COVID-19 tests and treatments

Update on COVID-19 tests and new antibody and antiviral treatments available to people with COVID-19 at highest risk of becoming seriously ill.

COVID-19 red image

On 29 March, the Government in England set out the next steps for living with COVID-19. From 1 April, free COVID-19 tests will be available for people eligible for treatments because they are at higher risk of getting seriously ill. You will be contacted directly and sent lateral flow tests to keep at home for use if you have symptoms as well as being told how to reorder tests. Find out more on our Living with COVID-19 plan and COVID-19 treatments pages. 

New antibody and antiviral treatments are available to people with COVID-19 who are at highest risk of becoming seriously ill. These medicines aim to stop COVID becoming severe and to prevent hospitalisation or serious illness. 

The treatments are available across the UK, although the process for how to access them varies slightly, depending on where you live. Check out our website for details specifically for England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. In most cases:

  • You should have received a letter about accessing new treatments. If you think you are eligible, but have not received a letter contact your medical team, GP or call 119 for advice.
  • NHS Test and Trace will send you a PCR test kit to keep at home. In some areas a lateral flow test is being used. Call 119 to request a test kit if you have not received one. If you have used your test, you should automatically receive a replacement.
  • If you have symptoms, take a test as soon as possible, even if your symptoms are mild, as you can only receive the treatments within 5 days of having a positive test result.
  • A positive test should trigger a phone call from a COVID-19 Medicines Delivery Unit. If you are not contacted within 24 hours of receiving a positive test result, contact your GP or call 111 and ask them to make an urgent referral. 

Updated: 31 March 2022