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
Workplace testing

Asymptomatic workplace testing

We have expanded the offer of workplace testing to private, public and third-sector organisations. All businesses and organisations with ten or more staff in Scotland (including employees and formal volunteers) can now sign up for asymptomatic workplace testing as part of an enhanced drive to identify cases early and prevent wider outbreaks.

Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not show symptoms, so can spread the virus to others without knowing. Regular testing using lateral flow devices (LFDs) helps to find positive cases in people who have no symptoms, but who are still infectious. If people who test positive self-isolate, we can break the chain of transmission and limit the spread of COVID-19.

Eligible organisations can choose from two models of testing, depending on their needs: 

  • LFD Collect allows organisations to distribute test kits to their staff to carry out self-testing at home
  • testing within the workplace using the asymptomatic test site (ATS) model

Expressing interest

Initial expressions of interest in workplace testing should be submitted to the NHS National Services Scotland testing mailbox. 

Organisations will be asked to complete a form providing key information and contact details. Eligible organisations will then be given access to an online portal containing all the information they will need to plan and deliver an effective workplace testing programme, including promotional materials. Ongoing support and oversight will be provided by NHS National Services Scotland and the Scottish Government.

Organisations that are already participating in a Scottish Government targeted workplace testing programme should contact their pathway lead for further information if they wish to expand this (e.g. to other workplaces or staff groups).

Organisations with fewer than 10 staff, who are not eligible for the workplace testing programme, can still encourage employees to test themselves regularly at home. Members of the public can collect LFD test kits from a local pharmacy or COVID-19 test site, or order online for home delivery.

Asymptomatic testing does not replace current guidance for those with symptoms or those identified as a close contact of a positive case. Anyone with symptoms should book a PCR test and follow government self-isolation guidance until the result of their test is known. Testing also does not replace basic preventative measures such as regular handwashing and wearing face coverings when required. Home-working continues to be recommended where possible. 

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