AN SNP MSP has questioned why Prince Charles was tested for coronavirus by the Scottish NHS ahead of health and social care workers.

Joan McAlpine wished the Prince a “speedy recovery” after he tested positive, but suggested it was puzzling he was tested at all given his symptoms are officially described as mild.

Others on social media questioned why the Duke and his wife travelled to Scotland on Sunday when he may have already been symptomatic.

One Twitter user called him a “selfish t*** for coming up here with his entourage”, while another said: “Get him to f*** out of my country. Selfish b******”.

Government advice is for people to stay at home if they show symptoms of Covid-19.

The Prince, 71, known as the Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, is now self-isolating at the Queen’s Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire.

It is understood he was tested at Birkhall, his home on the estate, and received the results on Tuesday.

Clarence House said he and Camilla, who tested negative, were “in accordance with government and medical advice… self-isolating at home in Scotland.”

It then said: “The tests were carried out by the NHS in Aberdeenshire, where they met the criteria required for testing”.

However the NHS Scotland website says people will only generally be tested for Covid-19 if they "have a serious illness that requires admission to hospital".

Ms McAlpine, a list MSP for the South of Scotland, suggested the heir to the throne may have been treated differently. 

She tweeted: "Given that his symptoms are said to be mild, like many I wonder how he was tested when many NHS and social care workers cannot get tested.

"My nephew, who has serious asthma and a chest infection was recently refused a test. #coronavirus."

The ITV broadcaster Robert Peston also contrasted the Duke’s treatment with that of frontline health workers.

He tweeted: I suspect that the news Prince Charles has tested positive for #COVID19 - with mild symptoms - will massively increase pressure for ramping up of testing capacity, since most people with mild symptoms are refused tests because of capacity shortage.

“And doctors and nurses are telling me they cannot get tested when they have symptoms.

“Doctors tell me they are only allowed to test someone admitted to hospital with serious breathing difficulties.”

Meanwhile UK Government advice on the virus states: "We are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (Covid-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures."

The group includes anyone aged 70 or over, regardless of any medical conditions.

Both the Duke and Duchess are over 70.

At a Scottish Government media briefing this afternoon, Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwoood was asked about the testing of the royal couple.

She said: "I've discussed with the team in NHS Grampian and from the information I've been given it's clear he was tested for clinical reasons, and I'm pleased also that he is well and as with many people who have had this virus he has had a mild illness."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she had sent her best wishes to the Duke.

Asked about the Scottish Government's instruction that people should not seek to escape the Covid-19 pandemic by travelling to the Highlands, she said: "We want people to behave responsibly, we don't want people to see the Highlands and islands of our country as places where they can outrun the virus.

"Obviously there are places where people have homes in Scotland and people will choose to go to their homes, but we should all be responsible."