Where can I get a lateral flow test in Edinburgh? Test centres near me, how much they cost and how long they take
After Omicron cases continue to rise in Scotland, here’s how to get a lateral flow test near you in Edinburgh - for regular Covid testing and travel
10,392 new positive coronavirus cases were reported in Scotland on Tuesday 11 January, as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the removal of restrictions on large outdoor events in Scotland but kept others in place due to “significant uncertainties” about Omicron transmission.
The City of Edinburgh saw 7,713 new confirmed Covid cases recorded in the seven days from 2 January and 8 January, with a 24.4% test positivity rate and cases at their highest in areas such as Craigmillar, Muirhouse and Niddrie.
Lateral flow tests remain an important part of keeping you, your loved ones and others around you safe as Omicron continues to spread in Scotland, especially as changes to self-isolation rules and testing requirements see these tests become even more a part of our daily lives.
Here’s what lateral flow tests are, where to get a lateral flow test in Edinburgh and how much rapid antigen tests for travel cost.
What is a lateral flow test?
Unlike PCR tests, mostly used by people presenting coronavirus symptoms, rapid antigen tests offer a speedy way of checking you have not caught Covid and are asymptomatic.
They can be taken multiple times a week and are now required to be taken on a daily basis for fully vaccinated close contacts of those who test positive for Covid-19, as an alternative to relying on PCR tests or self-isolation.
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 Covid or Omicron symptoms, there are several options available for taking a lateral flow test.
Lateral flow tests providing a result in 30 or 15 minutes can usually be ordered in packs of seven online for free from https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests.
However, the GOV.UK ordering portal sometimes limits opportunities for ordering free lateral flow test packs to cope with increased demand – with the message ‘Sorry, there are no home delivery slots left for rapid lateral flow tests right now’ sometimes displaying for those trying to order lateral flow test packs.
As a result, the UK Government is currently pointing people toward their local pharmacy or lateral flow community testing site, mostly located in libraries in Scotland.
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, or order from the National Testing Centre by calling 119.
In Edinburgh, walk-in lateral flow testing facilities and home testing kits to collect for free can currently be found at:
- McDonald Road Library, 2-8 McDonald Road, Edinburgh EH7 4LU – Monday 13 December to Saturday 22 January (closed Sundays), 9am to 6pm
- Blackhall Library, 56 Hillhouse Road, Edinburgh EH4 5EG – Monday 10 January to Saturday 22 January (closed Sundays), 9am to 6pm
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 lateral flow tests paid for or professionally administered 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 travel.
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.