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:

Testing of staff with symptoms or who have a positive lateral flow test

Any staff member who receives a positive test result from a lateral flow test must take a PCR test within 48 hours.

Negative PCR test result

If the test is negative and they have no symptoms they can go back work.

Positive PCR test result

If the PCR test is positive, they must:

  • not attend work
  • notify their line manager immediately
  • self-isolate for at least 10 days

They cannot continue to work in any capacity, even with clients who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been vaccinated.

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:

Testing for adult care homes contains guidance on testing care home residents and workers.

Testing for professionals visiting care homes covers the testing policy for visiting professionals.

Admission and care of residents in a care home during COVID-19 explains how to admit and care for residents safely and protect staff in care homes.

Reporting new COVID-19 outbreaks to Public Health England

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

Care home COVID testing guidance

If the guidance says you need to report the cases to your local Health Protection Team, phone 0344 225 3861 (hold then option 3).

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’.

Home care workers

See the government guidance on:

For more information on home care agency testing, you can sign up to DHSC’s home care agency testing webinars which are hosted every Tuesday and Thursday.

Personal assistants

Personal assistants can order twice weekly lateral flow tests, see:

Day care centres

Weekly PCR home testing is available for adult day care centre workers. See the government guidance:


See the government guidance on:

 Hospice staff who are identified as close contacts

Fully vaccinated workers in hospices who do not have symptoms and are identified as close contacts of someone with COVID-19, must do the following:

  • Take a PCR test.
  • They must not attend work until they have had a negative result.
  • Upon return to work following a negative PCR test, staff must take a daily lateral flow test for up to 10 days. Hospices should try to ensure that fully vaccinated staff who are exempt from self-isolation do not have direct patient contact during this 10 day period. 

Help and advice on testing

First check the advice on testing for coronavirus (NHS)

If you have questions, or are having difficulties accessing testing, email