How and where to get a test

What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (the most common of which are a continuous cough, fever/high temperature, loss of/change in sense of smell or taste)  you should make an appointment through the NHS Inform website or telephone: 0300 303 2713 (open 7am-11pm. You will be advised where to go for a test. If you test positive, you must self isolate - support is available.

Getting tested if you have no symptoms of COVID-19

Almost 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 don’t have any of the usual symptoms but are potentially passing the virus on to others. While good progress has been made with the vaccination programme, the virus is still a risk. Getting tested - even if you feel fine and have received vaccination - can help us to move to an even less restrictive way of life. You can find out if you are positive and take immediate action to stop the spread of the virus, by self-isolating.

Options include visiting our testing centre in Musselburgh where you can get tested or collect a kit to take home, attending a mobile testing unit (see further details below), ordering home delivery of a testing kit online or collecting a testing kit from a local pharmacy.

Test centre for East Lothian residents with no symptoms

A COVID-19 testing centre for people with no symptoms is located at the former Stoneyhill Community Centre, Musselburgh. 

Getting tested is quick and easy. No appointment is required and you can get tested more than once. The facility is open to everyone from East Lothian as long as you don't have symptoms - a fever, cough, or loss or change of smell. If you do have symptoms, you need to book a test elsewhere.

You can also visit the facility to collect a test kit to take home. The type of test provided at the centre is lateral flow testing.

Opening hours are 11am-6pm (Tuesday to Saturday). 

Address: 5 Stoneyhill Farm Road, Musselburgh, East Lothian, EH21 6RN

Find out more about the test centre.

Watch a video about community testing.

Mobile testing units

It's also possible, even if you have no symptoms, to get tested at one of the mobile testing units in East Lothian. These provide PCR tests. You don't have to live in the town or village to get tested there. Times of operation are 10am to 6pm unless otherwise stated:

Friday, 24 September

  • Port Seton Centre
  • Dunbar Leisure Pool
  • Loch Centre, Tranent
  • John Muir House, Haddington * closes at 4pm

Saturday, 25 September

  • Dunbar Leisure Pool
  • Loch Centre, Tranent * closes at 5pm

Sunday, 26 September

  • Dunbar Leisure Pool
  • Loch Centre, Tranent 

Monday, 27 September

  • Mercat Bar and Grill, Whitecraig
  • Dunbar Leisure Pool
  • Loch Centre, Tranent
  • John Muir House, Haddington * closes at 4pm

Tuesday, 28 September

  • Mercat Bar and Grill, Whitecraig
  • Prestonpans Community Centre
  • Loch Centre, Tranent
  • John Muir House, Haddington * closes at 4pm

Wednesday, 29 September

  • Mercat Bar and Grill, Whitecraig
  • Dunbar Leisure Pool
  • Loch Centre, Tranent
  • John Muir House, Haddington * closes at 4pm

Thursday, 30 September; Friday, 1 October

  • Port Seton Centre
  • Dunbar Leisure Pool
  • Loch Centre, Tranent
  • John Muir House, Haddington * closes at 4pm

Saturday, 2 October; Sunday, 3 October

  • Dunbar Leisure Pool
  • Loch Centre, Tranent * closes at 5pm on Saturday

While appointments are not needed they are preferable as this will save yourself time. Bookings can be made from 6pm on the day prior to when you get tested online at: get a free test online or by phone: 0300 303 2713. When asked why you are booking a test, select: ‘my local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms’.

Home delivery of rapid lateral flow test kits

Another option if you have no symptoms is get home test kits delivered to your home. Order free packs of rapid lateral flow tests online

Pick up a test kit from a local pharmacy

A number of pharmacies have stocks of rapid lateral flow test kits, which are suitable for home testing if you have no symptoms. You can check your nearest collection point online.

What happens if I do test positive for COVID-19?

You will need to self-isolate. Practical, confidential support is available within the testing facility, to support you and your household. We can give you advice on different financial help. If you need general advice (not health advice), advice on self-isolation support grants, assistance with food or assistance with fuel poverty you can:

Other helpful telephone numbers:

  • East Lothian Council               01620 827827
  • 24 hour emergency line          01875 612818
  • Emergency Social Work          0800 731 6969

Further information on wraparound support available for self-isolation can be found by calling the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000.

What happens if I test negative?

You should continue to follow all national guidance and public health advice. Although you may not have the virus at this time, it is still circulating and there is a risk of catching it.

What happens if I'm asked to self isolate because I'm a close contact of someone who has tested positive?

It’s very important that you stay at home (self-isolate) if:

  • you have symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • you’ve had a positive test result
  • someone you live with has symptoms but has not yet been tested or received their test result

If you were identified as a close contact before 9 August 2021 and are still self-isolating on or after the 9th, you can end self-isolation as long as you:

  • are fully vaccinated – this means you’ve received two doses from the NHS and have had your second dose more than 14 days ago
  • have received a negative PCR test result
  • do not have, or develop, symptoms

A guide is available on the NHS Inform website.