Testing for Covid-19


  • FAQs on testing, including self-isolation

The College of Optometrists answers many of the practical questions relating to vaccinations, testing and self-isolation.

  • Free Lateral Flow Tests for Patient Facing Staff To Continue 

NHSE&I have issued an urgent statement, “Living with COVID-19 – Testing Update”, which includes confirmation that Free Lateral Flow Tests WILL be available to front line staff in Primary Care when universal testing ends on 1st April 2022. The full statement can be downloaded HERE. The AOP have welcomed the announcement, HERE.

  • Changes to how primary care staff access lateral flow devices for asymptomatic testing

The way that NHS staff across all primary care contractor groups (medical, dental, optometry and community pharmacy) order lateral flow device (LFD) tests is changing. From 5th July 2021, all NHS staff will be able to order tests directly through the government lateral flow ordering portal and have these delivered to their home addresses.

This update was issued by the NHS on 29th June 2021. It outlines the changes due to take place in staff testing from 5th July 2021.

An associated new standard operating procedure and new FAQs were also issued on 2nd July 2021.

General information about Covid-19 testing

Lateral flow tests (for asymptomatic people) and PCR tests (for those with symptoms or with a positive lateral flow test result) are now freely available.

This NHS resource explains the difference between the types of tests, who should have them and how to get them.

Report a lateral flow test result online.

The government has advice on NHS Test & Trace in the workplace, including what to do if a colleague tests positive.



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