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Children under five eligible for COVID-19 test from July 22

Children under five years old will now be eligible for COVID-19 testing.

Children under the age of five who are displaying potential COVID-19 symptoms will be eligible for testing from Wednesday, July 22.

Currently, children under five who have potential COVID-19 symptoms are not routinely tested and a test is only carried out if there is a pressing clinical need to do so.

Now, with childcare settings reopening from July 15, children aged under five who have COVID-19 symptoms will be eligible for routine testing through all routes.

COVID-19 testing for all children under 11 years old should be completed by their parent or carer.

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 suppress the spread of the virus.”

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