Covid symptoms and testing
Updated: 16 December 2021
About 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 do not have symptoms but can still infect others. Rapid tests help to check if someone has Covid-19. If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading.
Do rapid tests on days when you're more likely to catch or spread Covid-19.
For example, do a test before you:
- mix with people in crowded indoor places
- visit someone who is at higher risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19
You should also do daily rapid tests (1 a day for 7 days) if you've been in contact with someone with Covid-19 and are either:
- fully vaccinated
- under 18 years and 6 months old
You can access this testing in a few ways, depending on how old you are and whether and where you work. There is more information on the main NHS website as well as the local authority websites for our region:
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.
What to do if you have symptoms
If you symptoms of Covid-19, please do not book a GP appointment or visit a hospital, GP surgery or pharmacy.
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus
- Get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) to check if you have Covid-19 as soon as possible
- Stay at home and do not have visitors (self-isolate) until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test. Check if people you live with need to self-isolate.
- Follow the NHS guidance on how to stay safe whilst isolating at home
You can always find the most up to date information about symptoms and isolating online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus