Icon representing Covid. Image is on a pink circle.

Free Covid tests

30th January 2024

We’ve had several enquiries from people who are eligible, telling us that they’re struggling to find free COVID tests. And others are confused about how to determine if they’re eligible at all. We’ve been working with Community Pharmacy leads to try to make it all a little clearer. 

It’s been almost four years since the first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) appeared in the UK, but COVID is far from old news. In fact there’s actually been a rise in cases this winter. In mid December 2023 for example, according to the office for National Statistics (ONS) and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), an estimated 4.2% (or one in 24 people) in England and Scotland had COVID. 

Here in Surrey  

Where can I find COVID tests?  

Not all pharmacies offer the lateral flow testing (LFT) kit service and – although there isn’t a definitive list of which pharmacies do, you should be able to find this information via the NHS Service finder. Simply type in your postcode to find your nearest pharmacies, look under each pharmacy under ‘services’, then under ‘screening and test services’. If the pharmacy provides LFT tests it will state ‘Covid-19 lateral flow tests (eligible NHS patients)’. If you don’t have access to the internet contact our Helpdesk who can help you.  

How do I know if I’m eligible for a free COVID test? 

LFTs are no longer free for most people. However, you may still be able to get free tests from the NHS if you: 

  • Have a health condition which means you’re eligible for COVID-19 treatment – take a look at the NHS Engand website  
  • Work in healthcare settings or in a hospice – speak to your employer  

Healthwatch Surrey are continuing to work with Community Pharmacy Surrey and Sussex and NHS England to ensure that people have the information they need. If you have any questions you can find out more on the NHS England website, or contact our Helpdesk