Children under five with Covid-19 symptoms can get test

The change comes as the country's childcare sector began to reopen earlier this month.

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Children under the age of five will be able to access testing for coronavirus from Wednesday.

Chief medical officer Gregor Smith said adults and carers will be able to book a test for a child if they show Covid-19 symptoms, which are a cough, a fever or a loss of smell of taste.

Dr Smith said children are unlikely to have severe symptoms if they contract that virus, or to pass it on to adults.

But he added it is important to understand if these symptoms in young children are caused by Covid as Scotland continues to reopen from lockdown.

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

The change from July 22 comes as the country’s childcare sector began to reopen earlier this month.

He 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 self-isolate for a prolonged period unnecessarily if young children in their family are displaying Covid-19 like symptoms but do not have Covid-19, as these symptoms 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.”

Adults and carers will be able to book a test for a child by going to the NHS Inform website or calling 0800 028 2816.