COVID-19 testing for under-fives

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

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 – for example a young child who needs to be admitted to hospital and whose condition may be due to COVID-19 or a young child who is in hospital for some reason whose condition unexpectedly deteriorates.

Now, with childcare settings reopening from 15 July, children aged under five who have COVID-19 symptoms will be eligible for routine testing through all routes including drive-in Regional Testing Centres, Mobile Testing Units and by ordering a home test kit.

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 supress the spread of the virus.”


Test and Protect was rolled out across Scotland on 28 May 2020.

People with any of the following symptoms should self isolate and book a test at or call 0800 028 2816 if they are unable to access the online service:
• a high temperature or fever
• a new continuous cough
• a loss of, or change in sense of smell or taste