A UK Government network of COVID-19 testing facilities for key workers has been established across Scotland, with priority determined according to people’s roles.
The programme, which runs alongside the existing programme of testing in the NHS for clinical purposes and testing of key workers in health and social care (under which substance use treatment service staff falls), will allow symptomatic key workers and their household members to know whether or not they have the virus.
Guidance from the Scottish Government states that testing will now be determined via a prioritisation matrix for key workers that includes a broader range of private sector workers and essential services.
Sectors who are currently able to access testing, include health and social care staff, police officers, prison officers, fire service, ambulance service, and NHS 24 staff.
All symptomatic people categorised as key workers and members of their household can be tested.
When to get tested
You should get tested in the first three days of COVID-19 symptoms appearing, although testing is considered effective up until day five.
No testing should be undertaken after day five, unless it’s for a specific reason which will be agreed on a case by case basis by local microbiologists.
If you are self-isolating because a person you live with has symptoms, you can refer them for testing.
Arranging a test if you are a key worker
Testing under the UK programme in Scotland is currently conducted in drive-through sites operating at:
- Glasgow Airport
- Edinburgh Airport
- Aberdeen Airport
- University of the Highlands and Islands campus in Inverness
A limited number of home test kits are also available.
Both individuals or employers can refer for testing, more information on how to do this can be found on the Scottish Government website.