Coronavirus (COVID-19): testing guidance for employers

Guidance for employers and third-party healthcare providers on the regulations and legal obligations of running testing programmes.

This publication was withdrawn on

This content is now available at COVID-19: guidance and support.

Applies to England



Some employers and third-party healthcare providers may want to introduce their own internal testing programmes outside of NHS Test and Trace. This guidance will help them ensure that their testing programmes are as reliable and effective as possible.

Important: NHS Test and Trace is for those who display symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been advised to take a test by a medical practitioner or public service. Employer and third-party healthcare providers wishing to provide a test to staff must not advise individuals without symptoms to get a test from the limited supply offered by the NHS Test and Trace service, but may offer alternative private provision, in accordance with this guidance.

Updates to this page

Published 10 September 2020
Last updated 26 February 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated to reflect the ongoing evolution of private-sector testing. In particular, updated advice in relation to lateral flow device (LFD) testing, routes to access testing, and a more comprehensive supplementary annex for employers and third-party providers wishing to offer workplace testing for asymptomatic employees.

  2. Updated 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing: guidance for employers and third-party healthcare providers' and 'Annex A: employer's legal obligations' documents in line with updates to government guidance.

  3. Annex B added as an additional document. Annex A also moved from main publication and added as a separate document.

  4. First published.

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