Regular COVID-19 asymptomatic testing
Testing before travelling to university
If you’re living in the UK, you should take a lateral flow test before travelling to university, and take two further tests (three days apart) when you arrive. You can find a local site offering supervised tests on the NHS website. Test kits will be provided on campus until at least the end of September.
If you’re travelling from overseas, please follow the specific advice for international arrivals.
Pick up free home testing kits from campus:
Library cafe: Mondays to Thursdays 13:00 – 16:00
Please note: If you are a member of staff please see the information for colleagues on the Staff Portal.
Why am I being asked to take a test?
Research shows that 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 display no symptoms, so it is important that you keep regularly testing to ensure that you are not unknowingly carrying the virus, and potentially passing it on to others.
Regular testing - twice a week, three days apart - is strongly encouraged for all students on campus, even if you have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID- 19, you should take a PCR test as soon as possible, rather than a lateral flow test.
Where can I get a lateral flow test?
You can find a local site offering supervised tests on the NHS website.
You can collect a pack of seven test kits from the Library Café, Mondays to Thursdays 13:00 – 16:00.
When collecting your kits, you are required to scan your Campus Card. The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) requires the University to collect certain information about people collecting test kits, and we are processing this on their instructions. We may need to contact you if, for example, any faulty test kits need to be recalled. View the DHSC privacy notice.
It's really important to keep your contact details up to date on RISIS - in particular your mobile phone number - so we can contact you if needed.
The government recommends that you take three tests at a testing centre to familiarise yourself with the process, before using home test kits. You can find a local site offering supervised tests on the NHS website.
If you can’t collect a test kit from campus, you can order a pack of seven test kits from the NHS to be delivered to your home quickly by post.
From a local pharmacy
You can also collect test its from many local pharmacies, including:
Closest to Shinfield Road:
• Lloyds Pharmacy, 69 Christchurch Road, Reading, RG2 7AZ
• Enimed, 85-87 Erleigh Road, Reading, RG1 5NN
• P.S.G Pharma, 105 Wokingham Road, Reading, RG6 1LN
Closest to Earley Gate:
- Boots, 5 The Parade, Silverdale Road, Earley, RG6 7NZ
Closest to London Road:
• Enimed, 195 London Road, Reading, RG1 3NX
To find out about other pharmacies near you offering test kits, please visit the government website.
London Road Test Centre
You can pick up home test kits without an appointment at the NHS walk-in test centre at The Great Hall on our London Road campus.
How do I report my result?
The test usually takes around 30 minutes to produce a result. If you take a test at home, it is very important that you report your test result on the government website – whether it is positive or negative.
On the government website you will be asked to select the University you study or work at. Type ‘University of Reading’ and then please select the option with the postcode ‘RG6 6UR’.
We recommend you create an account on the government website so which will make it quicker to report your test results each time.
If you test positive from a home test kit:
You should self-isolate immediately, and book a follow-up PCR test as soon as possible. Your household must self-isolate too, unless they are exempt (see ‘when you do not need to self-isolate'). Please let the university know about your positive result by completing our online form. If the follow-up test is positive, you must complete your full isolation period. Your isolation period starts immediately from when your symptoms started, or, if you do not have any symptoms, from when your follow-up PCR test was taken. Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your follow-up PCR test was taken if you do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days.
If the follow-up PCR test result is negative, you and your household contacts can stop self-isolating.
If you test negative, please still report your test result on the government website.
Do I need to take a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) if I have already had COVID-19?
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days you are likely to have developed some immunity to it. For this reason, you may choose not to take an LFT during this period. If you develop new COVID-19 symptoms during these 90 days you should take a PCR test.
You must begin a new period of self-isolation if you:
• decide to take an LFT and the result is positive
• develop new symptoms
• are identified as a close contact of a positive case.