Free COVID-19 Testing for Community Pharmacy Staff

In England the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed that community pharmacy teams will still be required to test twice weekly when asymptomatic and will have free access to lateral flow device (LFD) test kits via the portal.

  • Patient-facing staff can obtain LFD tests from the website and should test twice weekly when they are asymptomatic and report the results through the website. When ordering the tests staff should select yes to the question ‘Do you work for the NHS in England and take part in their staff testing programme?’ and then input the postcode of their workplace to ensure the tests are registered as belonging to a healthcare worker.
  • All symptomatic staff should test using LFDs and continue to follow the current return to work guidance.
  • Staff who are household contacts of a positive COVID-19 case will now be able to continue to work as normal if they remain asymptomatic and continue to test twice weekly. They will no longer be required to have a PCR test in order to return to work.

Although the general public will not be offered COVID-19 tests routinely if symptomatic from 1st April 2022, there may be some instances where a clinician will want to offer a COVID-19 test as part of a diagnostic pathway more information on this can be found at

The governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are still to announce the future of free testing as they are removing restrictions at a slower pace than England, but they will continue for healthcare staff for the time being.