Coronavirus testing

In line with the government’s ‘Living with Covid’ plan, the provision of free asymptomatic (LFD) tests for the public came to an end on 1 April.

LFD tests will continue to be available for the public to buy from pharmacies and supermarkets, including online.

Free symptomatic testing will continue for those in following groups:

  • Adult social care staff in care homes, homecare organisations, extra care and supported living settings and adult day care centres.
  • Residents in care homes and extra care and supported living settings via the established organisation ordering portal.
  • Staff and users of high-risk domestic abuse refuges and homelessness settings.

For supported living and extra care, DHSC will likely prioritise settings where people receive CQC regulated care.

Free asymptomatic testing, which helps to mitigate risk, will continue to be provided for:

  • Adult social care staff and a small number of visitors providing personal care.
  • Staff and residents in care homes during outbreaks (to continue all year).
  • Some staff in some refuges and shelters.

Visiting high-risk settings

  • Most visitors to high-risk settings no longer require a test.
  • Tests will continue to be provided to a small number of visitors to care homes who will be providing personal care.
  • Visits by people with symptoms may still be allowed in exceptional circumstances, such as end of life visits. Arrangements should be made with the specific setting prior to visiting in these circumstances.

Below we have provided further information and resources on testing that is relevant to housing associations.

  • Accessing tests: The Government will help enable COVID-19 tests to be made available for those who wish to purchase them through the private market. They are available to purchase at pharmacies, supermarkets and online.
  • Adult social care services: The government has published new testing guidance which replaces all previous guidance for testing in adult social care services and applies to care homes, homecare settings and extra care and supported living. Adult social care staff are now expected to conduct 2 LFD tests per week, taking them before they begin work, spaced 3 to 4 days apart.
  • Infection prevention and control: The government has published a comprehensive guidance resource for all adult social care services, with supplementary guidance which includes details around considerations for staff, for those receiving care, and those specific for care homes.
  • For information, please also have a look at the weekly statistics for NHS Test and Trace (England only) and coronavirus testing.

To find out more about updates regarding vaccinations, please have a look at our dedicated resource.