Community Testing starts in Lambeth to cut Covid-19 transmission

31 December 2020

Written by: Lambeth Council

News and announcements

Lambeth Council is opening a community testing site for people in the borough that may have Covid-19, but are not experiencing any symptoms. Around one in three people with Covid-19 don’t have any symptoms, but they can still pass it on.

The quick, free tests are on offer from Monday, January 4 at Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton town centre. The tests allow people to check if they have Covid-19, with results usually returned within an hour. An appointment must be booked in advance and walk-in requests will not be accepted.

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Community Testing starts in Lambeth to cut Covid-19 transmission

Two more community testing sites in the borough, in Brockwell Park, where the facilities have already been assembled, and at Brixton Windmill in Blenheim Gardens, are to be established in the coming days with further details to be released shortly. Sites in the north and south of the borough are being identified.

Cllr Jim Dickson, Lambeth’s joint Cabinet Members for Health and Social Care, said: “These rapid tests are an important part of reducing the spread of Covid-19 in Lambeth as it will help to identify people who do not have Covid-19 symptoms but who are infectious and could spread the infection to others unknowingly.

“By getting tested and self-isolating if you have Covid-19, you can save lives and protect the NHS.”

To book at test visit You cannot get a rapid Covid-19 test if you have Covid-19 symptoms, are under-18 or do not live or work in Lambeth.

Residents must not attend an appointment if they have any symptoms of Covid-19, and attending on time is important to allow for safe registration and testing. If people are late the centre will try to accommodate, but a new appointment may need to be booked.

If people have Covid-19 symptoms they still need to should book a test through or by calling 119. The symptoms are a high temperature (fever), a new continuous cough, and loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

More information

What to bring with you to the appointment

You should bring:

  1. confirmation of your booking – the confirmation email on your mobile device or printed out
  2. a mobile device to scan a QR or bar code on the test. There will be devices available if you don’t have your own
  3. a face covering (unless you are exempt)
  4. you may also want to bring a bottle of water, as we cannot provide water at the test site.
  5. do plan ahead – there are no toilet facilities at the test site

How the test works

The test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud. You can do the swab yourself, but there will be trained staff available if you need support. You can watch this video for a detailed explanation of the procedure.

Once you have finished, the swab will be processed and analysed. Once the test is done, the swab is discarded.

The rapid test is called a ‘lateral flow test’ – it does not need to be sent away to a lab and provides results very quickly, within an hour. Read more about how Lateral Flow tests work,  their safety and the validation process which they were subject to by Public Health England and scientists from Oxford University before being approved for use across the country.

Getting your test results

Results will be sent to you the same day via text message and/or email that you register on the day of the test. The results are usually available within an hour – sometimes as fast as 30 minutes. You do not need to self isolate whilst waiting for the test results, unless you develop symptoms of Covid-19.

If you get a positive result

You must self-isolate immediately and book another test with the national testing service. This is called a ‘PCR test’ and it will be analysed by a lab to confirm the result of your first, rapid test. If you are out or at work when you get your result please make your way home. Avoid using public transport if possible. If you are at work please inform your manager immediately so that they can initiate Covid-19 infection protocols.