Guidance on coronavirus testing

One of the most challenging things about coronavirus is the uncertainty: not knowing who has the infection or when it’s safe to return to normal life. Testing can help provide greater certainty and help defeat the disease. Here is the government’s latest guidance on who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of test available.

Who can be tested

The priority is testing patients, but also being tested are:

  • all essential workers including NHS and social care workers with symptoms (see the full list of essential workers)
  • anyone over 65 with symptoms
  • anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home (for example, construction workers, shop workers, emergency plumbers and delivery drivers)
  • anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with any of those identified above

Additionally, the following are being tested:

  • social care workers and residents in care homes (with or without symptoms) both to investigate outbreaks and, following successful pilots, as part of a rolling programme to test all care homes
  • NHS workers and patients without symptoms, in line with NHS England guidance

This means anyone in one of these groups can find out whether they have the virus. Testing is most effective within 3 days of symptoms developing.

You can select a drive-through appointment at our local ‘Hot Hub’ at Headcorn Aerodrome or a home test kit. Home test kit availability will initially be limited but more will become available.

Click here for detailed information and a guide which explains how to use the online self-referral service.