Covid testing – who takes priority?

The government has released guidance on which groups are first in line when it comes to getting a test for Covid-19.

They are:

Acute clinical care staff – those who provide emergency treatment and critical care

Care home workers and residents – staff will be tested every week, and residents every 28 days, all new admissions will be tested

NHS staff – including GPs and pharmacists

People living in outbreak areas – where there is a higher chance of the virus spreading and positive result

Teachers with symptoms – to help keep classrooms and schools open

For the general public, you must only seek a test if you are displaying one or more of the symptoms of Covid-19, which are:

· A high temperature
· A new, continuous cough
· Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

You should not seek a test if you do not have any of these symptoms.

Even if you live with, or have had close contact with a positive case, you must not request a test unless you become unwell with one of the three symptoms above. This is unless you have been advised otherwise the by NHS Track and Trace system or another healthcare professional.

Read more about the government’s allocation of swab testing.