How to book a GOV.UK coronavirus test: Who are keyworkers and how can people get tested?

23 April 2020, 19:12

Coronavirus testing is being expanded, the government announced on Thursday
Coronavirus testing is being expanded, the government announced on Thursday. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the government has expanded the criteria for who can be tested for coronavirus. But what are the new rules on how to book a coronavirus test and who exactly is now eligible for testing?

Coronavirus testing has officially made some progress as Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced the government will now be asking key workers to take a test.

However, with still so much confusion around Covid-19 testing, we take a look at the big questions around who can get tested, where and most importantly, how you book your coronavirus test.

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Here's everything you need to know:

Testing is now available for people living with key workers
Testing is now available for people living with key workers. Picture: PA

What are the new coronavirus testing rules?

Matt Hancock confirmed that from Thursday April 23 employers of essential workers can get a test for any of their staff.

From April 24, essential workers will be able to book themselves a testing appointment directly.

However for the first time, testing is now also being rolled out to anyone living in the same household as a key worker.

He also confirmed the whole process will be free for those being tested.

What key workers are eligible for testing?

Testing is now available for anyone who qualifies as a key worker.

It is also available for anyone living in the same household as a key worker. This includes:

Health and social care workers

- All NHS staff

- Frontline health and social care workers

- Producers and distributers of medicine and PPE

Education and childcare

- Nursery workers

- Teachers

- Teaching assistants

- Social workers

Food and necessary goods

- Food chain workers in production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery

Key public services

- Postal workers

- Justice workers

- Religious staff

- Those responsible for managing the deceased

- Journalists providing public service broadcasting

Local and national government

- Administrative roles essential to the effective delivery of Covid-19 response or delivering public services

Utility workers

- Staff working in oil, gas, electricity, water and sewerage operations

- Civil nuclear, chemical and telecommunications staff

- Essential financial services

Public safety and national security

- Police and support staff

- Ministry of Defence civilian staff and armed forces personnel

- Fire and rescue staff

- Border security

- Prison and probation workers


- Air, water, road and rail travel workers

These categories apply in England only. Devolved administrations’ lists may vary.

There are 23 mobile testing sites in England
Where can you get a coronavirus test? There are currently 23 mobile testing sites in the UK. Picture: PA

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How can I get a coronavirus test?

Matt Hancock said employers or workers can go on to get a test for any of their staff or themselves.

Once the swabs have been booked online, the recipient will receive results by text.

The test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat, which can be done by the person themselves (self-administered) or by someone else (assisted).

Mr Hancock said in this afternoon's briefing: "I want to make it as easy as possible for people to get a test" and said there are 31 places around the UK that can do them.