As more and more social activity is given the green light to return, public health bosses in Hertfordshire are urging residents to get a test if they show any signs of coronavirus symptoms.

In a bid to kick-start the economy, the government is allowing pubs, restaurants, shops, and even some leisure activities to reopen.

But of course, this comes with risks, and more social interaction - although people are urged to continue to obey social distancing rules.

Public Health England data shows the Covid-19 infection rate in Hertfordshire is currently low.

Between June 21 and June, the new rate of infection was 2.4 per 100,000 people - this suggests around 25 people tested positive in the county for the virus during that week.

In Hertfordshire, anybody can get a test to find out if they have the virus.

A reminder of the symptoms

The main symptoms of Covid-19 are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Booking a test

Testing is extremely important because not only does it give health bosses an idea of how many people are infected but it also reassures a person who believes they may have the disease that they do have it - and therefore must self-isolate.

Tests must be booked on the government website and you must book a test in the 24 hours leading up to when you'd like to be tested.

You should book a test as soon as you begin showing symptoms (within five days).

If you live with someone who you believe has the virus, you can also be tested.

There is plenty of testing capacity in Hertfordshire so do not hesitate to get a test.

There is no longer a drive-thru mobile testing centre in Watford every Thursday and Sunday.

Instead, this centre has been moved to Apsley.

List of military mobile testing centres available (10am - 4pm)

  • Wednesday and Saturday - County Hall, Hertford SG13 8DQ
  • Thursday and Sunday - Apsley Campus. Brindley Way, Apsley, HP3 9DQ
  • Monday and Friday - Hertfordshire County Council’s office, Six Hills Way, Stevenage SG1 2ST

Regional testing sites (7 days a week, 8am to 8pm)

  • Welwyn Garden City – Tesco’s Headquarters, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL1 1TW
  • Wembley - IKEA car park Wembley, Drury Way, North Circular, London, NW10 0TH
  • Stansted - The Jetparks Car Park, 2 Bury Lodge Lane, Stansted, CM24 1SF

Home kit

If you do not drive or do not want to visit a drive thru but would like a test, then you can order a home testing kit.


A telephone call centre is available as well – call 119 between 7am and 11pm or 18001 0300 303 2713 if you have hearing or speech difficulties.

The coronavirus call centre can help you to book a test, answer enquiries about the testing process and what to do once you have your result, or chase up any delayed results.

How does the testing work and how do I know if I have tested positive for Covid-19?

The test usually involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.

You can do the swab yourself (if you are aged 12 or over) or someone can do it for you. Children aged 11 or under cannot do the swab themselves. Their parent or guardian will have to swab test them.

You will get a text or email when your result is ready.

If you went to a test site for your test, it can take up to 48 hours to get your result. It may take up to 72 hours for a home test.

There are 3 types of result you can get: negative, positive, or unclear, void, borderline or inconclusive.

What should I do if I test positive for coronavirus or if I display symptoms of coronavirus?

Self-isolate (stay at home) if you display any coronavirus symptoms, if you are waiting for a test result, or if you have tested positive for coronavirus.

You must also self-isolate if you live with someone who has symptoms, is waiting for a test result or has tested positive.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you'll usually need to self-isolate for at least 7 days.

If you live with someone who has symptoms, you'll usually need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Keep self-isolating if you have any of these symptoms after seven days:

  • a high temperature or feeling hot and shivery
  • a runny nose or sneezing
  • feeling or being sick
  • diarrhoea
  • loss of appetite

Test and trace

The NHS test-and-trace scheme is fully operational across Hertfordshire.

If you have suspected COVID-19 symptoms and then has a swab test which shows that you do have coronavirus, you will be contacted by someone from the test and trace team.

You will be told that you must self-isolate for seven days from the day that your symptoms first started.

You will also be asked to supply the details of anyone you have been in close contact with, from the two days before your symptoms started. 

Those people will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace team and told that they need to self-isolate for 14 days. 

Anyone else in your household must self-isolate for 14 days from when you started having symptoms.

'It's vitally important to get tested'

Director of Public Health Jim McManus said: "We really need everyone to play their part in stamping out the virus. We must all maintain social distancing, wash our hands regularly and thoroughly and follow the rules and guidance on face coverings.

"If you have any symptoms that could indicate you have coronavirus, it’s vitally important that you get a test. It’s quicker and easier now than ever before.

"Remember too that if you’re contacted by the national NHS Test and Trace team, you must follow their advice and self-isolate, to prevent the virus from taking hold in Hertfordshire again and threatening more lives."