UCL News


COVID-19 tests for students

22 January 2021

If you’re arriving in London for Term 2, or are already studying on campus, find out how to get regular tests for coronavirus if you don’t have symptoms.


UCL has set up a testing centre as part of the national testing programme for universities. The centre uses rapid Lateral Flow Tests (LFT), which typically provide results within two hours. Testing is free and voluntary.

If you’re arriving in London, you should take your first test as soon as possible within 24 hours after get here, and a second test three days later. Students who don't get tested should self-isolate for 10 days once they have arrived in London. 

After you’ve arrived, you are strongly encouraged to get tested regularly. Lateral Flow Tests don’t detect every positive case, so UCL recommends that you get two tests a week so you can be more confident that you haven’t contracted the virus. 

Please remember that any COVID-19 test only reflects your status at the time of taking the test. You must keep following the safety guidelines to protect yourself and others, even if you test negative.

Find out more about Lateral Flow tests on the UCL Coronavirus website, including:

  • What is a Lateral Flow Test?
  • How to book your test and where to go
  • What to bring and what to expect when you arrive for a test
  • What happens when you get your results

What if I can’t get to the testing centre at Bidborough House?

If you are not local to Bloomsbury, please check your local Council pages for access to community LFT testing, and the eligibility criteria that applies.

What if I have coronavirus symptoms?

If you DO have coronavirus symptoms, please self-isolate immediately and report your symptoms via UCL’s Connect to Protect reporting tool – you’ll be given information on how to get a test, what to do next and what support is available to you.