COVID-19 testing for under fives

Response from Public Health England on the question ‘if a child becomes symptomatic within a bubble, should the whole bubble be sent home?’

Guidance is to send the child home rather than whole bubble. If the child was then confirm to have coronavirus, everyone within the bubble should be isolated for 14 days.

Response from DHSC to questions regarding Covid-19 testing for under 5s:

You may have already heard that the wider testing programme has been extended to under 5’s. Regional Testing Stations and Mobile Test Units will be ready for parents to administer testing for all under 5s from today (including under 2):

Why could under 5s not be tested up until now?

It was necessary to review and validate the existing supply of testing swabs in order to ensure that they could be clinically approved for the testing over under 5s. This has now been complete and the extension of eligibility is now appropriate.

Aren’t the testing swabs used for adults unsafe for under 5s?

We have followed updated clinical guidance throughout on the suitability of testing swabs for use on children under the age of 5. This is being supplemented by updated instructions for parents and guardians of those under 5.

Will it hurt / cause them harm?

It is possible that children may experience some mild discomfort, but it should not hurt.

Who carries out the test?

Children under 5 must have the test performed by a parent or guardian.

How do I book a test for my under 5 child?

You can ask for a test online

We’ll ask you:

  • how you want to get the test: you may be able to choose between driving to a regional testing site or getting a home test kit
  • for details such as your name, mobile phone number and address

The Coronavirus Testing Call Centre is available to assist eligible individuals through the process of booking and taking a test for Coronavirus. The Call Centre handles all enquiries about the testing process, from how someone books an appointment, to what they do upon receipt of their result.

The Coronavirus Testing Call Centre can be contacted on 119 (in England and Wales) and 0300 303 2713 (in Scotland and Northern Ireland) between the hours of 7am – 11pm.

The service can be accessed by people with hearing or speech difficulties by calling 18001 119 (in England and Wales) or 18001 0300 303 2713 (in Scotland and Northern Ireland).

How will their results be shared?

When a child takes a test, their parent/guardian will be told how results will be passed to them. This may be by email or by text or both. We are aiming to return results within 48 hours of tests taken at regional test sites and 72 hours for home tests.