Coronavirus National Testing Programme for essential or key workers
Coronavirus testing is now available for essential or key workers who are self-isolating due to having coronavirus-like symptoms or because a member of their household has symptoms.
Testing is also available to symptomatic people who live with key or essential workers
If you need guidance and support, please contact the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) by email firstname.lastname@example.org or through the telephone help desk - 0300 303 2713.
For further information please see the Public Health Agency website:
DCMS Guidance - Digital Connectivity Portal
Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has issued guidance for telecommunications infrastructure deployment. Although this guidance is titled for England, with the exception of streetworks (Department for Infrastructure), the guidance is applicable across the UK.
DfE Support for Telecoms Workers
The Minister has also publically voiced her support for the essential work carried out by the telecoms sector:
Information for Businesses
Telecommunications is one of the priority sectors listed in the recently announced by Minister Dodds.
Information for Consumers
Telecommunications is a reserved matter led by the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Telecommunications connectivity is very important at this time. Telecommunications users and customers may find the following information helpful, in ensuring they can keep connected with work, family, friends and important services.
Here are links to recently published initiatives taken by the telecommunications industry, led by the DCMS, to support vulnerable consumers at present:
- Vulnerable consumers DCMS notice
- Information on mobile connectivity from Mobile UK (including links through to the pages of the major mobile operators – each operator has different packages of support available)
- Telecoms support for the NHS
- Ofcom has pulled together some great advice under its ‘stay connected’ banner which can be found at Ofcom Stay Connected.
- Some vulnerable consumers or businesses may be having financial difficulty. The telecommunications providers are very keen for these consumers to make direct contact with them, so that they can make arrangements for appropriate support at this time.
Other connectivity initiatives
- Universal Service Obligation – If you can’t get a download speed of 10 Mbit/s and an upload speed of 1 Mbit/s, you can request an upgraded connection. You can make this request to BT. You do not need to be an existing customer of BT to apply. Advice can be found You right to request a decent broadband service: what you need to know.
- DCMS Rural Gigabit Voucher Schemes –Advice on the Rural Gigabit Voucher scheme Gigabit Voucher Scheme.
Alternative Broadband Technologies
Broadband connectivity can also be provided by 4G, fixed wireless or satellite.
Mobile telecommunications providers may be able to provide a 4G broadband service. Customers should contact providers to find out what services might be available in their area that could meet their requirements.
Fixed Wireless/ Satellite
You may find you can upgrade to a faster connection through a wireless or satellite service. Growing availability of wireless and satellite broadband services has reduced the amount of properties that can’t get decent broadband significantly in recent years.
Several companies currently provide these services in Northern Ireland. Potential customers should do their own research, to determine a suitable provider that could meet their requirements.
Further advice on services and potential providers can be found at Think Broadband