Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult care home visitor testing guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) adult care home lateral flow testing guidance which forms part of the Test and Protect Pathways Programme.

11 Jan 2021
Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult care home visitor testing guidance

Care home Lateral Flow Device testing (staff, visitors)

This page contains guidance and materials to support care homes to implement lateral flow device (LFD) testing. 

The following groups in care homes should be tested using lateral flow devices:

  • designated family/friend visitors to care homes (in Level 3 areas where indoor visiting is supported) see latest visiting guidance
  • care home staff twice weekly alongside PCR testing (enhanced testing) (from 4 January)
  • outbreak management staff testing (from 4 January)
  • small number of professional visitors to care homes who are not covered by arrangements in place through the NHS / their employer  (e.g. podiatrists, dentists, optometrists, essential maintenance staff, site contractors)

Visiting professionals

The following groups should be tested using LFDs in advance of attending care homes and residential settings organised through their employer:

Visiting health and social care professionals who have not had a test in advance should not be refused entry as long as the correct IPC measures are followed.

Please note that these materials will be updated regularly so please continue to check this website for up to date information and guidance. 

Delivery of test kits

Stock for twice weekly staff testing should have arrived by 8 January. After this date a further order will be automatically issued to you every 4 weeks until the Covid Testing and Registration Portal is ready for Care Homes to order from. There will be a further communication to advise when this is in place. Urgent resupply requests If you have urgent requests for further test supply to support with outbreaks or testing your staff twice weekly, please use the mailbox to do this. When making these necessary urgent requests, please include the following in your email request:

  • care Home Service Number (CS200XXXXXXX)
  • number of staff
  • the nature of the urgent request (e.g. outbreak, stock depleted due to a specific reason) If you are experiencing an outbreak, please add OUTBREAK in the email subject line
  • current remaining number of Lateral Flow devices for staff twice weekly testing.

There is also a video on LFT testing.

Sector letters and updates

Training materials

Resources - testing

For visitors – testing information, consent and templates

First published: 11 Jan 2021 Last updated: 15 Jan 2021 -