Getting tested for coronavirus (COVID-19)

Only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested. This will help make sure people who need a test can get one.

 You can get tested for coronavirus if:

  • you have coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • you have been told to have a test before you go into hospital (eg for surgery)

When to get tested: 

  • Get  a test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms. 
  • On days 1 to 4 you can get tested at a site or at home (if you're ordering a home test kit on day 4, do so by 3pm). 
  • On day 5, you need to go to a test site (it's too late to order a home test kit).

Options for getting a test:    

Getting tested at a local drive-through site 

The drive-through testing centre in Bury is for people aged 3 years or above.  For a test for a child under 3 years, call 119 for advice.  The local drive-through testing centre is at:  

  • Waterfold Business Park, Bury BL9 7BR

Please note the following. 

  • You must request an appointment and have this confirmed by us to be tested at this site.  
  • We are prioritising some appointments at this site for health and social care workers (these appointments should be via employer referral). 
  • Anyone arriving at the drive-through site without a confirmed appointment will not be tested.  

Book a coronavirus test at the Waterfold drive-through test site

Getting tested at a local walk-through testing centre

The walk-through testing centre is for people aged 3 years or above. For a test for a child under 3 years, call 119 for advice. 

You can get tested at a walk-through testing centre if you can walk or drive to the centre.  You do not need to book an appointment.  You must not use a taxi or public transport - this is really important to help protect other people.  Please be aware that if the centres are busy you may need to queue and should bring a drink and a coat with you. The walk-through testing centres are at: 

  • Chesham Fold, 95 Chesham Fold Road, Bury BL9 6JZ  (open between 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday). 

Please follow the walk-through testing centre advice: 

  • Plan the quickest and easiest route to the testing site
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before you leave home
  • If you plan to walk to the centre, make sure you wear a face covering or mask, stay a safe distance from others and avoid touching surfaces during your walk
  • If you plan to drive to the centre, make sure you wear a face covering while you are out of your vehicle
  • At the testing centre you must wear a face covering or mask at all times, except when you take your test
  • Unless you have an assistance dog, leave any pets at home as they aren't allowed at the testing centre
  • Children should not come with you unless you are unable to arrange child care (if you do need to bring them with you, then children aged 3 or over should wear a face covering at all times) 

What to expect when you arrive:  

  • You must keep at least 2 metres away from other people to keep everyone safe
  • You will be asked to use hand sanitiser upon entering the centre
  • The test involves wiping a large cotton bud at the back of your throat and around the inside of one of the nostrils in your nose (you will do this yourself and full instructions will be given)

After the test: 

  • Go straight home
  • Wash your hands
  • Stay home while you wait for the result of your test (usually available within 72 hours) 

Getting tested at a Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC) testing centre

These test centres are suitable for people of any age.   

You must book an appointment to get tested at one of these centres, they do not offer a drop-in service. Bookings are made via the website or by phoning 119.  If you need to drive to your appointment, parking is available nearby. 

The test centre locations are:   

  • Bury test centre:  The Metro Christian Centre, 13 Parkhills Road, Bury BL9 9AU
  • Prestwich test site:  Longfield Centre car park (via Rectory Lane), Prestwich M25 1AY 
  • Radcliffe test site:  Former Radcliffe Pool car park, Blackburn Street, Radcliffe, M26 1NG 
  • Ramsbottom test site:  Great Eaves Road, Ramsbottom BL0 0PX (open from Thursday 26 November)ยท   
  • Whitefield test site:  Whitefield Library, Pinfold Lane, Whitefield, M45 7NY 

The centres are usually open daily between 8am and 8pm.

Please refer to the same advice for our walk-through testing centre in relation to travelling to and from the sites. 

The test involves wiping a large cotton bud at the back of your throat and around the inside of one of the nostrils in your nose (you will do this yourself and full instructions will be given).

If you need assistance to take the test you can:

  • ask someone from your household or support bubble to go with you to your appointment;
  • request a home testing kit (see details below); or
  • request the home swabbing service from your GP (access may be limited).

Request a test at a DHSC testing centre

Getting tested at a regional testing site  

Regional coronavirus testing sites can test people of all ages, including children aged less than 3 years.  You can book an appointment online or you can call 119.  Visits to regional testing sites are by appointment only booked via the website or you can call 119. 

Request a test at a regional testing site

Getting tested via a home testing kit

Home testing kits are suitable for people aged 3 years and over.  For a test for a child under 3 years book an appointment at a local DHSC testing centre or a regional testing site or phone 119 for advice. 

Home testing is easy but to be effective it must be completed within the first 4 days of your symptoms starting.  On day 5, you would need to get tested at a testing centre instead.  Home testing kits are delivered by post with simple instructions for returning a sample for testing.  You can book an appointment via the website or you can call 119. 

Request a home testing kit

About NHS Test and Trace

The NHS Test and Trace Service:  

An overview of the NHS Test and Trace service, including what happens if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.

  • Ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus, and also includes targeted asymptomatic testing of NHS and social care staff and care home residents
  • Helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus.

If you have been in contact with a person who has coronavirus follow this advice

Test and Trace Support Payments

The Government has set up the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme to support people on a low income whose earnings are affected if they need to self-isolate for 14 days.