Expansion of antigen testing for Covid-19 for essential workers - update

24 April 2020

Further expansion of antigen testing for Covid-19 for essential workers in England & Scotland has been announced. This posting has been updated from one published last week to include further guidance received on Saturday 25th April, including additional guidance for Scotland.

Please find attached a letter from the Department of Health and Social Care outlining how every essential worker who needs a test for coronavirus can get one.

From now, essential workers can book tests for themselves and their household via a new online portal on gov.uk. This will make the process of getting an appointment quicker and easier, while reducing the burden on business. The online booking service will apply to England Scotland only, but full details on how to access testing in all nations and who is eligible can be found here: 


We wanted to provide you an update as soon as possible, and would strongly encourage you to communicate this new service to your eligible workforce and colleagues. You may be aware that demand for these tests has been high. However, we strongly encourage you to advise your self-isolating staff to get a test if they or someone in their household have symptoms. More allocations become available each day.

If you need further guidance and support, please contact DHSC at opshub@dhsc.gov.uk.

To help you communicate with staff we attach a package of materials to be used for colleague engagement:

  • Letter from DHSC and Scottish Government to employers
  • Information pack explaining the programme in brief and how to use the communications materials to inform your staff
  • Q&A for employers; Q&A to answer staff questions
  • Slide pack explaining how to use the employer portal & the employee portal to share with staff
  • Infographic explaining how to book a test
  • Additional information from the Scottish Government

This pack of resources, as well as a full campaign toolkit including digital and print assets for you to share and use to communicate with colleagues us available from the Coronavirus Campaign Resource Centre.

Written by: Lorna Williams