What is the test like?

The Lateral Flow Test (LFT) involves self-administering a nose and throat swab. The sample is processed on-site by trained operatives.

Who will administer the tests?

You will need to self-administer the swab following simple step-by-step instructions. Advisors will be on hand if you need assistance. Once you have completed the swab, you will pass this to a trained operator who will then complete the test process.

Who can access a test?

These Lateral Flow Tests are for staff who do not currently have symptoms of Coronavirus, and have not received a positive test for Covid-19 within 90 days.

If you do have symptoms, you should not take a LFT and instead you must follow our Isolate, Test, Tell guidance.

When will Lateral Flow Tests be available for staff?

Testing will be available for staff between 10-14 December, in appointments running from 10am-5pm.

Where will the tests take place?

The testing site will be at The Edge building on campus. When attending a test site you must follow Covid-19 rules at all times including social distancing and wearing face coverings in indoor spaces.

Why is the University offering staff rapid Lateral Flow Tests?

The University wants to offer staff the chance to take a test and get a rapid ‘snapshot’ of whether they currently have Covid-19. Colleagues who receive a positive result will need to enter self-isolation for 10 days and undergo contact tracing to help prevent further transmission.

It’s important to be clear that the test tells you whether you have Covid-19 at the moment you take it. It does not tell you whether you’ve previously had Covid-19. If you get a negative result, it does not mean you will remain Covid-negative for any specified length of time. Therefore it remains vitally important that everyone continues to observe Covid-19 guidance for everyone’s benefit, including socially distancing, wearing face coverings when required and regularly washing your hands.

If I test negative, does that mean I can spend time with relatives safely over Christmas/the winter break?

Not necessarily, no. Taking a test between 10-14 December is not a guarantee that you will not contract Covid-19 between that date and the date at which you intend to see loved ones over the festive season. It is only a snapshot of one point in time, it gives you no immunity for the future. Please follow the Government’s guidance for the Christmas period.

Why are staff being offered one test instead of two?

We want to offer as many staff as possible the choice of taking a test in the short window available.

Why does testing have to stop after the 14 December?

In common with other UK universities, our contract with the Department of Health & Social Care means there are specified timeframes for the testing programme.

Are the tests free?

Yes, the tests are free of charge.

Are the tests mandatory?

No, the tests are not mandatory. They form part of a Government programme to reduce the potential of the virus spreading.

How do I book?

You can book your test by using this online form.

How many test slots can I book?

Please book one test. Out of consideration for others in our community we ask that no one books more than one test appointment at the moment, so that the largest possible number of test slots are available to everyone. If we are able to be more flexible later in the process, we will update you.

Can I take the test during my working day?

Yes, but please liaise with your line manager first.

Should I take a Lateral Flow Test if I have previously tested positive for Covid-19?

If you have tested positive for Covid-19 within the last 90 days you are likely to have developed some immunity, and therefore a repeat test is unlikely to be necessary. If you do decide to take a LFT please ensure you do not do so within your period of isolation, or if you still have a high temperature, following the last confirmed test.

How will I find out my results?

You will receive an e-mail and/or a text message with your test results from NHS Test and Trace. Only you will receive the results from NHS Test and Trace. The University will not receive them.

What happens if I test positive?

If you receive a positive test result from NHS Test and Trace, you should begin self-isolating. You will need to let us know. When you receive your test results NHS Test and Trace may give you further instructions.

How long will it take to find out my results?

You should receive your test results within 24 hours, and usually much sooner.

What should I bring with me?

Please bring your library card/staff ID, a face covering (unless you are exempt) and a wifi-enabled electronic device to register your test with the NHS Test and Trace website. You may also wish to bring a bottle of water for after the test.

I am intending to travel internationally and need a PCR test – what do I do?

This Government scheme uses lateral flow tests, not polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. If you are planning to travel internationally and you are required to get a negative PCR test in advance you will need to arrange this yourself.

What are the plans for testing in the New Year when we restart most campus activities?

We are examining guidance from Government about plans for safely restarting teaching and other University activities in the New Year, and we will update you when we have more information.