The UK government has established a new network of Covid testing facilities for key workers.
This programme runs alongside the existing programme of testing in the NHS for clinical purposes and testing of key workers in health and social care.
Testing will allow symptomatic key workers and their household members to know whether or not they have the virus. This will in turn keep essential services running.
What the changes mean for keyworkers in Scotland
Access to Covid testing in Scotland has been widened and will now be determined via a prioritisation matrix for key workers that includes a broader range of private sector workers and essential services.
Third Sector staff that can access testing:
- Staff involved in volunteering to provide support to vulnerable people and communities
- Staff working for third sector organisations supporting people and children who are vulnerable, including grant aided schools
Other staff that can access testing:
- Staff delivering NHS services, providing social care to protect and care for the most vulnerable, all NHS staff and independent contractors working for the NHS, including community pharmacy and emergency dental care, and all social care staff who work with vulnerable people and the social care system, including care homes, care at home and children’s services
- Staff with face-to-face roles in residential institutions with people in the care of the state, those who are working essential services with niche roles, where service resilience is at risk, including operational staff in prisons, staff working with looked after children, those working on critical national infrastructure (e.g. energy supply) with niche skills essential to maintain services safely and defence staff living in Scotland who fall within the MOD’s very highest priority category for testing
- Essential workers in critical national infrastructure fundamental for safety and security, and life-line services. This includes defence personnel, environmental protection, animal health and welfare and the funeral industry
- Staff directly involved in delivering other essential services. This includes staff providing child care for key workers, public transport workers, postal services, financial services, supermarket workers, construction and essential public services, court and Crown Office staff