Key workers and everyone in their household can book coronavirus tests online today if they have symptoms of the disease.
The Secretary of Health announced the decision after testing capacity fell from 40,000 to 51,000 on Thursday, which means the UK is “ahead of our plans” to reach 100,000 tests a day. here at the end of April.
Here is a simple guide to who qualifies as a key worker, how to book a test and what it entails.
Who can be tested?
The government has declared that screening patients for the virus remains the priority.
However, in England, key workers with symptoms of coronavirus and the people who live with them and have symptoms can now be tested.
The government has said the tests are most effective within three days of the onset of symptoms, a high temperature, or a continuous cough.
Employers were able to register and refer key workers who have self-isolated since Thursday.
Who qualifies as a key worker?
The government has released a list of essential workers that includes all NHS and social service staff made up of doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers and caregivers to support staff and workers of the supply chain.
Teachers, firefighters, local and national government staff, supermarkets, police and delivery drivers are just a few of the other roles included in the list.
Some public service, communications and financial services employees are also included. The full list is here.
How to organize a test?
Critical workers can enter their contact information online here.
They will then receive an email or text message the same day inviting them to book a test.
They can choose between booking an appointment at one of the more than 30 regional driving test sites or having a test kit sent to their home.
But the government has stressed that the number of kits will initially be limited, so it encourages people to go to a regional test site if they can.
Hancock said that people who cannot log in can book a test with their employer.
Where will the tests take place?
The government says it plans to have 50 driving test sites by the end of April so that most people don’t have to drive more than 45 minutes to get to a regional test site.
A home test kit delivery service has been designed with industry partners, including Royal Mail and Amazon.
:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker
A network of new mobile test units designed by military engineers is being created to go to nursing homes, police stations, prisons and other sites where there is a demand for tests .
Satellite test kits will also be sent directly to nursing homes across England to allow testing of symptomatic residents.
What is the test?
The test involves taking a swab from the nose and back of the throat and can be done by the person himself or by someone else.
What happens next?
The completed samples will be sent to an analysis laboratory where they will be analyzed.
The government aims to have driving site test results sent by text message within 48 hours and home test kit results within 72 hours of collection.
People will receive advice on the next steps after receiving their results.