Surge testing launched in Reading

People living, working or studying in certain postcode areas are being asked to come forward to get tested for Covid-19.
Image of Covid Test from Pixabay

Article updated 11 June 2021

Public health officials are inviting 30,000 people in central Reading to get tested for Covid-19 after discovering more than 100 cases of the 'Delta' variant of concern in our community.

The variant, which originated in India, spreads more quickly than the 'Alpha' variant that began in Kent and which had been the most common until now. The 'surge testing' measures began on Monday 7 June with local testing sites offering the more accurate PCR test, to help find cases in people who aren't showing symptoms.

Letters to residents translated to Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Mandarin, Nepali, Polish, Pakistani Punjabi, Romanian, Turkish & Urdu, were added to the council's website on 11 June.

Councillor Jason Brock, Reading Borough Council Leader, said: “This is about doing the right thing for Reading and helping to protect your loved ones, your  neighbours and your local community."

Who should get tested?

  • People aged 12 and over who live, work or study in the following postcode areas:
    RG1 3**
    RG1 5**
    RG1 6**
    RG1 7**  
  • Get tested even if you're not showing any symptoms of coronavirus
  • Get tested even if you've had one or two doses of a Covid vaccine
  • Get tested even if you've been regularly taking lateral flow tests (rapid tests)
  • Don't get tested if you've had a positive Covid-19 result in the last 90 days using a PCR test, as this may result in a false positive result.

The surge testing takes place until Sunday 20 June. There is currently no change to local restrictions - you can still travel to work and school in the affected areas.

Meradin Peachey, Director of Public Health for Berkshire West said: "We have no way of knowing how many – if any – of the variant cases there are in the area unless these tests are carried out. Whilst precautionary, the more completed tests we get, the more chance we have of preventing this variant spreading further.”  

Where should I go for surge testing?

No appointment is needed.

  • Prospect Park, Liebenrood Road, RG30 2ND, 2pm-8pm: Walk-up
  • Reading University, London Road, Crown Place, RG1 5AQ, 2pm-8pm: Walk-up
  • Reading University Car Park 7, Reading University, RG6 6DR, 12pm-6pm12:00: Drive or walk-up
  • Reading Town Hall, Blagrave St,RG1 1QH, Mon-Friday: 07:00–20:00
    Saturday: 12:00–20:00 (closed Sundays): Walk-up


A number of tests sites are also in Wokingham. More details are on the RBC website.

People will get a text or email with their result within 3 days. If you don't have symptoms you can go to work or school while you wait for results. 

Find out more

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