COVID-19 Staff Testing

Testing for COVID-19

Frontline workers, including community pharmacy staff in England, can access free testing for COVID-19, via the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) national testing service.

An online portal has been made available to book your test:

Who is eligible for a test?

You can get a test:

  • for yourself, if you have coronavirus symptoms now (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • for someone you live with, if they have symptoms
  • if you live in England and have been told to have a test before you go into hospital, for example, for surgery

Any employer that has any queries on the testing programme should contact DHSC by emailing

Where will testing take place?

The test will take place at one of the DHSC Regional Test Sites. The sites operate a drive-thru model, meaning the person to be tested or a member of their household must drive to the site. The sites cannot test people who walk, take public transport or a taxi. You can also access a postal test.

How does the testing process work?

The test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat, which can be done by the person themselves (self-administered) or by someone else for them (assisted).

Local NHS testing arrangements – Bolton – Updated 20.7.20

We have been informed that with immediate effect testing no longer take place at the University of Bolton Stadium site.

Staff and members of the public will need to go via the national portal  to book a test – this will include options to access a home testing kit or a drive through testing centre :

A military led testing facility will be in Bolton for the period of 20th July to 21st August (bookable via the national portal link above) to provide local access to a drive-through test.

For essential workers in your organisation who are self-isolating due to coronavirus symptoms this offers two main routes to obtain a test:

  • A worker self-refers to the national portal for a home delivery test or to book a test at a drive-through site (at a Regional test site or the Bolton military facility, subject to availability)


  • The employer makes a referral for the worker to have a drive-through test, by registering on the national Employer Referral Portal