Coronavirus community testing FAQs

Asymptomatic community testing information

Lateral Flow Tests will be available to anyone in Scotland, who does not have symptoms of Covid-19 (asymptomatic), from Monday 26 April.

You can order a Lateral Flow test online.  Lateral Flow Tests can also be collected from your nearest pharmacy.

Community Testing Sites

University of Aberdeen Butchart Centre on University Road

This is not a walk-in facility so please book in advance.  More details can be found on the NHS Grampian website.

Free home test kits can be collected from this test centre on from 8am - 5pm on Mondays and Thursdays and from 8am - 1.30pm on Tuesdays and Fridays. 

Family members or people living with someone who has been shielding may find it beneficial to be tested regularly.


Anyone who does not have the following common symptoms of COVID-19: a new continuous cough, fever/temp 37.8C or higher, loss/change in sense of smell/taste can visit an ATS.  

Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus should follow the usual process and book a test by visiting or by calling 0300 303 2713. 

People are invited to get tested, even if they have none of the main symptoms. Sites testing for asymptomatic coronavirus are walk-in with no booking required. 

Asymptomatic test sites can test people in a target group (for example, those who cannot work from home, or those deemed least likely to come for testing) who have no COVID-19 symptoms. 

Lateral flow antigen tests (LFT) are a new kind of technology that can be used to test a higher proportion of asymptomatic people, better enabling us to identify and isolate more people who are at high likelihood of spreading virus, and break the chains of transmission.  

A Lateral Flow Device (LFD) detects the presence or absence of coronavirus from a swab or saliva sample. The sample is mixed with a buffer solution, which releases and breaks up virus fragments. Some of the solution is then dropped on to the lateral flow device. The sample runs along the surface of the devices’ absorbent strip, showing at the end a visual positive or negative result dependent on the presence of the virus. 

No. Tests are completely voluntary and there for anyone who may want one. We are hoping that many people will recognise the benefits of getting involved in local testing efforts to reduce the spread of the virus in their communities. 

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by the local contact tracing team so their close contacts can be identified. These close contacts will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days. 

If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, they will be sent a unique code to their mobile to enter into the app. The data held in the app will then be sent to a server so close contacts also using the app can be notified and advised to self-isolate. 

Lateral flow tests (LFT) and PCR tests have different characteristics and different uses. PCR tests have higher specificity and sensitivity but require a laboratory to process results and therefore results return slower. PCR tests are therefore well suited to specific use cases, such as those with COVID-19 symptoms.  

While lateral flow tests have lower sensitivity than PCR, they deliver results far faster and do not require a lab, making them more scalable. As such, they allow us to test far larger numbers of asymptomatic people and get them their test result faster than with PCR technology. This will enable us to identify a large percentage of people who are infected and infectious, but asymptomatic and unaware that they have the virus. 

Lateral flow tests (LFT) are validated technology, it is safe, inexpensive and the results are trusted. Extensive clinical evaluation from Public Health England and the University of Oxford show LFTs are specific and sensitive enough to be deployed for mass testing, including for asymptomatic people. Finding positive cases and asking them to isolate has been at the heart of our strategy to control this pandemic, and finding asymptomatic cases can only help save more lives. 

If a person has tested positive in the past 90 days they should not be tested again unless they develop symptoms. 

If you get a positive result, it is likely that you were infectious at the time the test was taken. The antigen test cannot detect very low levels of coronavirus in a sample, so if you have only recently been infected, are in the incubation period, or if you have mostly recovered, the test may not give a positive result. 

It takes less than 15 minutes to administer the test. 

The test produces a result within an hour. 

If you test positive you will need to self-isolate for 10 days. Information on the  support available can be found at:

For more information on these and other types of available support, please contact the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000or Textphone on 0800 111 4114. See also the Scottish Government website.

We aim to identify people who are infectious and could spread the infection to others unknowingly. Identifying and supporting infectious people to isolate before they develop symptoms will help reduce the spread of coronavirus. People who test positive will be offered support to self-isolate. 

You should continue to follow the preventative measures currently recommended for stopping the spread of the virus. You can help protect yourself, others and the NHS by remembering: FACTS. 

F –Face Coverings 

A –Avoid crowded places 

C –Clean hands regularly 

T –Two meter distancing (where possible/applicable) 

S –Self isolate and book a test if you have symptoms 

Free testing continues to be available to everyone in Scotland. If you have/are showing symptoms (high temperature, continuous cough or loss of / change in taste or smell), please book a test at or by calling 0300 303 2713. 

More information on Testing can be found at NHS Inform -Coronavirus (COVID-19): Testing in Scotland 

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