MSP questions why Charles was tested for Covid-19 on NHS given symptoms are mild

UK News | Published:

The SNP’s Joan McAlpine said many people, including her asthmatic nephew, have been refused such a test.

Prince of Wales

A member of the Scottish Parliament has expressed surprise that the Prince of Wales was tested for Covid-19 on the NHS.

Joan McAlpine, SNP MSP for the South of Scotland, tweeted that she wishes Charles a speedy recovery, but added: “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.”

It comes after Clarence House said Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were tested on the NHS in Aberdeenshire, where they are currently staying, as “they met the criteria required for testing”.

It also said Charles is experiencing “mild symptoms”.

Charles and Camilla
Charles and Camilla, pictured at an event on March 9, are currently staying at Birkhall on the Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire (PA)

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”.

Charles and Camilla are both aged over 70 – the age group told to take social distancing particularly seriously.


The Government advice 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.

Around 1.5 million in England fall into a more serious group and have been told to stay at home for 12 weeks.

This includes those who have received a donor organ, anyone on active chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer, some with specific cancers and people with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma.


Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood 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 has sent her best wishes to the Prince of Wales.

Asked about the 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.”

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