COVID-19 testing for health and social care staff

Local guidance on testing

For general guidance on getting a COVID-19 test for people with and without symptoms, see:

People without symptoms

People in adult social care who are eligible for testing should test twice a week with lateral flow tests before beginning work, with the tests three to four days apart.

If you only work two days per week, you should take lateral flow tests on these days before beginning work.


COVID-19 testing in adult social care 

Reporting a COVID-19 lateral flow test result is encouraged, even if negative or void.

People with symptoms

If you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19  you should:

  • take a lateral flow test as soon as you develop symptoms
  • do another lateral flow test 48 hours after the first test
  • stay away from work and do the lateral flow tests at home

You should only come into work if both lateral flow test results are negative and you are well enough to work.

If you test positive the guidance on ending self-isolation early through additional testing remains the same.

If you are a contact of someone with COVID-19 you can continue working. You don’t need to do additional testing or self-isolate, but:

  • a risk assessment should be carried out
  • you should comply with all relevant infection control precautions
  • PPE should be worn properly throughout the day.

If you go on to develop symptoms, you should follow the guidance for staff with symptoms.

More information:  infection prevention and control COVID-19 supplement  

All settings

For an overview of guidance in all settings, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for adult social care settings

Bulk upload spreadsheet for COVID-19 tests

Download guidance and a spreadsheet to record the details of people you've tested for coronavirus on that day:

See: Organisation testing registration: record of users

Care homes

Whole care home testing is available for residents and staff in all adult care homes:

Information about:

Reporting new COVID-19 outbreaks to the UK Health Security Agency

If you have one or more cases of suspected COVID-19, please read:

COVID-19 testing in adult social care

If there is an outbreak of COVID-19, please:

  • inform the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Health Protection team:
  • read their response thoroughly. It should cover outbreak guidance, and what further support they can offer if you have difficulty controlling the outbreak or case numbers escalate

Extra care and supported living

There are two different national testing programmes available for extra care and supported living settings – 'high risk’ and ‘wider settings’.

COVID-19 testing for adult social care services

Home care workers

See the government guidance on:

COVID-19 testing for adult social care services

Personal assistants

See government guidance:

Day care centres

See the government guidance:

COVID-19 testing for adult social care services


See the government guidance on:

Help and advice on testing

Check the advice on testing for coronavirus (NHS)

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