Covid-19 testing available for carers and those they live with

Last changed: Wednesday 13 May, 2020

On the 6 May 2020, unpaid carers were added to the list of essential workers prioritised for Covid-19 testing in England. This means that if you or the person you care for develop symptoms that could be caused by coronavirus you now can request to be tested. 

Note that the cared for will need to be living with you to have the right to be tested. This restriction is stated on the page about testing as ‘anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with any of those identified [as prioritised for testing.]’

How to get tested

At present unpaid carers must apply online for a test. To book your test directly, click on this link 

You will then be given the option to choose between a drive-through test or a home test kit.

There are currently 43 Regional Test Sites and the ones covering our patch are:

Leeds, Preston and York 

You must request a test within the first 5 days of symptoms and ideally within the first 3 days of symptoms as it could take 1 or 2 days to arrange. The website also warns that you may not be able to get a test depending on availability. When test availability is limited priority is given to frontline health workers.

For more information download the Self-referral portal user guide [PDF] and see the website Getting tested page. There is also a video explaining how the drive-through test works.

What should you expect during the test? 

The test is a swab test. A long cotton bud is used to swab inside your nose and at the back of your throat. This may feel uncomfortable. The government’s goal is to have the test results back within one or two days but in some instances the test results have taken at least four days to return.

If you do get tested let us know your experience. Were there any problems getting a test? Was the test easy to carry out?