Reporter Bethany Papworth reveals what it was like to get a coronavirus test...

I am a 24-year-old journalist working on the frontline during the pandemic, having reported from care homes and GP surgeries that have had outbreaks, and non-coronavirus stories such as fires during the lockdown.

It was early hours of May 7, and I was showing symptoms of coronavirus.

I had a high temperature and a new, continuous cough that kept me up the whole night.

Afraid that it could potentially be the disease, I rang emergency services and paramedics were there within an hour.

Breathing became a chore, the insides of my lungs were desperate for more oxygen.

After the paramedics left, I booked a Covid test online and was allocated to Sparsholt College, near Winchester.

I received a text message that said my appointment would be at 11.30am.

The drive was taxing, and I ended up in the middle of a random field, thanks to typing in the direct postcode on the sat nav.

Minutes before my appointment was about to take place, I found Sparsholt College and saw a group of army personnel efficiently giving out tests to drivers.

Two of them were inside the back of their army truck, methodically finding and allocating tests, ready to distribute it to drivers.

The instructions to the test seemed a bit unclear and confusing with my symptoms, and it took three attempts to understand what to do.

If there was a problem, I was told to beep on my horn for assistance.

I was given a second test as the tissue was disposed of in the wrong way.

Under strict rules to keep the window closed during the test, I inserted a swab deep through my nostrils.

It was kind of like breathing in water through your nose but was necessary to get accurate results.

Unfortunately, I had a gagging reflex and threw up in the car once the swab was forced down the back of my throat.

However, despite the discomfort, it was worth the reassurance of knowing I'd had the test and that I would get my results imminently.

My mind was put at ease by army personnel that the test was safe and effective.

I finally packaged all the swabs and tissues in a sealed bag and drove to the entrance to hand over the contents to the army.

Test results would be available from 24 hours onwards, depending on the location.

To my relief, I did not have to wait too long and tested NEGATIVE for coronavirus 48 hours later.

The situation made me realise that despite the test being uncomfortable, it was worth knowing for certain that I did not have the virus.

I was over the moon to learn that I was 100 per cent healthy.

I would encourage others to have the test, if they are advised to do so, and to ignore the brief discomfort because it is so worth it in the long run to know you are Covid free.