Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested
Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested.
You can get a throat and nose swab test for whether you currently have coronavirus. This is part of the 5-pillar strategy for coronavirus testing. Testing is most effective within 3 days of symptoms developing.
Who can be tested
The following groups of people can ask for a test through the NHS website:
- anyone in England and Wales who has symptoms of coronavirus, whatever their age
- anyone in Scotland and Northern Ireland aged 5 and over who has symptoms of coronavirus
The following groups of people can access priority testing through GOV.UK:
- essential workers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
- anyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over 5 years old who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with an essential worker
- children under 5 years old in England and Wales who have symptoms of coronavirus and live with an essential worker (this test must be performed by a parent or guardian)