Guidance: COVID-19 testing in general practice

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Department Of Health

Making COVID-19 PCR testing available in general practice

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Standard operating procedures for COVID-19 PCR testing in general practice

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Details

NHS Test and Trace is making COVID-19 swab testing capability available to general practices in England and Wales on a voluntary, opt-in basis.

This will be a supplementary option for practices and does not replace any of the existing routes for patients to access testing.


Members of the public will continue to be directed to regional testing centres or home testing kits in the first instance.

Who the tests are for

These tests can be offered to patients who present with COVID-19 symptoms in general practice settings. Following requests from GPs to have increased access to testing, these tests will also be available for symptomatic GPs, practice staff and their symptomatic household members to support general practice settings remaining operational. Testing should be self-administered as far as possible.

The service is intended to streamline patient care and increase access to testing for patients who would otherwise be unlikely to get a test via the primary testing routes. For example, due to barriers around language, disability or digital inclusion. Practices can use their discretion to offer the swabs where they deem it to be clinically appropriate.

Published 4 November 2020
Last updated 4 March 2021 +show all updates

  1. Updated ‘Getting tested for coronavirus at a GP easy read’ and ‘Testing yourself for coronavirus at a GP easy read’ to reflect current guidance to isolate for 10 days in the case of a positive test.


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