Coronavirus: Testing extended to include key workers in Scotland

Published
Related Topics
image copyrightGetty Images

Key workers in Scotland with symptoms of coronavirus can now apply to be tested.

Health and social care workers were already eligible for testing but the programme has been expanded to cover other critical workers.

They include people working in food production, energy supply and supermarket workers.

According to new government guidance, they can apply to be tested at one of four drive-through sites in Scotland.

The development emerged as the Scottish government confirmed the deaths of 47 people who had tested positive for the virus, bringing the total to 1,231.

Almost 48,000 people have been tested in Scotland, with about 10,000 producing a positive result.

Testing is being targeted at people who are self-isolating - because they or a member of their household has symptoms - to enable them to get back to work as quickly as possible.

They can apply for a test through a UK government website which has been overwhelmed by demand since it launched on Friday.

It was initially open only to people in England but tests became available to people in Scotland on Saturday.

Who can apply for a test?

image copyrightGetty Images

Tests were already available to health and social care workers through NHS testing facilities.

Police officers, prison officers, the fire service, ambulance service and NHS 24 staff have also been able to access testing.

They have now been extended to key workers or people in their household with symptoms of the virus.

The list of key workers include:

  • Essential workers in critical national infrastructure: defence personnel, environmental protection, animal health and welfare, funeral industry and staff working for third sector organisations supporting people and children who are vulnerable, including grant aided schools, food supply chain and food processing workers, and workers on medicines and pharmaceutical supply, chemicals supply, energy and water supply
  • Staff involved in delivering other essential services: staff providing child care for key workers, public transport workers, postal services, financial services, supermarket workers, construction and essential public services, court and Crown Office staff
  • Staff involved in volunteering or in nationally or locally significant industry important to economic sustainability and growth

Where can you get tested?

The tests are carried out at drive-through sites at Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports and at the University of the Highlands and Islands campus in Inverness.

A limited number of home test kits are also available.

How do you apply for a test?

image copyrightGetty Images

Eligible employers can register with a new website and refer staff for appointments.

They will be invited to book an appointment or offered a home testing kit if they are unable to attend a drive-through centre.

According to the government guidance, the target for sending out the results by text is 48 hours.