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Covid-19 testing options

Covid-19 testing options

Covid-19 infections are rising fast in Tower Hamlets and the rest of the country. There is plenty of testing capacity to meet local demand and testing options for both people with symptoms and people without symptoms.

If you have symptoms

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 (a new or continuous cough, a high temperature or a change to/loss in normal sense of smell or taste) should book a test online through the national system or call 119.

Tower Hamlets residents will be offered an appointment at the closest testing site to them. In Tower Hamlets sites are:

  • Idea Store Watney Market, 260 Commercial Street, E1 2FB
  • Jack Dash House, 2 Lawn House Close, E14 9YQ
  • Ecology Pavilion, Grove Rd, Bow, London E3 5TW

Appointments at all these sites are available through the national system.

If you have no symptoms

One in three people who test positive for coronavirus show no symptoms at all. Anyone can now access free rapid Covid-19 tests (Lateral Flow Tests).

The tests are quick and convenient and provide results in under 30 minutes.

You should take up the offer of free and regular rapid Covid-19 tests, even if you have no symptoms. Quick and regular testing can help protect you and those you live with.

There is one fixed rapid testing site in Tower Hamlets and we now also have four mobile testing units, which change location daily. You can be assisted to take rapid tests at all of these sites.

Details of the mobile testing units will be published here each day. The fixed rapid testing site can be found at:

  • Canary Wharf - Level 2, Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf, E14 5NY. Open 10am to 6pm Monday to Sunday. Walk in or book online.

Mobile testing units can be found at the following locations between 10am and 6pm:

Monday 26 July

  • Shoreditch Station
  • Victoria Park
  • St Paul Way Community Centre Food Bank
  • Outside Bishop Challoner School on Commercial Road

Tuesday 27 July

  • Shoreditch Station
  • Victoria Park
  • St Paul Way Community Centre Food Bank
  • Outside Bishop Challoner School on Commercial Road

Wednesday 28 July

  • Shoreditch Station
  • Victoria Park
  • Cable Street
  • Outside Bishop Challoner School on Commercial Road

We advise taking up free rapid tests twice weekly (with a minimum three days between each test). This can help protect individuals and those they live and work with.

Testing sites can only safely operate at teperatures not exceeding 36 degrees celcius. During the hot weather, there may be periods when testing sites suspend operation until the temperature drops to below this level.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by unplanned interruptions to our testing options. 

Community Collect programme

Anyone who wants to take up free regular rapid testing, can also pick up tests through our community collect programme and take the tests at home.

In Tower Hamlets you can collect two boxes which include seven tests. They are currently available from:

Rapid testing sites

Jubilee Place, Lower Mall - Level 2, Canary Wharf, E14 5NY

Community Centres

  • Aberfeldy Community Centre, Aberfeldy St, Aberfeldy Village, London, E14 0NU
  • St Pauls Way Community Centre, 83 St Paul's Way, Mile End, London, E3 4AJ
  • Idea Store Whitechapel, 321 Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1BU
  • Idea Store Bow, 1 Gladstone Place, Roman Road, Bow, London, E3 5ES

You do not need an appointment to pick up the rapid tests from any of the above locations.

Testing positive

From 29 March, anyone testing positive on a rapid lateral flow test will need to take a confirmatory PCR test to confirm the result.

PCR tests are more accurate testing and the types of tests offered to symptomatic people through NHS Test and Trace. You must isolate when testing positive on a rapid lateral flow test until taking the PCR test and continue to isolate if a positive test result is confirmed.

If you perform an asymptomatic lateral flow test yourself at home and test positive, you will still need to complete a confirmatory PCR test. More on self-isolating and contact tracing can be found on the test and trace page.