THOUSANDS of people across the UK have now been tested for coronavirus.

Anyone displaying symptoms over the age of five can now apply for a test.

After experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, my girlfriend and I decided to self refer for a test.

We were able to book online for an appointment at the nearest mobile testing unit in Grange.

It was a simple process and a few hours later, ee pulled into the car park entrance behind Nutwood Medical Centre and were greeted by an army personnel wearing a face mask.

My girlfriend wound the window down an inch, he checked we had appointments and asked who we worked for to confirm our key worker status. He proceeded to tell us we would stay in the car the entire time and to make our way to the next station. We would be asked to ring numbers to remove the need for opening windows to speak.

We crawled up to the marquee where a second army officer held up a sign displaying a mobile number.

My girlfriend rang it and put it on speakerphone, he cheerfully asked us how we were and confirmed that we required two tests.

A few metres on a third army personnel handed us two grey packs through the small gap in our window and we pulled up to the other side of the car park where a couple more people in uniform and PPE were waiting, taking shelter from the rain under the trees.

We opened the window an inch and a lady calmly talked us through the pack and taking the swab.

We each had sticky barcodes. First we had to place one on our test tubes and a second on the bag that would house the swab.

Next we gave our noses a thorough blow with the tissue provided. After that we took the swab out of the packet, the swab is a long thin plastic cotton bud. We each had to swab both of our tonsils and finally the very back of our throats. With the same swab we were instructed to push it up one nostril as far as it would go and twist for 10 seconds, which the officer counted out for us. Eyes streaming she reassured us “if your eyes are watering that means you’ve done it correctly."

Finally we had to place the swab in the test tube, snap off the end, screw on the top and place it in each of our labelled bags with an additional bit of material.

We drove as instructed to the other side of the marquee where again we had to ring the army personnel waiting. We placed our tests in a box, thanked him and waited for the next car before driving out.

Two days later we thankfully both tested negative.