Virtual Open Day

COVID Testing

We understand you may have many questions about returning to University as staff or students.  

Lateral flow antigen tests are used to test for Covid-19 in asymptomatic people (i.e. those who are not experiencing symptoms, but may be carrying the virus).

Lateral flow antigen tests detect the presence of coronavirus by applying a swab or saliva sample to the device’s absorbent pad. The sample runs along the surface of the pad, showing a visual positive or negative result dependant on the presence of the virus. The tests have been validated by Public Health England. They are safe and offer reliable results.

If you have any questions about the testing process and results, please see our FAQs below.


The Test – preparing to attend the centre

No pre-booking is required, but at busy times please be prepared to queue for a short while.

You will need to bring your student identification, your mobile phone and a mask. Please be prepared to observe the usual safe practices around social distancing. Finally, please also watch the NHS video below to see what you will need to do to take the test.

The Test – I think I already have some of the Covid-19 symptoms - shall I attend the Test Centre at the SU?

No - you must isolate immediately.

It is critical to understand that the lateral flow test is not designed to replace symptomatic PCR testing.

If you are symptomatic, you must book a PCR test or by calling 119. You must follow government guidelines and isolate accordingly.

If you come to the testing centre with symptoms you will be turned away, as you are potentially spreading the virus to other students, staff and our volunteers.

The Test – Where do I go to get a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) ?

The location of the LFT test centre for the University is the SU building at the Bishop Otter Campus in Chichester.

The Zee Bar is located next to the Learning Resource Centre - please see our Campus Map for directions

The Test – Do I need to book in advance?

There is no need to book in advance, although it is possible there may be queues at busier periods.

The Test – What times are the test centres open?

Testing will be offered from Friday 8 January 2021. The weekly pattern of opening will be as follows:


10am - 4pm (last entry 3.30pm)


2pm - 8pm (last entry 7.30pm)


10am - 4pm (last entry 3.30pm)


2pm - 6pm (last entry 5.30pm)

If demand grows significantly we will look to increase our opening days and times. Please continue to visit this page where we will update you on any changes made.

The Test – What does the actual test consist of?

The tests are self-administered, and contact is limited. You will receive a test kit, a test card, and barcode. Scan the QR code on the test card and register.

You will go to an available table, attach your barcode to the test, and self-administer the swab test.

Pass your completed swab test device to support staff for processing and leave the site with your copy of the barcode and test card. You will receive your result from the NHS on your phone via the NHS test and trace app.

The test will then be returned to a member of our staff. Results are due usually within 1 hour.  During this period, you should restrict your social interactions as anyone you come into contact with may have to subsequently isolate.

Staff at the centres wear PPE where appropriate and anyone entering the centres are requested to wear face coverings unless exempt.


The Test – What do I need to do before I arrive at the test centre?

Please ensure you’ve downloaded the NHS test and trace app. You will need to bring your student identification, your mobile phone along with a mask and be prepared to observe the usual safe practices around social distancing. Please also watch the NHS video below to see what you will need to do to take the test.

The Test – Are LFT tests compulsory?

Tests are not compulsory, but we are asking our students to participate to help to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and protect their friends, classmates, staff and members of the local community.

Please note: Students who experience COVID-19 symptoms must NOT attend the Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) testing centre. Instead, they should follow the standard government guidance, including self-isolating immediately and booking the standard 'PCR' NHS coronavirus test.

The Test – How long should I allow for a test?

The test itself takes no more than 15 minutes. However, at busy times, there might a slight wait to enter the test centre.

The Test – I don't have symptoms – why should I get tested?

The aim of the test is to identify those most at risk of spreading COVID-19 by identifying those who are infectious, but not aware of this. This will enable us to break the chains of transmission and reduce the infection rate.

The LFT will be offered to all of our students, and this is designed for individuals who do not have symptoms (i.e. those who are asymptomatic).

The Test – Accessibility and assisted testing

The SU is fully accessible and has a designated access route.

If you think you are unable to administer the swab test yourself, then please contact where we will discuss alternative test options.

The test - I live in a Tier 4 area – what should I do in preparing to return or study at Chichester?

If you are currently staying in a Tier 4 area (highest risk of infection), you may find that tests are available to you before you leave that area. If so, then we would ask you to secure a test in your local area before travelling back to the University following the Christmas break.

The Test - Can my friends or family who aren’t students at Chichester attend the testing centre?

No, the tests are only for current students and members of staff at the University.

The Test - I had a positive NHS Pillar 2 test (PCR) recently - do I need to test again?

If you have had a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in the last 90 days through NHS Test and Trace and been recorded as a positive case on the national system, you do not need to be tested again.

Results - Get your results

You will be sent your test result by text or email depending on which details you registered. You should get your results within 1 to 2 hours of taking the test. If you have not received your results after 24 hours, call 119.

Results - If you test positive

You should limit your contact and take the following next steps;

  1. Book an NHS PCR coronavirus test as soon as possible.
  2. Inform the NHS that the date of onset of symptoms is the date of the positive LFT test result.
  3. Self-isolate for 10 days
  4. Tell the University by emailing

Results – if you receive an invalid test

Limit your social contacts, and please return to the centre in the SU as soon as possible to complete the test again.

Results - If you test negative

If your first test is negative, then government guidance states that you should have a second LFT test approximately three days later to confirm the negative result. You should continue to limit social contact until the second test has been completed.

Results - Do other people I live with have to self-isolate?

If you have a positive test, anyone you live with must self-isolate until 14 days after the date of your first test or after your symptoms began (if earlier).

Returning to the UK – I am returning to campus from a country overseas - do I need to quarantine?

If you are travelling from a country on the UK Travel Corridor list you do not need to quarantine. You can find details on the UK Government website.

If you are travelling from a country not on the Travel Corridor list you will have to quarantine for a period of time.

There are two options:

  1. In line with government advice you should quarantine for 10 days after the day you arrive in the UK
  2. You can sign up to the Test to Release scheme which you have to book before you travel. This allows you to pay for a private test from a government approved supplier where available. You will take the test 5 full days after you were last in a place that is not on the travel corridor list and if the result is negative you can release as soon as you receive the result.