Coronavirus National Testing Programme for key workers

The Minister of Health announced, on 22 April, a further expansion of testing through Northern Ireland centres to allow symptomatic frontline workers and/or their symptomatic household members to know whether or not they have the virus.

Testing is now available to key workers who work in the essential areas listed in the guidance below. 

Coronavirus testing is now available for key workers who are self-isolating due to having coronavirus-like symptoms or because a member of their household has symptoms.

Those eligible for testing are:

  • If you are a frontline worker who is self-isolating because you are displaying symptoms, then you are eligible to take this test.
  • If you are a frontline worker who is self-isolating because someone else in your household is displaying symptoms, and that person is over the age of 18, then they are eligible to take the test.
  • If you are a frontline worker who is self-isolating because an under 18-year-old in your household is displaying symptoms then they are eligible to take the test. A parent or guardian must perform the swab test on 5-11-year olds. 12-18-year olds can perform the test on themselves. The test is unsuitable for under-fives.

Key workers are those who work in essential areas. This includes workers in:

  • any government department and their non-departmental public bodies;
  • the Health and Safety Executive;
  • roles necessary for critical national infrastructure to continue to operate (for example utility, transport sectors);
  • roles necessary to support the health and wellbeing of the community directly (for example funeral directors, refuse collectors, medical, energy, utility, transport and food supplies, food production, agriculture and food sectors, or supply pinch points).

How to arrange testing

If you are a key worker who is self-isolating due to having coronavirus-like symptoms or because a member of your household has symptoms, you can now book a test via a new online portal.

The new digital portal has two booking options:

Employee Self-Referral Portal: https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/

Employer Referral: organisations need to send registration enquires to be emailed to portalservicedesk@dhsc.gov.uk to get the username and password before using the portal.

Further details are also available on the Public Health Agency website:

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