Women taking a Covid-19 swab test from nose.

Covid- 19 testing

January 11, 2021

Around 1 in 3 people with the virus do not show any symptoms, although they can still pass the disease to someone who might be at a higher risk of developing a life-threatening illness.

The new variant of the COVID-19 virus is highly contagious and is spreading quickly across the UK. One in 50 people has the virus and more than 32,000 people are in hospital. 

Covid test centres are open across Halton to help stop the spread of the virus. Anyone can drop into the symptom free test centres for a quick result SMART test.

People with Covid symptoms are asked to book a test at one of the walk or drive in test centres. These tests will be sent away and the result sent to you within a few days. If you are getting a test because you have symptoms you, and anyone you live with must self isolate, this includes any support bubble you may have. 

No symptoms test centres 

Whole-community smart testing aims to protect those at highest risk and find asymptomatic cases (people without any symptoms).This will help prevent and reduce transmission in the community. The more people we can test, the better we can fight the virus in our local area, especially as we head towards Christmas when more people will want to be together. 

How to get a test:

  • Testing is available now in both Widnes and Runcorn. 
  • No appointment is required.
  • You can visit either of the centres below during the opening times, but please remember, these sites are only for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • The test involves a swab from the nose and mouth, which is done by you. The results are usually available from 30 minutes to two hours later. 


Grangeway Community Centre, Grangeway, Runcorn WA7 5LY

  • Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6pm
  • Saturday and Sunday 10am to 3pm

Ditton Community Centre, Dundalk Road, Widnes WA8 8DF

  • Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6pm
  • Saturday and Sunday 10am to 3pm

Frequently asked questions: https://bit.ly/3q2YT2W


Testing for people with Covid symptoms

You can have a swab test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) for free if you have any of the following symptoms;

  • you have a high temperature
  • you have a new, continuous cough
  • you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed

You should NOT attend the community drop in SMART testing if you are experiencing any Covid -19 symptoms. 

You need to book a visit to a test site. Drive and walk through sites are available. You can choose from a number of different locations, with several test centres available in Halton. Test sites are open 7 days a week. You can also order a home test kit if you cannot get to a test site.

If you’re getting a test because you have symptoms, you and anyone you live with must self-isolate until you get your result. This also applies to anyone in your support bubble (where someone who lives alone – or just with their children – can meet people from 1 other household).

You must also self-isolate if you cannot get a test.

You can book a test at: https://bit.ly/2XxdmYF  or by calling 119 if you do not have internet access. 


What the test involves

The test 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. Parents or guardians have to swab test children aged 11 or under.