Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing FAQ

Test and trace support payments

From 28 September 2020, Bolton residents may be entitled to a test and trace support payment of £500. This is to support people on low incomes who are unable to work from home if they are told to self-isolate by NHS test and trace and will lose income as a result. Payments will be made by the council, directly into your bank account.

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Who can get tested?

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms can get a test. Remember to stay at home and isolate from others.

What are the Coronavirus symptoms?

The main symptoms are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

I have Covid symptoms how do I get a test?

Book a test online at - if you do not have Internet access call 119, lines are open 7am to 11pm.

There are no tests available online should I call the helpline instead?

No, please continue to try again later as there are no extra tests available through the helplines and appointment slots are released by the national team throughout the day, depending on available lab capacity.  Please don't go to the hospital A&E, to the council, your GP oryour pharmacy as they cannot provide tests or any additional slots as this is a national process.

I can’t find a suitable appointment slot?

If you can’t find a suitable time or location for your test please try again in a few hours as additional slots are released during the day.

Can I just turn up at a test centre and wait?

No, please do not turn up at a drive or walk-in in centre without an appointment. Remember to stay isolated if you have symptoms and book a test from home.

Can I contact my local councillor / local MP and they will get me a test?

No, there are no tests available from the local council, only through the national route. Remember to stay isolated if you have symptoms and book a test from home.

I’ve heard some areas are having test kits handed out can I go there to pick one up or get someone else to pick one up for me?

No. Any localised targeting is done for specific reasons, remember if you have Covid symptoms please do not visit a location where self-test kits are being given out as you could be spreading the virus.

I don’t have symptoms and I have been told to isolate as I am a contact. How do I get a test?

You do not need to get a test unless you develop symptoms but you must remain isolated for 10 days.

My child has been sent home from school to isolate for 10 days. What do I need to do?

Your child needs to stay at home and isolate for 10 days and you only book a test if your child develops symptoms.

My symptoms are getting worse, what do I do?

If your symptoms worsen such as you feel breathless and it’s getting worse or you feel you cannot cope with the symptoms at home then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or ring 111.

Where are Bolton’s test centres?

There are a number of test centres across the borough and we are working to make more available. Currently there are test facilities in Bolton town centre and sites in Farnworth and Halliwell. You will be told which centres have appointments available at the time you book a test.

Is there a way I can be prioritised because of my specific circumstances?

All bookings are via the national website (or 119) and there is no prioritisation

What should I do if someone I work with is showing Covid symptoms?

Tell them to go home, isolate and book a test.