People in specific areas of Reading are currently being asked to take PCR Covid tests as part of a ‘surge testing’ scheme to stop the spread of the Indian (Delta) variant.

The postcodes where people are being asked to take the PCR tests are RG1 3, RG1 5, RG1 6 and RG1 7 (that is RG1 postcodes followed by those numbers not RG13, etc).

Everyone over the age of 12 who lives, works, or studies in these areas should take a PCR test from Monday, June 7 for two weeks.

READ MORE: Surge testing Reading - where to go and who should get tested

You can do this at one of Reading’s test centres or at home, with Reading Town Hall now one of the sites available for surge testing.

Reading Chronicle: You can do your test at Reading Town Hall nowYou can do your test at Reading Town Hall now

You should not take the test, however, if you have tested positive for the virus in the past 90 days using a PCR test.

As someone who lives in one of these postcodes, I went down to Reading University’s London Road campus to get a test on Monday evening.

This was my first ever PCR test as I have not previously had symptoms of Covid-19 or had to do a PCR test as part of travelling abroad.

I have taken Antigen tests before, the ones which give you quick results within around 20-30 minutes but had also never taken one at a test site.

I arrived, locking up my bike (London Road is not a drive-in site so you cannot park your car) and followed the signs to the testing building.

Upon my arrival, I was asked if I had a reference number but I told them I had not booked and I was taking a test as part of surge testing.

Despite being told no appointment was needed, I was told by staff I needed to register first so they could track the tests.

The staff working were confused why people were being told they do not need to book a test in advance as this meant people were coming and having to register outside.

Registering for a test involved filling out an online form at, which took about five minutes.

Although information from the council and government suggests an appointment is not needed you can do this beforehand and speed the process up.

The problem I had was, after filling out the form, I got a “technical error” message and so could not complete the registration.

I was still able to do the test and was told others had experienced this issue too and to call 119 after the test to get it registered.

ALSO READ: Surge testing in Reading after Indian variant found

Hopefully, this issue with the government website was only a brief one. Let us know how it went for you.

As for the test, everything was explained step-by-step to me by very friendly staff.

I had expected someone to do the test for me, but instead I was directed how to do it, which is maybe safer.

Much like the Antigen tests which we are all supposed to twice a week at the moment, the swab goes in the mouth and up one of your nostrils, first in your mouth tapping both tonsils and then up the nostril until there is resistance and twisting for 10 seconds.

I got home and phoned 119, which meant explaining all my details which I had already attempted to enter on my phone again.

It was quicker to do it on the website so I’d advise trying to first book an appointment online and, if you’re unable to register due to technical problems, you can still go to the test centre without an appointment and call afterwards.