How essential workers can book Coronavirus (COVID-19) tests

All essential workers and their households in England who are self-isolating with symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) can now be tested for the virus. Employers of key workers can also refer their staff for testing.

Key Workers Coronavirus Test England

How can key workers in England get tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The government has announced that essential workers – including NHS and care staff, teachers, emergency services, supermarket workers and delivery drivers – and members of their households who are showing symptoms of coronavirus will now be able to get tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Employees can book a test for themselves or members of their household who are experiencing symptoms. Essential workers using the new portal will receive a same-day text or email inviting them to either book an appointment at one of around 30 drive-through testing sites across the country or receive a home-testing kit.

Alternatively, employers of key workers can register their staff by emailing with two email addresses that will be used to log in. Once essential worker details have been uploaded and verified, employers can use the employer portal for COVID-19 testing with login details.

How long will it take for key workers to get test results for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The government say that drive-through coronavirus test results will arrive by text within 48 hours of testing and the aim is for most people not to have to drive for more than 45 minutes to reach a regional testing site.

Home-test results will take around 72 hours to process, however it should be noted that initial availability of home tests will be limited.

Which employees can get a Coronavirus (COVID-19) test?

All essential workers and their household in England will be able to get a Coronavirus (COVID-19) test if they have suspected symptoms. The official list of key workers includes:

  • health and social care staff, including producers and distributors of medicines and personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • teachers and social workers
  • key public service workers, including those required to run the justice system, religious staff and journalists providing public service broadcasting
  • local and national government staff
  • food and other necessary goods workers, including those involved in the production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery of food
  • public safety workers, including police, Ministry of Defence staff, armed forces personnel, fire and rescue staff and prison workers
  • transport staff who work in air, water, road or rail
  • utilities, communication and financial services staff

You can see a full list of key workers in England on GOV.UK.

See also

What does the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) mean for businesses?

Government to amend insolvency law to keep businesses trading

What does it mean to be furloughed?

What does the COVID-19 'lockdown' mean for UK employers?

Find out more

Employer portal for COVID-19 testing (GOV.UK)

Key workers: apply for a coronavirus test (GOV.UK)

List of essential workers and those prioritised for testing (England only) (GOV.UK)

COVID-19: guidance for employees (GOV.UK)

Image: Getty Images

Publication date: 24 April 2020