Coronavirus information and guidance

Getting tested for COVID-19

Who can get tested?

Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus should apply for the test straight away, but we are also offering a test for anyone who wants one, even without symptoms.

You can get a test at any of the testing sites below with or without symptoms, with the exception of the University Square, Shoebury Youth Centre and St Aidan's Church, which are only for those without symptoms.

How to get a test

If you have symptoms you can get a test at any of these testing sites

Without an appointment:

Hamlet Court Road car park testing site

Postcode: SS0 7DD
Opening times: 9am to 3pm, 7 days a week
Info: This site is open to drive-through and walk-up appointments
Parking: available
Accessibility: accessible to all
Type of test: PCR testing site for people with or without symptoms. The tests are free.

Test centres bookable online or by phone:

Short Street testing site

Standard opening hours: 7 days a week 8am to 8pm
Parking: Town centre parking
Accessibility: accessible to all
Type of test: PCR testing site for people with or without symptoms. The tests are free.
You can book a test on the .gov.uk website or call 119. If you don't have symptoms, please select "no" to "do you have symptoms" and then select "my local authority has asked me to have a test"

Southend Airport testing site 

Standard opening hours: 7 days a week 9am to 3pm 
Parking: available
Accessibility: accessible to all
Type of test: PCR testing site for people with or without symptoms. The tests are free.
You can book a test on the .gov.uk website or call 119. If you don't have symptoms, please select "no" to "do you have symptoms" and then select "my local authority has asked me to have a test"

Elm Road testing site

Standard opening hours: 7 days a week 8am to 8pm
Parking: parking available on site and on surrounding streets
Accessibility: accessible to all
Type of test: PCR testing site for people with or without symptoms. The tests are free.
You can book a test on the .gov.uk website or call 119. If you don't have symptoms, please select "no" to "do you have symptoms" and then select "my local authority has asked me to have a test"

If you do not have symptoms

You can get a test at any of the above testing sites, or any of the sites below:

University Square, Southend-on-Sea (entrance opposite Sainsbury's)

You must have no symptoms to attend this site
Standard opening hours: 7 days a week 7am to 2.30pm
Parking: town centre pay and display parking
Accessibility: accessible to all
Type of test:  LFD rapid testing site for people with no symptoms. The tests are free.
You can book an appointment on our website or walk in without an appointment and the team will slot you in.
If you’re not able to book online, you can call the Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Covid Response helpline on 01702 212497. This line is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

St Aidan's Church

Address: The Fairway, Leigh-on-Sea, SS9 4QW
You must have no symptoms to attend this site
Standard opening hours: 7 days a week 7am to 5:30pm 
Parking: there is onsite parking in St.Aidan’s church car park
Accessibility: accessible to all
Type of test: LFD rapid testing site for people with no symptoms. The tests are free.
You can book your appointment on our website or walk in without an appointment and the team will slot you in.
If you’re not able to book online, you can call the Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Covid Response helpline on 01702 212497. This line is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Shoebury Youth Centre

Address: Delaware Road, Shoeburyness, SS3 9NS
You must have no symptoms to attend this site
Standard opening hours: 7 days a week 8am to 6:30pm
Parking is available
Accessibility: accessible to all
Type of test: LFD rapid testing site for people with no symptoms. The tests are free.
You can book your appointment on our website or walk in without an appointment and the team will slot you in.
If you’re not able to book online, you can call the Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Covid Response helpline on 01702 212497. This line is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Garon’s Sports Centre (for school children and their families only)

Address: Eastern Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 4FA
You must have no symptoms to attend this site
Standard opening hours: 7 days a week 8am to 8pm
Parking is available
Accessibility: there are 10 steps on the exit, if you need ramp access please let the staff know.
Type of test: LFD rapid testing site for people with no symptoms. The tests are free.
You can book your appointment on our website or walk in after 3pm without an appointment and the team will slot you in.

Information on all test centres

All test sites in Southend are viewable on this map.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR test)

The PCR test looks for evidence that the virus is currently in your body, by looking for the presence of its RNA in a swab sample from your nose/throat.

The test needs to go to a laboratory for processing and it usually takes between 12 and 24 hours to return a result.

Lateral Flow Device Testing (LFD)

Lateral flow antigen devices are a rapid test for COVID-19 that gives a result in about 30 minutes. You can do the test yourself under the supervision of a trained member of staff. The test is a small swab brushed against your tonsils and inside one nostril. The swab is put into a device, which works a bit like a pregnancy-test kit. It then takes about 30 minutes to give a result.

Lateral flow devices give a result much faster than the more sensitive lab-based PCR tests which can take at least 24 hours, and often longer. The rapid approach does not need processing in a laboratory so it can pick up far more cases at the most critical period and stop transmission fast. This technology will help us greatly increase the number of people who know they are infected and can then self-isolate, slowing the spread of the virus.

More information on LFD tests

Priority testing for key workers in Southend

Nazareth house, 111 London Rd in Westcliff is now the testing centre for key worker staff including patients who are due to have planned operations at the hospital. Key workers eligible include NHS employees, care workers, the emergency services and education workers, and their household members receiving symptomatic testing.

Care home test kits

Coronavirus testing is available for all care home residents and staff regardless of whether they are symptomatic or not. To apply for a test kit, you must be a CQC Registered care home manager.

Visit GOV.UK to find out how to apply for care home test kits.

Home tests

Home test kits can be delivered to your door so you can test yourself and your family without leaving your home.

Instructions in alternative formats

See instructions on testing for coronavirus at home in accessible formats.

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) can send you braille, audio or large print instructions. After ordering a home test you can either:

Back to the coronavirus homepage

Contact Switchboard and Out of Hours

Telephone: 01702 215000

Go to top
Rating button
Rating Button