UK expands Coronavirus National Testing Programme

Posted 20 April 2020

Date: 20 Apr 2020

Type: FSRH News and Information

The Coronavirus National Testing Programme has expanded capacity to test more frontline workers who are having to self-isolate due to coronavirus-like symptoms or because a member of their household has symptoms. Staff working in local authority provided or commissioned front-line public health services, including sexual and reproductive health services, are now eligible for testing.

The full list of eligible employers includes:

  • All NHS and social care staff, including hospital, community and primary care, and relevant staff providing ancillary support to frontline NHS services (e.g. accommodation, catering) and voluntary workers.
  • Police, fire and rescue services.
  • Local authority staff, including core and essential workers such as those working with vulnerable children and adults, with victims of domestic violence, and with the homeless and rough sleepers, and those staff essential to the continuity of business.
  • Local authority employed or commissioned staff delivering front-line public health services.
  • Defence, prisons and probation, and judiciary staff.
  • Front-line benefits workers.

In addition, government departments, national agencies and local resilience forums have discretion to refer other critical workers in their area for testing as determined by local need and available capacity. This includes frontline workers in the private sector, with a focus on staff delivering key medical, energy, utility, transport and food supplies.  

Any frontline worker in England who is on the above list and would like to be tested should speak to their employer. Employers of frontline workers will be provided with information on how to make an appointment for their staff through their local resilience forum (where the local region chooses to organise testing in this way), their associated national department or agency, or directly through the Department of Health and Social Care.

Any employer that has queries should contact their local resilience forum, their associated national government department/agency, or the Department of Health and Social Care at

More information related to testing can be found at