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Covid-19 testing information and FAQs

Covid-19 testing on campus

In order to comply with Government guidelines and legislation for this new lockdown, all courses (unless you have been otherwise informed by your course leader/manager) will be fully online until further notice.

It is essential that every student returning to student accommodation or attending campus for lessons, study or assessments is tested weekly for Covid-19.

The University is continuing to provide free asymptomatic LF Covid-19 testing on campus.

Book your test

Frequently asked questions

How do I get a test?

You can book your free test here.

If you have any problems booking your test, please contact the Student Hub team ( and they will make a booking on your behalf.

What is the testing procedure?

When you arrive at the test centre you will be welcomed by a member of the Solent team who will ask you to confirm you do not currently have any coronavirus symptoms or have tested positive in the last 10 days.

You’ll then be given a testing pack and some bar codes stickers, and be asked to register these codes on the NHS Test and Trace website using your mobile phone before taking your test.

What do I need to take with me?

When you attend your test please ensure you bring your mobile phone and that you have already downloaded the NHS Test and Trace app. If you don’t have your phone and the app with you, you will not be able to take your test.

Please also bring:

  • your student card
  • your booking confirmation.
  • a face covering

And remember, do not attend if you have any coronavirus symptoms.

What if I don't have a mobile phone or don't have the NHS Test and Trace app?

If you don't have a mobile phone, or if your phone is not able to install the NHS Test and Trace app, please arrive 10 minutes early for your test slot so a member of staff can assist you with the registration process.

How do I get the results?

You’ll receive your results by email and/or text message from NHS Test and Trace. Please also let Solent know the result of your test by emailing

How long will it take?

You’ll be able to complete the full registration and testing process within your booked 20-minute slot.  

When do I need to take a test?

Ahead of your return, use this website to book two tests three days apart - before attending campus for the first time and then each week at the same time.

You should not attend campus until you have received a negative result.

Once you have received your negative test, please make sure you continue to do everything you can to prevent infection, including following all Government health and safety advice for this lockdown period.

It is essential that every student returning to student accommodation or attending campus for lessons, study or assessments is tested weekly for Covid-19.

What if I'm an international student or planning to travel abroad?

If you’re an international student or are planning to travel abroad, please make sure you have:

  • Checked the Covid-19 entry requirements for your destination - Some countries may have requirements around receiving one (or more) negative Covid test results before departure and will differ per destination. It should also not be assumed that LFD testing will give you the ability to travel abroad.
  • Spoken to your travel insurer and checked for latest developments at your destination.
  • Planned ahead to avoid busy times and routes.

Self-isolation for UK arrivals
The UK’s Transport Secretary has announced that from Tuesday 15 December, arrivals into England will be able to reduce their period of self-isolation on receiving a negative Covid test result. Find out more

What if my test is positive?

If you test positive for Covid-19 you may be asked to take a confirmatory PCR test and self-isolate for 10 days in your current residence. 

If you are self-isolating, please let us know by emailing so that we can make sure you are supported during this time.

Do I have to take a test?

It is essential that every student returning to student accommodation or attending campus for lessons, study or assessments is tested weekly for Covid-19.

What is the test?

The tests we are using are Lateral Flow Technology (LFT) tests - a point of care antigen test which uses a throat and/or nasal swab sample.  

How accurate are the results?

LFT tests are highly specific, which means that only a small proportion of people who do not have coronavirus will receive a positive result (false positive).

Although they give a result much more quickly, LFT tests are not as sensitive as tests offered through other channels (e.g. PCR tests available in other channels like Local Testing Sites). This is mitigated by testing people regularly to increase the chance of any infection being picked up.

This also means that if you test positive on a LFT test, it is likely that you are infectious at that moment, whereas people testing positive on more sensitive tests could be in the less infectious early or late stages of the disease.

How many tests should I take?

The routine testing frequency for the LFD to ensure active case finding is twice weekly ie, three days apart. 

Please ensure you take your first test as soon as possible after your return to campus or your student accommodation and the second three days later.

If I have tested positive recently, do I still need to take a test?

If you have recently (within 90 days) tested positive for Covid-19, you are likely to have developed some immunity and therefore a repeat LFD test is unlikely to be necessary within this period.

If, having recently tested positive for Covid-19, you choose to have an LFD test, please ensure the test is not taken while still within your period of isolation following the last confirmed test.

If symptoms (other than cough or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste and smell) persist, this could be longer than the normal 10-day self-isolation period for confirmed cases. This is described in in the Government's guidance 'Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) infection'.

I am a close contact of somebody who has tested positive, what do I do?

You should book a test as soon as possible if you have not done so already. If you do not have any symptoms yourself, book on of the LFD tests at the University's asymptomatic test centre in the Sir James Matthews building. If you have symptoms, you should book a PCR test - the University's nearest test centre is in the Guildhall.

If you have had a test yourself and have tested negative, you can return home, taking into account the risk of transmission to your family. However, you must self-isolate at home for 14 days.

If you have had a test yourself and have tested positive, you must isolate for 10 days and then go home.

Can I return to university before my teaching starts?

No. In line with Government safe travel guidance, if you are moving back to campus for semester 2, please arrange to arrive as close to your teaching start date as possible.