COVID-19 (coronavirus): National Testing Programme for Essential/Key Workers

Coronavirus testing is now available in Northern Ireland for essential/key workers who are self-isolating due to having coronavirus-like symptoms or because a member of their household has symptoms. Essential workers in the NICS are included in the list of those eligible for testing.

This testing is targeted at those essential workers who are self-isolating because they are symptomatic, or have household members who are symptomatic, to help enable critical workers to return to work as soon as is safely possible.

Those eligible for testing are:

  • Essential workers who are self-isolating because they or someone they live with is displaying symptoms;
  • People over the age of 18 who are displaying symptoms and who live with an essential worker who is self-isolating; and
  • People aged between 5 and 18 who are displaying symptoms and who live with an essential worker who is self-isolating.

If you are an essential worker in the NICS who is self-isolating because either you or a member of your household has symptoms of COVID-19, you may now make an appointment for a test at one of the three test centres in Northern Ireland.

Full details of the testing programme, including test centre locations and details of how to arrange testing can be found on the PHA website.

If you are unsure whether you are an essential worker who is eligible for this test, it is important that you confirm this first with your line manager.

The COVID-19 staff information hub has been updated with information on testing. 

Should any change to the eligibility criteria for testing be determined by PHA, NICS guidance for managers and staff will be reviewed accordingly.

Line managers should ensure that this message is brought to the attention of all relevant staff.

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