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.

Priority Testing

Community pharmacists and their staff are classed as essential workers who are prioritised for testing and employers can refer essential workers for testing if they are self-isolating because either they or members of their household have coronavirus symptoms.

They can do this by uploading the names and contact details of self-isolating essential workers to the secure employer referral portal.

Find out more about using the employer referral portal

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).