Getting tested

The government has expanded groups of people eligible for coronavirus testing. 

Since June 2 2020, the following people can ask for a test:

  • anyone in England and Wales who has symptoms of coronavirus, whatever their age
  • anyone in Scotland and Northern Ireland aged over 5 who has symptoms of coronavirus

Anyone eligible can book a test using an online portal.

Tests for essential workers are prioritised over the tests available for the wider public through the NHS.


Care home residents and workers (England only)

In England, social care workers and residents in care-homes can get tested whether or not you have symptoms. Read the guidance here for care home residents and workers.

Working with Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, the government is working to deliver test kits directly to care homes across England. 

Testing in care homes is either administered by a local Health Protection Team or test kits that can be administered by carers and nurses.

  • Test kits are throat and nose swab tests
  • An online care home swabbing competency assessment is required before carrying out swabbing.


Although all with symptoms are now eligible for testing, essential workers are still granted priority access to testing.

This includes:

  • all NHS and social care staff, including
  • Essential public services staff
  • Utilities, communication and financial services staff, including:
    • 999 and 111 essential services
    • postal services and delivery
  • Public safety and national security staff
  • Transport workers
  • Education and childcare workers, including:
    • support and teaching staff
    • social workers
    • specialist education professionals
  • Critical personnel in the production and distribution of food, drink and essential goods
  • Local and national government staff critical to the effective delivery of the coronavirus response, or delivering essential public services, such as the payment of benefits
  • public and environmental health staff, including in government agencies and arm’s length bodies
  • funeral industry workers
  • frontline local authority staff and volunteers

Click here for a full list of essential workers

Go to the NHS website to apply for a test.

This page was last updated on June 4th.