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.



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. It covers:

  • legislation, regulations and best practice
  • virus and antibody testing
  • how to interpret test results
  • next steps after a positive or negative test

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.

Published 10 September 2020
Last updated 2 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. 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.

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

  3. First published.