People are being reminded of the 2 different types of Covid-19 testing currently available.

These are PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, for people with symptoms of coronavirus, and rapid tests, for people without.

People with symptoms – which include a new, continuous cough, a fever or a change to their sense of taste or smell – must immediately self isolate and book a free PCR test at GOV.UK or by calling 119.

Meanwhile, people without symptoms are encouraged to get a free rapid test twice a week, 3 or 4 days apart. 

People can either visit a rapid test centre – at the Civic Centre, The Hub at Ashmore Park, the Jamia Masjid Bilal and the Mobile Test Unit which is currently at New Cross Hospital, or pick up a pack of home test kits from the mobile unit, the Civic Centre, The Hub at Ashmore Park, PCR test centres, Bilston Market, Wolverhampton Market, WV Active leisure centres, Wolverhampton Swimming and Fitness Centre, a number of local schools and from local pharmacies offering the Pharmacy Collect service (details at NHS - Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests). 

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Along with the vaccine, testing is key to getting us out of this pandemic as it enables us to track and prevent the spread of the virus in Wolverhampton.

"With the new and potentially more transmissible variant of concern first identified in India now circulating in Wolverhampton and many other parts of the country, testing is even more vital.

"If you have symptoms, you must self isolate and get a PCR test. Please don’t take a rapid test – it must be a PCR test.

“But even if you don't have symptoms, it is important that you get a regular rapid test. That's because we know that 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 do not show any symptoms but could still be infectious and therefore accidently spread the virus onto more vulnerable family and friends. 

“Rapid testing is quick and easy, and can be done from the comfort of home, so please get a twice weekly rapid test to reassure yourselves and others that you don't have Covid-19 and to help stop the spread if it turns out that, actually, you do."

More information on rapid testing, including advice about how to take the test at home, is available at Lateral Flow Home Test Kits