Coronavirus: Testing

Who can apply for a test?

You can ask for a test:

  • for yourself, if you have coronavirus symptoms now (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • for someone you live with, if they have coronavirus symptoms

To request a coronavirus test, go here: https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test

Priority testing

The following groups of people can access priority testing through GOV.UK:

  • essential workers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • anyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over 5 years old who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with an essential worker
  • children under 5 years old in England who have symptoms of coronavirus and live with an essential worker (this test must be performed by a parent or guardian)

To apply for a test if you are an essential worker, go here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers

When to apply:

You need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms. It’s best to apply for the test in the first 3 days as it may take 1 or 2 days to arrange.

Frontline essential workers such as NHS staff will be given priority.

How to apply:

There are two ways to apply for a coronavirus test.

Self-referral - https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test

Employer referral - The employer referral portal allows employers to refer essential workers who are self-isolating either because they or member(s) of their household have coronavirus symptoms, for testing.

In order to obtain a login, employers of essential workers should email portalservicedesk@dhsc.gov.uk with:

  • organisation name
  • nature of the organisation’s business
  • region
  • names (where possible) and email addresses of the 2 users who will load essential worker contact details