Covid-19 community testing

Community testing in Reading is open to essential workers who cannot work from home, who have contact with service users, and who do not have other access to testing through their employer, including:

  • Reading Borough Council and Brighter Futures for Children staff
  • Early years care providers (e.g. nursery, childminder) 
  • Other care providers (e.g. unregistered care provider, PAs, special needs service)  
  • Transport provider – Readibus, school transport, taxis 
  • Staff, volunteers and leaders from faith settings 
  • Frontline staff from charity or voluntary organisations 
  • Funeral directors, undertakers and coroners  
  • Vets 
  • Staff facilitating community testing    

Testing is by appointment – book your test now

If you and your employer are unsure if you qualify for community testing, you can contact to check.

About the programme

Around one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and can spread the virus without knowing it.   The community testing programme involves testing people who have no symptoms. This way we can find more people who are infected and might spread the virus without knowing. If people test positive for the virus, they and their close contacts isolate in the usual way, which helps to break the chains of transmission.  

There are two community testing sites in Reading, at  

  • Rivermead Leisure Centre, Richfield Avenue, Reading RG1 8EQ 
  • South Reading Leisure Centre, Northumberland Avenue, Reading RG2 8DF 

Both venues have free parking onsite and you can travel there by bike, public transport or on foot.  

The test sites are open Monday-Friday, 8am-7pm. 

You are invited to have a test twice a week. 

Testing is by appointment – book your test now 

Do not come for a test if you have symptoms of Covid-19 (a cough, temperature or loss of taste or smell). If you have symptoms, you should immediately self-isolate along with your household, and book a test through the national system by calling 119 or going to the NHS coronavirus webpage.

On the day

Please bring your mobile phone, booking reference and photo ID (e.g. driving license or work ID badge) with you.  

When you arrive on site, wear a face covering and follow the instructions on signs and from members of staff. 

The type of test is a lateral flow device (LFD).  You will go to a bay and do a nose and throat swab sample, then return this to a member of staff. 

Once you have taken your test you can go home. You will receive the result by text message within 30-60 minutes.  

Next steps

If your result is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days along with the rest of your household. If anyone develops symptoms, they should get a test through the national system by calling 119 or going to the NHS coronavirus webpage . You should inform your employer of your positive result so they can take the necessary steps to protect staff, customers and service users.  

If your result is negative you can carry on as normal – but remember that means you should continue to follow the Covid-19 guidance such as washing hands frequently, wearing a mask in indoor spaces, keeping a safe distance and not mixing with other households. Although your result may be negative now, you could still pick up or transmit the virus after leaving the site.  Please continue to come for testing twice a week.