The Scottish Government website confirms that unpaid carers are included with the group of key workers who are able to access testing. Unpaid carers are specifically mentioned within priority group 4:
Staff and volunteers in third or public sector organisations including unpaid carers, and staff in nationally or locally significant industry important to economic sustainability and growth
The NHS Inform website includes information on the symptoms to look out for (in brief these are: a new continuous cough and/or fever / high temperature and/or loss of sense of smell or taste), isolation guidance to follow if symptoms develop, as well as a simple and easy to use guide to help determine if testing would be appropriate. Within this guide unpaid carers should select the answer to each question that is most appropriate to them, but this could include:
Example path through the online guide to testing
Question 1: Have your symptoms appeared in the last 5 days?
Answer 1: Yes (if applicable)
Question 2: Which of the following applies to you?
Answer 2 : Key worker or household member of a key worker OR Over 65 years old or live with someone aged 65 or over (if applicable)
Question 3: Which kind of key worker category applies to you or your household member?
Answer 3: Priority group 4
Unpaid carers who have developed symptoms in the last 5 days will then be directed to the self-referral portal of the UK testing programme. Individuals will be asked to confirm they qualify as a key worker and should select ‘OK, I qualify’ and when asked to select occupation, should select ‘volunteer’.
Those who are eligible will then select which testing option is most suitable for them. They will be offered the option to order a home testing kit (if available as demand for these has been very high and supply is currently limited) or to attend one of the drive through testing sites. For those who do not have internet access, tests can be booked by calling the national helpline number on 0300 303 2713.Visit the UK Government Self-Referral page for home testing
The locations offered will be based on the postcode entered. Drive through sites in Scotland are located at:
- Glasgow airport
- Edinburgh airport
- Aberdeen airport
- Inverness – University of the Highlands and Islands campus
- Perth – University of the Highlands and Islands campus
In addition there are 12 mobile testing units which move around the country. Government guidance is that you should not travel for more than 90 minutes in order to get a test. Home test kits are available for those that are unable to travel, for example, if your caring situation means you are unable to travel to a testing centre.
When attending your test you should take one form of identification such as a passport or drivers license and your local authority’s Carer ID letter if you’ve been issued this.
Results from these tests are sent by text message and should be received within 72 hours.