Here's how families of school children can access Covid tests to take at home

The tests are available in one of four ways (Photo: BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
The tests are available in one of four ways (Photo: BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Rapid Covid tests are being made available to households and support bubbles which include school or nursery age children.

As part of the Government s efforts to keep transmission of coronavirus low, secondary school and college age pupils will be testing for the virus twice weekly using lateral flow (rapid) tests.

In addition to this, teaching staff and anyone living with or bubbled up with nursery or school age children will be able to access twice weekly testing.

How to get a test

There are four ways that families or support bubbles of nursery age or school age children can access testing. These are:

  • through employers if they offer testing to employees
  • at a local test site
  • by collecting a home test kit from a test site
  • by ordering a home test kit online

If you are not sure whether your workplace offers testing, you should contact your employer directly and ask.

Your second option is to locate your nearest test site, which you can do on the NHS website at this link. You may need to book an appointment to get tested at a centre, so you must make sure to check whether appointments are necessary before turning up. You'll test on site, supervised by a trained professional.

Alternatively, you can collect two packs of tests from your nearest collection point, which can be located at this link. Each pack contains seven tests and anyone over the age of 18 can pick them up.

Most points will be open from 1:30pm to 7pm, and you can check online whether the location is busy or open before you can go. There's no need to make an appointment but you should not visit the collection point outside of stated opening hours as it may be used to test people with coronavirus symptoms during other parts of the day.

The final option is to order a home testing kit, but you should only do this if the other options are not available to you, as this frees up home testing for those most in need.

The tests should deliver a result in around half an hour, and you should report your result to NHS Test and Trace on the same day.

You can report your test result online or by calling 119.