COVID-19: Implementation of planned regular programme of COVID-19 testing in residential and nursing homes

A regular programme of COVID-19 testing for all care home residents and staff across Northern Ireland will commence on Monday 3 August 2020.

All asymptomatic residents will be tested for COVID-19 every 28 days with all asymptomatic staff testing every 14 days.

This applies to all ‘green’ care homes which are those with no suspected or confirmed outbreak. Please see below for information about outbreak management.

Care homes will book one month’s supply of test kits; one week in advance of testing via an online portal, available here

For guidance information on testing for care home residents and workers please click here.

Care homes will book a courier to collect used testing kits and take to a lab for processing.

Book your courier collection by 7pm at least a day before carrying out testing here.

This protocol will be kept under constant review and amended as the situation changes across Northern Ireland.

For any queries please email administrative support:

The current testing protocol in place for care homes with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 outbreak will continue to operate. It is important to identify both single cases and potential clusters of cases.  Early identification allows immediate steps to be taken to prevent spread. If you have single cases or potential clusters of cases in residents and/or staff, the person in charge of the facility should

  • contact the GP of each affected individual case to arrange clinical assessment. 
  • contact the Public Health Agency (PHA) duty room 0300 555 0119 or by email to: to complete a clinical risk assessment.

Whether an outbreak is declared or not, the PHA duty officer will advise you of what further action to take. If testing is required as part of this risk assessment, HSC Trusts will support care homes in their area to undertake and complete a full round of testing of staff and residents.  Further information on the arrangements and frequency of testing for care homes with a COVID-19 outbreak will be issued separately.  


Privacy information

Privacy information on COVID-19 testing can be found here.