In this section

As COVID-19 continues to spread without people showing any symptoms, regular testing for staff, residents/service users and the general public can help to identify people who may have the virus and ensure prompt action to reduce potential transmission.

General Testing Guidance

Key sources of testing information

If you are a member of the general public please see: Get a COVID-19 Test

Common COVID-19 symptoms

  • High temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • Lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed

In older people, other signs include:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle/joint pain
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Hoarseness
  • Nasal discharge
  • Increase confusion
  • Decreased mobility/alertness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite

Advice about getting tested and self isolation

If you are experiencing symptoms you should isolate immediately and access a free NHS coronavirus test. This is known as a PCR test.You can find advice from the NHS on what to do if you are identified as a contact of someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 App.

If you have recently been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 you should follow self-isolation guidance, to protect your family, friends, colleagues and others around you.

For further information about contacts with people (with confirmed COVID-19) that you do not live with (this may include contact with people in your support bubble).  Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person

Lateral Flow Device test (if you do not have symptoms)

Around 1 in 3 individuals with COVID-19 do not display symptoms. The rapid COVID-19 test (lateral flow device (LFD) test) are easy to use and provide a result within 30 minutes. These tests play a crucial role in the fight against COVID-19 and breaking hidden chains of transmission. Understanding lateral flow antigen testing for people without symptoms

The tests are now widely available for the General Public at testing sites, within the workplace and in their own homes.

Regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) tests if you do not have symptoms

Self swab test

Watch a video on how to administer nasal and throat swabs on yourself:

COVID-19 Antibody test

The antibody test is an indicator that someone may have had the Covid-19 infection and developed antibodies. However, a positive result does not mean that you are immune to future infections and a negative result does not mean you have not been infected and so regardless of the result all social distancing and PPE requirements must be continued, as well as routine testing for COVID-19.

Supporting Employees to Apply for Financial Support to Self-Isolate 

The government has launched a new Self isolation Service Hub. This is a telephone line for employers to provide NHS Test & Trace with a list of people who have been asked to self-isolate because someone has tested positive for COVID-19 in the workplace. 

Employers should call NHS Test & Trace on 020 3743 6715 with:

  • The list of people who have been identified as contacts of a case of COVID-19 and  
  • the CTAS ID the person who tested positive for COVID-19  (from NHS Test and Trace)

Once NHS Test and Trace have logged details of the contacts they will allocate each of them a NHS test & Trace reference number. Without the NHS Test & Trace reference, employees cannot apply for financial support such as the Test and Trace Support Scheme.

Guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family

This guidance – Guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family is for anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who, due to a lifelong condition, illness, disability, serious injury, a mental health condition or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.

Guidance for specific providers

Care Home Testing Guidance

Care homes have access to regular whole home testing for all residents and all asymptomatic staff

Testing information for Care Home

Home Care Testing Guidance

Every social care worker who needs a test can access one.

Testing information for Home Care

Supported Living / Housing with Care Testing Guidance

Testing helps to support prevention and control of Covid-19.

Testing information for Supported Living

Day centres Testing Guidance

Anyone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate with their household and arrange a test.

Testing information for Day Centres

Asymptomatic testing for personal assistants

Full guidance is available here.
For testing purposes, a personal assistant is someone who is directly employed by an individual (or self-employed) to provide care and support to enable them to live as independently as possible. This care could include support in the home, or to go out into the community. All personal assistants who provide care that requires them to come within 2 metres of the person they support and who support adults over the age of 18 are eligible for testing.

Page last updated on August 10th, 2021 at 2:35pm

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