Community testing on the Isle of Wight

Free rapid response testing is available for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms and who cannot work from home. It will last for 6 weeks. This is called ‘community testing’.

Book a test (no symptoms)

Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 have no symptoms. The Isle of Wight Council is using funding from central government to set up symptom free (asymptomatic) testing sites. These will help reduce rates of COVID-19 by identifying people who are infectious but do not have symptoms. This is so that we can trace their contacts, support them to isolate and prevent transmission to others.

Community testing is for people without COVID-19 symptoms. You will be taken to a Hampshire County Council site to make the booking.

If you do have symptoms, you should self-isolate immediately and book a test for people with symptoms online or by calling 119. Those tests will take place at the Newclose Cricket Club site.

What is lateral flow testing? ▶

The tests being used for Community Testing on the Island are called lateral flow tests. Lateral flow testing involves the processing of throat or nose swabs with a lateral flow device. The device detects a protein (antigen) produced by the virus at its most infectious stage. If this is present in the person’s sample, a coloured line appears on the device within 30 minutes. They are different to the PCR tests used for people with symptoms, which require a laboratory to process results.

How does lateral flow testing work? ▶

The advantage of lateral flow testing compared to others currently available is that results are available rapidly. But the results from lateral flow devices have reduced sensitivity, which means that they do not always show a positive result for people with COVID-19. Lateral flow devices find at least half of the cases that PCR testing detect and about three-quarters of those who have very high amounts of virus present. So a negative result with a lateral flow device does not mean you do not have COVID-19, and you must continue to adhere to the COVID-19 rules if you test negative, including regular hand washing, wearing a face covering, and social distancing (hands, face, and space).

Find out more about lateral flow testing


Test site locations

Book a test (no symptoms)

Opening times

Newport, Sandown and Ryde:

Monday to Friday 7am to 7pm
Saturday 7am to 1pm
There is no testing at these centres on Sunday. 

West Wight:

Tuesdays and Thursday 7am to 7pm and Saturdays 7am to 1pm.

Cowes:

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 7am to 7pm, closed Saturday and Sunday.

Eligibility

To book a symptom-free test:

Companies with 50 or more employees can now access testing directly by registering online for workplace coronavirus tests.

How to book a test at a community testing site

Book a test (no symptoms)

This booking system is managed by Hampshire County Council.
You can book a test on the Isle of Wight using this website.
You will not need to travel to the mainland for testing.
A pre-booking system is in operation.
You are advised to book at least 24 hours in advance.

If you can’t book online, please call 01983 823660 to book a test.

What to expect

You shouldn’t eat anything for at least 30 minutes before the test.

You’ll need to bring:

  • Your mobile phone
  • Your booking confirmation
  • Work ID badge, critical worker letter or a letter from your workplace

If you don’t have a mobile phone you’ll need to bring:

  • Proof of identity (photo ID). You can bring proof of address if you do not have photo ID.

All of our test sites are COVID-19 secure. Our staff all wear PPE and are tested regularly and government guidance (including social distancing rules, face coverings and hand sanitisation points) is strictly followed.

The test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat (tonsil), using a long cotton bud. You will do the swab yourself in a booth and the booths will be cleaned after each use.

Read the FAQs about community testing.

Results and next steps

If you have a smart phone or mobile phone you will get your result within 30 minutes. If you do not have either a smart phone or a mobile phone you will need to call 119 the next day to get your results. You can also request an automated voice recording to your landline with the results. If the result is positive, you will be told to self-isolate for 10 days. You may be eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment.

Get more information about self-isolation.

If the result is negative, you must still continue to follow national restrictions, maintain social distancing guidelines, wear a face covering when required and regularly wash your hands. We all need to limit our social interactions to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

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