Scotland expands COVID-19 testing

18 May, 2020 / editorial
 Will Peakin  

Testing for the coronavirus is to be opened to everyone who is symptomatic over the age of five, the Scottish Government announced today.

It means anyone who is displaying any of the three symptoms of COVID-19 – continuous cough, high temperature, or loss of sense of taste or smell – will be able to book a test at the drive-through or mobile test centres. A limited number of home test kits are also available through the programme

Tests were previously available to over-65s, key workers and to anyone who needs to work and cannot do so from home. They were also available to household members of those groups.

The extension in testing eligibility comes ahead of the rollout of the new Test, Trace, Isolate and Support (TTIS) approach which the Government said will be used to keep transmission in communities low as the country moves out of lockdown. The extension is a four nation, UK-wide expansion of testing.

“This further expansion of testing will ensure that anyone with symptoms will be able to find out if they have COVID-19, and will therefore be able to know whether or not they should be isolating,” said Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister.

“As well as allowing more people to have a case of COVID-19 confirmed, today’s expansion will also be helpful as we build towards our strategy of test, trace, isolate and support – something that will be especially important as we start to emerge gradually from lockdown. This is vital in order to keep transmission in communities low.”

Background

Tests can be booked online: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. For those unable to access the portal, call 0300 303 2713. The tests are available through drive-through centres at Aberdeen, Edinburgh or Glasgow airports, and in Perth and Inverness. They are also available through the 12 mobile testing units across the country, which move every five days or so. Home test kits are also an option for people who can’t get to one of the test sites.

Tags: Covid-19

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