Richmond Council has extended their rapid testing programme – to include people who are not experiencing symptoms or are asymptomatic.

Essential workers, volunteers and carers for vulnerable people are eligible for the tests, as well as those who need regular reassurance that they don’t have COVID-19.

Lateral flow devices (LFDs) are one of the latest tools being used to detect COVID-19.

The rapid turnaround tests give results in under an hour, without the need for laboratory processing.

Over the past few weeks, residents in the borough’s wards with the highest rates of new cases of COVID-19 were able to have a rapid test.

However, this offer is being expanded, particularly to essential workers such as supermarket and transport staff, taxi or mini cab drivers, and workers in key public services or faith-based organisations.

Residents who are volunteering or providing care for a vulnerable person can also apply.

One in three people who have Coronavirus never show any symptoms, but this does not mean they are not infectious.

Rapid tests can allow individuals with no symptoms to check if they have the virus and therefore prevent putting others at risk.

The lateral flow testing is in addition to the symptomatic testing (sometimes called PCR Testing), that is already available for those displaying COVID-19 symptoms at three venues across the borough.

Your Local Guardian: Asymptomatic people are eligible for rapid testingAsymptomatic people are eligible for rapid testing

Leader of Richmond Council, Cllr Gareth Roberts, said:

“Over the past few weeks hundreds of people from the wards seeing a high number of cases have been receiving regular asymptomatic testing – to give them the reassurance that they are Covid free – but also ensure those who have the virus take immediate action and self-isolate.

“However, Covid-19 continues to spread. Whilst most people are following the Government guidance and staying at home, there are some who cannot, for work, volunteering or caring responsibilities. If this is you – get a regular test, and make an appointment to come twice a week.

“We will be expanding up our testing over the weeks ahead as more and more people want to access the service.”

If you are NOT displaying any COVID-19 symptoms and need a test:

• If you have access to the internet, go to:

• If you do not have access to the internet, call: 020 8891 1411

This testing is entirely voluntary. Booking is essential to reduce the spread of the virus through the community.

You must not come to a test centre if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

If your rapid test result is positive you must take a confirmatory PCR test as soon as possible after your result and must self-isolate immediately for 10 days.

If you DO have COVID-19 symptoms and need a test:

Currently anyone who has one of the main symptoms of a high temperature, new cough or loss of taste or smell must self-isolate immediately and book a test and receive their results in 48 hours.

There is a testing centre for those displaying symptoms at Twickenham Stadium, regular testing available at Old Deer Park in Richmond and an additional walk-in testing site at the St Mary’s University Broom Road sports campus in Teddington.

When you book a test you will be given the option of a test centre based on nearest location to you and availability. The testing sites are currently showing good availability. If you are displaying symptoms, apply for a test online.