You can get a throat and nose swab test for whether you currently have coronavirus. This is part of the governments' 5-pillar strategy for coronavirus testing. Testing is most effective within 3 days of symptoms developing.
Who can be tested
Anybody with coronavirus symptoms can get tested, but you should only get tested if you have coronavirus symptoms.
- a new continuous cough
- a temperature
- a loss or change in taste or smell
If you meet the criteria, you can select a regional testing site drive-through appointment or home test kit.
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.
For most employees, only symptomatic people in the household can be tested. If the employee works in social care, however, the employee can be tested whether symptomatic or asymptomatic.
It is a secure portal for employers to use to upload the full list of names and contact details of self-isolating essential workers.
If referred through this portal, essential workers will receive a text message with a unique invitation code to book a test for themselves (if symptomatic) or their symptomatic household member(s) at a regional testing site.
In order to obtain a login, employers of essential workers should email email@example.com with:
- organisation name
- nature of the organisation’s business
- names (where possible) and email addresses of the 2 users who will load essential worker contact details
Once employer details have been verified, 2 login credentials will be issued for the employer referral portal.
Testing for care homes
All eligible care homes who need them will have received tests regardless of symptoms, with kits being delivered across the country.
As well as testing kits that have been sent to homes directly, tens of thousands of care home workers and residents have also been tested by Public Health England or at drive-through testing sites and mobile testing units. This is in addition to care home workers receiving test kits to their own homes through the separate employer and employee portal.
Test to Release
Passengers arriving from countries where they are required to isolate on arrival now have the option to shorten the self-isolation by up to half on receipt of a negative COVID-19 test.
This is available as an option for all passengers arriving into England by plane, ferry or train who have been in a ‘non-exempt’ location in the past 10 days, the move will ensure that passengers who receive a negative result on or after day 5 can immediately finish self-isolation, but must continue following the current domestic rules in their local area.
You must book and pay for a COVID-19 test from a private provider on the GOV.UK list, to ensure the NHS Test and Trace capacity is protected.