Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested in Scotland

Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of test available.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested in Scotland
How to arrange a test

How to arrange a test

You can use this self help guide: access to testing for coronavirus on NHS Inform to help you select the right test.

Citizens’ Portal

If you or a member of your household have symptoms, go to: ask for a coronavirus test 

You can choose whether to attend one of the testing sites in Scotland or, subject to availability, to have a home testing kit delivered to your home.  We recommend that you do not travel more than 90 minutes to reach a testing site.  If there is not a site near to you, then you should try to book a home testing kit. Guidance on tests for children is available on the booking system.

Self-referral portal for workers

If you are a key worker or have to leave home to work, and you have symptoms or a member of your household is symptomatic: go to the self-referral portal.

You can book a test for you or for your symptomatic household members at one of the testing sites in Scotland or request a home testing kit. 

Employer portal

In addition to workers being able to self-refer eligible employers can register and refer staff members or their household.

Obtain a login for the employer referral portal

To get a login, employers of key and other workers should email

You must supply two email addresses that will primarily be used to load worker contact details.

Once employer details have been verified, two login credentials will be issued for the employer referral portal.

Employers should then login at to the employer referral portal to make referrals.

Any questions from employers or workers about accessing testing, the website, or results should be made by phoning: 0300 303 2713

These portals can experience very high volumes of demand and you may experience delays in being able to access them at peak periods of demand. Demand is being monitored very closely and technical difficulties are addressed as quickly as possible.

Home testing kits

How home testing works  

If you complete a self-referral and order a home-test kit, the test is delivered the next day.

You will self-administer the swab, packing it up as instructed.

Each kit comes with comprehensive instructions to guide you through how to administer the swab yourself. Test kits come with further instructions and a short video to take you through the process step by step.  

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. 

Reliability of home testing

Evidence suggests that those with no clinical background or training should be able to secure an effective sample. Full instructions are included with the kit.

International peer-reviewed evidence suggests that self-swabbing is just as effective at securing a valid sample as clinician-administered testing.

Protection of personal data 

Amazon and Royal Mail are the commercial partners who are delivering and collecting home testing kits nationwide. They do not have access to the results or any health data. 

First published: 11 Jan 2021 Last updated: 13 Jan 2021 -