Community testing

If you have symptoms

If you have symptoms of coronavirus you should book a test on GOV.UK 

If you do not have symptoms

Community testing helps prevent and reduce transmission in the community by giving people who do not have symptoms an opportunity to be tested.

Around 1 in 3 people have coronavirus without symptoms so could be spreading the virus without knowing, so this testing is designed to identify these people and make sure they self-isolate.

In Harlow, we have lateral flow (LF) tests which are designed for people who do not have symptoms to find out if they are infected, but not know it yet. LF tests are rapid tests that can be done without the need for laboratory equipment. You can usually get a result within 20 to 30 minutes.

You can either collect a test from Harlow library and do the test yourself at home, or you can book an appointment at the Civic Centre and do the test there. 


LF self-test kits are available for collection at Harlow library. You can collect and take away 2 boxes of 7 tests, to undertake regular twice weekly testing at home to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Location: Harlow Central Library, The High, Cross Street, Harlow, CM20 1HA

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9am-5pm

You can find out more on the scheme on the Essex County Council website

Civic Centre appointments

You can get a LF test at the Civic Centre by:

  • booking online
  • telephone
  • email
  • going to the test centre (walk-in appointments are now available)


Call 0333 772 6144
Lines are open from 8am to 8pm, every day including Saturday and Sunday.


The test centre is at Harlow Council Civic Centre, The Water Gardens, Harlow CM20 1WG.

Please do not attend this site if you have any coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to isolate. If this is the case, refer to the advice on what to do if you have symptoms.