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Who are key workers and how do they get tested for coronavirus?
23 April 2020, 19:32
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?
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
Here's everything you need to know:
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
- 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
- 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.
How can I get a coronavirus test?
Matt Hancock said employers or workers can go on gov.uk 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.