COVID-19 patient self-collect swab

To help meet the rising demand for COVID-19 testing in the community, SNP offers a self-collect option for patients. Self-collected specimens have been shown to be an acceptable alternative to specimens collected by healthcare workers.

Self-collected specimens allow for a testing format that limits the spread of viruses. 

Patients required to test for respiratory virus (including COVID-19) investigation may attend any of our respiratory virus collection centres. When visiting one of these centres, the collector will perform the collection.

Medical practitioners wishing their patients to self-collect a sample during their consultation may do so. Please see the link below for collection instructions.

All self-collected specimens require a valid request form completed by a medical practitioner.

Download instructions

'How-to' instructional video

This ‘how-to’ video is a companion resource to the patient self-collect instructions.

The video outlines the self-collect procedure in a step-by-step format and covers:

  • Pre-test preparation
  • Throat and nasal swab collection
  • Packaging the completed swab
  • Returning the sample for testing

COVID-19 self-collect patient FAQs

A combined throat and nasal swab collection is required for COVID-19 testing.

Both collections are performed using one single swab. 

Step-by-step instructions are included in the video on top of this page or download the PDF by clicking the link below:

Download instructions

Step-by-step instructions are included in the video on top of this page or download the PDF by clicking the link below:

Download instructions

For collections under medical supervision:

Give your packaged test sample to your medical practitioner for them to return to SNP.

 

For home collections:

You will need to take your test sample to an SNP collection centre. Where you may drop off your swab depends on your current symptoms. 

If you have symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat):
You will need to take your packaged sample to a designated respiratory virus (including COVID-19) testing collection centre.
A list of these centres can be accessed from the button below:
Interactive online map of respiratory virus (including COVID-19) testing collection centres

If you have no symptoms:
You may deliver your packaged test sample to your local GP clinic or your nearest SNP collection centre.

For a list of collection centres please click the link below:

Interactive online map of all SNP collection centres

Once you have returned your self-collect swab to SNP, please continue to follow the directions of your health care practitioner until they advise you of the result.