Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested in Scotland

Published: 11 Jan 2021
Last updated: 22 Oct 2021 - see all updates

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
If you do not have symptoms (lateral flow tests)

If you do not have symptoms (lateral flow tests)

Free, fast and regular testing for people who do not have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) is available to everyone in Scotland.

Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not show symptoms, but are still infectious, so can spread the virus to others without knowing.

By testing twice-weekly with rapid, lateral flow devices (LFDs), and self-isolating if positive, you can help break chains of transmission and limit the spread of COVID-19.

There are different types of lateral flow devices (LFD) being used in Scotland, so it is crucial to read the instructions that come with your test.

Video guidance on how to take each LFD can be found on NHS Inform.

Who can get a rapid LFD test

You can use a LFD test if you don’t have symptoms.

You need to be 18 or over to collect or order the test kits. We do not recommend regular testing for children who go to primary school, or who are younger than primary school age.

You should continue to test regularly even if you have been vaccinated. While vaccines reduce the risk of infection, no vaccine provides 100% protection against the virus. People who have been vaccinated can still carry and transmit the virus to others.

You must not use a LFD test if you:

  • have symptoms - you must self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test through NHS Inform
  • have been told to self-isolate
  • have tested positive for coronavirus in the last 90 days

Get a rapid LFD test

You can get a rapid LFD test kit by ordering or collecting them. An LFD test pack contains seven LFD tests.

If you currently get rapid LFD test kits from your nursery or childcare provider, school, college, university or workplace you should continue to do so.

You cannot use this service to book tests for travelIf you are planning a trip abroad read about: international travel testing which details when day 2 and day 8 tests are required.

Order online for home delivery

 

Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests on gov.uk for home delivery

Your order will be delivered to your home in one to two days.

If you cannot place an order online, you can order by calling 119.

Collect a rapid LFD test kit from your nearest pharmacy

 

Find your nearest participating pharmacy where LFD tests can be collected

One pack can be collected per person. If you are collecting on behalf of a household, you may receive one pack for each household member.

You do not need to book an appointment, but should check the opening hours of your local pharmacy.

Do not enter a pharmacy if have COVID-19 symptoms. If you have symptoms you must self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test through NHS Inform.

Collect a rapid LFD test kit from your nearest COVID-19 test site

 

Find your nearest COVID-19 test site where LFD tests can be collected

You can collect a pack of LFD tests from a COVID-19 test site between 8am to 8pm. You do not need to book an appointment.

How to take a rapid LFD test

You should take a LFD test twice a week (every 3 or 4 days).

Before taking a LFD test you should always read the instructions that come with your test kit, as the test may be different to one you've used before.

Throat and nose test kits have a blue and white pack.

Nose-only test kits have a:

  • blue and white pack (ACON Flowflex)
  • green and white pack (Orient Gene)

Find out how to take a rapid LFD test (video) on NHS Inform.

Report your rapid LFD test results

Your LFD test is not complete until you report your result, either online or by phone, and receive a result confirmation notification.

You must report your result the day you take a rapid LFD test. You should report your lateral flow test results on gov.uk.

Information on what to do if your result is positive, is available of NHS Inform.

A negative LFD test result is not a guarantee that you do not have COVID-19. You must continue to follow COVID-19 protective measures.

Workplace testing

All businesses and organisations with 10 or more staff in Scotland (including employees and formal volunteers) can sign up for asymptomatic workplace testing.


First published: 11 Jan 2021 Last updated: 22 Oct 2021 -