Where can I get a lateral flow test in Edinburgh? Test centres near me, how much they cost and how long they take
Here’s where to go and what to know about getting lateral flow tests in the Capital for both community testing and travel needs
As warnings over climbing coronavirus cases across Scotland and the rest of the UK continue to raise fears over whether the NHS will be able to cope come winter, lateral flow tests remain a vital way to ensure cases stay low in Edinburgh.
The City recently saw 3,366 new positive Covid cases recorded in the latest seven day period between 4 September and 10 September.
Ratho, Ingliston and Gogar saw the highest seven day case rate out of Edinburgh’s total neighbourhoods, with 1,947.5 cases per 100,000 people.
Here’s what lateral flow tests are, where to get them in Edinburgh and how much they can cost.
What is a lateral flow test?
Unlike PCR tests, which are often used by people who have presented any coronavirus symptoms, been identified as a close contact or have received a positive lateral flow test result, rapid antigen tests offer a speedy way of checking you have not caught Covid and are not asymptomatic.
They can be taken multiple times a week, but present lower specificity than PCR tests – with anyone receiving a positive lateral flow test result required to confirm their Covid positive status with a PCR test.
But lateral flow tests can be wholly taken at home and can offer a rapid result within half an hour, making them an easy way to keep track of your health while socialising indoors and in any settings which could be deemed to high-risk for catching Covid.
Where can I get a lateral flow test in Edinburgh?
If you have no symptoms and have not been identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19, there are several options for taking a lateral flow test.
The rapid tests providing a result in 30 minutes can be ordered in packs of seven online for free from https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests or be picked up from your local pharmacy or library.
These include local Boots branches, Lloyd's Pharmacy branches and most independent pharmacies in your local area.
You can use the NHS Test and Trace lateral flow test finder map to see which pharmacies and libraries stock lateral flow kits near you.
But you can also visit a local community testing site to take a lateral flow test.
In Edinburgh, walk-in lateral flow testing facilities can currently be found at:
- Fountainbridge Library: open between 9am and 6pm from Monday 13 September to Saturday 25 September (closed Sundays), with home testing kits available to collect.
- McDonald Road Library: open between 9am and 6pm from Monday 13 September to Saturday 25 September (closed Sundays), with home testing kits available to collect.
Those attending one of these two sites are required to register upon arrival using their smartphone or through a community test centre team member if you don’t have one.
Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult or guardian.
After you have performed your lateral flow test and given it to a team member to be analysed, you will be asked to return home and will receive your lateral flow test result via text roughly 45 minutes after completion.
Those without a smartphone will be asked to await their result in a waiting area at the test site.
How do I get a lateral flow test for Edinburgh travel?
There are numerous sites across Edinburgh which offer community, symptomless testing for Covid-19, but only professionally administered lateral flow tests can be used for entry to countries accepting these tests.
France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece are just some of the countries currently accepting faster lateral flow test results as proof of Covid-free status for entry.
These Edinburgh pharmacies are offering Fit to Fly lateral flow testing for travel:
Based in the southside of Edinburgh, this Newington pharmacy and travel clinic offers pharmacist-administered lateral flow tests for £69 each and Fit to Fly certification.
Covid-19 testing appointments should be booked online in advance via their website at www.newingtonpharmacy.org.uk/.
They are located at 46-50 Clerk Street, Newington, Edinburgh EH8 9JB.
Dears Pharmacy’s Drylaw, Oxgangs and Easter Road branches in the Capital offer Fit to Fly Nasal and Saliva Rapid Antigen testing for travel.
Both tests are charged at £69 each and can offer results within 15 minutes of being carried out by on-site pharmaceutical staff.
You do not need to book in advance, but can do so online by visiting https://dearspharmacy.co.uk/services/edinburgh-fife-travel-clinic/.
Oxgangs: 7 Oxgangs Broadway, Edinburgh, EH13 9LQ
Drylaw: 645 Ferry Road, Edinburgh, EH4 2TX
Easter Road: 92 - 96 Easter Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5RQ
Edinburgh Airport ExpressTest
Edinburgh Airport’s ExpressTest facility run by the UK Government allows travellers and members of the general public to get lateral flow tests for travel.
While the facility provides both drive-through and walk-through testing, lateral flow device testing is only available via walk-through.
These are priced at £50 per person, with results taking roughly 20 minutes and sent to you by email.
You can use our handy guide to Edinburgh Airport ExpressTest Covid-19 testing to find out more.