Free Covid testing packages will be available for home delivery in Scotland from today - even if they do not have symptoms.

Speaking at her coronavirus press conference last week, Nicola Sturgeon said that lateral flow tests for home delivery will be available from Monday 26 April.

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed plans for Scots to have access to the faster tests, which can give results within just 30 minutes.

People can order test packages online for home delivery by following details on the Scottish Government’s website.

Alternatively, the nose and throat swab tests can be collected from covid testing centres in the afternoons or early evening.

How to order a lateral flow test

You can order free packs of rapid lateral flow tests to be sent to your home if you live in Scotland, are over 18 and:

  • have been asked to test by your local authority or NHS Public Health team
  • have someone on the shielding list in your household
  • are planning to travel to a Scottish island
  • cannot get tests from your work, school, college or university

What types of shifts are they?

There are different tests you can get to check if you have coronavirus (Covid-19). The test you need depends on why you're getting tested.

The two main tests are:

  • PCR tests – mainly for people with symptoms, they're sent to a lab to be checked
  • rapid lateral flow tests – only for people who do not have symptoms, they give a result in 30 minutes using a device similar to a pregnancy test

Both tests are free.

You should not use this service if you have:

A rapid lateral flow test pack contains seven tests.

You can only order one pack per household each day.

Where can I order tests?

You can order a test here.

If you have someone on the shielding list in your household or are planning to travel to a Scottish island, select 'yes' when the site asks if you were asked to get tested by a local authority or by an NHS Public Health team.

For those travelling to a Scottish island, they should also click Scotland under the where in the UK do you live question, even if they live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

What did Nicola Sturgeon say?

Speaking at her daily briefing, Ms Sturgeon said: "Two weeks ago I indicated that we would make lateral flow tests available to anyone in Scotland who wants one.

"I can confirm therefore that lateral flow testing will be available to anyone in Scotland from 26 April.

"You can order later flow test online for delivery to your home – and you can find information on how to do that on the Scottish Government’s website.

"Alternatively, you can collect the tests from Covid testing centres in the afternoon or early evening. 

"I would encourage everyone to take advantage of this offer – but I want to highlight one issue in particular today where we are really encouraging people to make sure they use lateral flow testing as appropriate."

Where testing takes place - community testing sites

If you do not have coronavirus symptoms but live in a community that has been targeted for testing, you can access a test at a rapid test site.

These are only available in some parts of Scotland.

You can usually just turn up and do not need to book in advance – but you should check the arrangements at your local site first.

You will be tested using a lateral flow device (LFD) which involves taking a swab or saliva sample.

You should usually get your result within an hour.

Island testing

The First Minister also added that people visiting the islands should take two lateral flow tests before travelling.

Nicola Sturgeon said: "We are keeping island communities at the same level as the rest of the country at the moment, so that we can allow travel between island communities and the rest of Scotland.

"But we know this does create a risk for our island communities.

"Many of them currently have very, very low rates of Covid.

"And they will be welcoming visitors from parts of Scotland which I know many of them are looking forward to where Covid will still be circulating at a higher level and more widely.

"So If you are planning to travel to an island we do encourage you to take two lateral flow tests before you depart. 

"The second test should be on the day that you are planning to travel, and the first should be three days before you travel.

"That means that if you test positive, you have a chance to take a PCR test - which is more sensitive - to confirm the result before making a final decision on cancelling your visit.

"This is potentially an important way in which we can minimise the risk, of bringing Covid into island communities while nevertheless allowing our island communities the benefit of opening up again to visitors.

"So if you are planning on travelling to an island over the course of next week, it is possible to get tests from today, and I would encourage you to do that."