This is how to book a coronavirus test in Scotland - and when to get tested

Monday, 24th August 2020, 4:47 pm
Updated Monday, 24th August 2020, 4:47 pm
Anyone with suspected coronavirus symptoms is eligible for a test (Photo: Shutterstock)
Anyone with suspected coronavirus symptoms is eligible for a test (Photo: Shutterstock)

Anyone who is self-isolating in Scotland due to suspected symptoms of coronavirus is eligible for a test.

Those who experience symptoms of the virus should take a swab test to confirm if they have contracted the virus, which can be done at a local testing site, or by requesting a home test kit.

The most common symptoms of coronavirus include a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

Who can get a test?

You can book a test for coronavirus:

  • for yourself, if you have coronavirus symptoms
  • for someone you live with, if they have symptoms
  • if your local council asks you to get a test
  • if you’re taking part in a government pilot project

Key workers, and anyone in their household with symptoms, can access testing through their employer in the first instance, and will be given priority.

When should I get tested?

The swab test is only reliable for those who have coronavirus symptoms and should be taken in the first three days that symptoms appear.

Testing is considered to be effective up until day five, but should not be undertaken after this point unless it is for a specific reason. This will be agreed on a case by case basis.

Where can I get tested?

Testing under the UK programme in Scotland is currently conducted in drive-through sites which operate at the following locations.

  • Glasgow Airport
  • Edinburgh Airport
  • Aberdeen Airport
  • Prestwick Airport
  • Inverness - University of the Highlands and Islands campus
  • Perth – University of Highland and Islands campus

There are also a number of mobile testing units which will be located in towns across Scotland for short periods each time.

Depending on availability, there is also the option to book a home test kit. These kits are delivered and collected by Amazon and Royal Mail, and they do not have access to the result or any health data.

What does the test involve?

The test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.

If you are aged 12 or over you can do the swab yourself, or someone else can do it for you. Parents or guardians have to swab test children aged 11 or under.

How do I book a test?

If you have symptoms you can choose whether to attend one of the testing sites in Scotland or, subject to availability, have a home testing kit delivered to your home.

The Scottish Government recommends that you do not travel more than 90 minutes to reach a testing site. If there is not a site nearby, you should try to book a home testing kit.

To arrange a test, complete the self-help guide online first to check if you are eligible. If you cannot access the test form online, or need to help to complete it, call the coronavirus helpline on 0800 028 2816.

The home test option is also covered in the booking process. If you complete a self-referral and order a home test kit, it will be delivered to you the following day.

A Royal Mail courier will arrive the day after to collect it and take it to the lab. The aim is that results will then be received via text within 48 hours.