Can I Book To Take A Coronavirus Test? Who Is Now Eligible For Testing And How To Apply

24 April 2020, 11:30 | Updated: 24 April 2020, 12:48

The government have made coronavirus tests available for 10 million key workers and their households. But who now counts as an essential worker and how can you book a test?

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Thursday’s daily coronavirus briefing the government have now made testing available for 10 million key workers and their households, if they think they have coronavirus symptoms.

If you’re in the key worker category you can register to apply for a home test-kit or book a drive-through test at one of the locations set-up across the country.

On the first day of the new initiative launched today [Friday 24 April] at-home test kits ran out by mid-morning.

The government are urging people to check the site each day at 8am in order to apply for an at-home test, but slots for drive-through test centres remain available.

The Government apologised for any inconvenience and said they were trying to "rapidly increase availability" while a statement on the site reads: “Sorry, we have issued all of today's viral swab testing kits. Please come back tomorrow."

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Previously, only NHS staff were the priority for coronavirus tests, but the key workers category has been expanded to “get Britain back on her feet”.

Who counts as a key worker and am I eligible to take a coronavirus test?

Coronavirus: Essential workers can apply for an at-home test kit or book a slot at a drive-through test centre
Coronavirus: Essential workers can apply for an at-home test kit or book a slot at a drive-through test centre. Picture: PA

The government website has a complete list of essential workers who are now prioritised for testing and it includes all NHS and social care staff, essential public services staff, public safety and national security staff, transport workers, and education and childcare workers.

Critical personnel in the production of food are also deemed essential; including those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale, and delivery.

It also includes local and national government staff critical to the response of coronavirus, public and environmental health staff, frontline local authority staff, utilities, communication and financial services staff.

For a complete list of who is considered a key worker now eligible for coronavirus testing, visit the government’s website.

How to book a coronavirus test

Drive through test centres are set up across the country for coronavirus testing
Drive through test centres are set up across the country for coronavirus testing. Picture: PA

You should only apply to book a test if you have coronavirus symptoms.

To book a test for yourself, someone in your household, or your employee, all you have to do is head to the government website at gov.uk and register for an at-home test kit, which are in limited supply, or book a drive-through testing slot.

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