Apply for coronavirus tests for a care home

Apply for coronavirus testing kits to test the residents and staff of your care home.

This testing is available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. There’s a different process for care homes in Scotland.

You can apply whether or not any of your residents or staff have coronavirus symptoms.

In England, you can only get tests if your care home looks after people aged over 65 or people with dementia. You may need to contact your local health protection team (HPT) - for example, to let them know about a suspected new outbreak.

Read the guidance on coronavirus testing in care homes to find out when to contact them.

Who can make the application

To apply, you need to be the care home manager.

In England, you can also apply if you’re a Local Director of Public Health or one of their representatives.

What you need to apply

You’ll need:

  • the care home’s ID
  • total number of residents, including number of residents with coronavirus symptoms
  • total number of staff, including agency staff
  • your contact details
  • in England, your Care Quality Commission (CQC) location ID (typically in the format ‘1-xxxxxx’)
  • in Wales, your Service Unique Reference Number (typically in the format ‘SIN-xxxxx-abcd’)
  • in Northern Ireland, your Regulation & Quality Improvement number (typically a minimum of 4 digits)

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What happens next

When you’ve applied, you’ll get an email telling you when the tests will be delivered.

What the test involves

The test involves taking a swab of the inside of your resident’s or staff member’s nose and the back of their throat, using a long cotton bud.

You can read guidance on how to do the tests.

This test only tells you if you have coronavirus at the time of taking the test. It doesn’t tell you if you’ve ever had coronavirus in the past.