road, Blakenhall Resource Centre, Whitmore Reans Library, Faulkland Street car park, and Mountford Lane car park, Bilston between 2.30pm and 8pm daily
  • The mobile Covid-19 test unit, which is currently at West Park, 9am to 7pm daily
  • Bilston Market, 8.30am to 2.30pm Monday, Thursday and Friday and 8.30am to 4pm Saturday
  • Wolverhampton Market, 8.30am to 2.30pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and 8.30am to 4pm Saturday
  • WV Active Aldersley, WV Active Bilston-Bert Williams, WV Active Central and Wolverhampton Swimming and Fitness Centre during usual opening hours
  • Local pharmacies offering the Pharmacy Collect service

More information on rapid testing, including advice about how to take the test at home, is available at Coronavirus Testing.

Please note, rapid testing is not available for people with coronavirus symptoms. Anyone with symptoms, including high temperature, a new or continuous cough, or a loss or taste or smell, should book a PCR test at NHS or by calling 119.