Testing eligibility extended for young children

Testing eligibility extended for young children
Children under the age of five who are displaying potential coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms will be eligible for testing from Wednesday 22 July.

Throughout the crisis, children under five who displayed potential COVID-19 symptoms were not routinely tested. A test was only carried out if there was a pressing clinical need to do so (for example a young child who needs to be admitted to hospital and whose condition may be due to COVID-19).  

Now, children aged under five who have COVID-19 symptoms will be eligible for routine testing through all routes including drive-in Regional Testing Centres, Mobile Testing Units and by ordering a home test kit.

Interim Chief Medical Officer Gregor Smith said: “In light of the continued change in lockdown restrictions and the resumption of early learning and childcare, we have reviewed our testing policy for children under five.  We want to avoid households having to isolate unnecessarily if young children in their family are displaying coronavirus-like symptoms which can be common in this age group. 

"I would encourage anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or whose child has symptoms, to get a test immediately to help us supress the spread of the virus.”

People with any of the following symptoms should self-isolate and book a test at nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect or call 0800 028 2816 if they are unable to access the online service.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
• a high temperature or fever
• a new continuous cough
• a loss of, or change in sense of smell or taste