From Friday, 9th April, all adults in Surrey will be able to collect symptom-free test kits from dedicated collection sites across Surrey. This follows last week’s announcement that Surrey’s symptom-free test sites are now open to everyone over the age of 16.
Twice-weekly symptom-free testing is a key part of the Government’s roadmap, helping to stop the virus spreading as restrictions start to ease. It also means that Surrey residents can keep their friends and families safe from infection as they start to meet up within the guidelines. There are now a number of ways to access symptom-free testing to make testing convenient and easy, as it becomes a new habit for us all.
Self-test kits will be available for collection by anyone over the age of 18, from a number of sites. These include Regional and Local Test Sites (2.30-8pm), the four main Targeted Community Testing sites (Woking, Staines, Ewell and Redhill) and a number of pharmacies participating in the Pharmacy Collect scheme. Further collection sites are likely to be opening in the coming weeks.
For on-site testing there are currently 26 sites around the county. The four Targeted Community Testing Sites will no longer require bookings from early next week, so people can simply walk in for a test. The 22 participating pharmacies will still require people to book a test due to more limited capacity and to maintain social distancing.
Self-test kits can also be ordered for home-delivery from the .GOV.UK website.
Residents are encouraged to visit www.surreycc.gov.uk/symptomfreecovidtesting to find the most convenient way to access tests.
Ruth Hutchinson, Surrey’s Director of Public Health said:
“As we start to return to a more normal way of life, we still need to play our part to keep our friends, families and colleagues safe. The vaccination programme gives us long term hope for the future, but it will still be months before everyone is protected. Regular symptom-free testing should start to become a way of life – to give us all the peace of mind that we are not spreading the virus to the people around us.”
Symptom-free tests are lateral flow devices, which are free, fast and easy to use. People can easily report their results online. Positive results will require a confirmatory PCR test within 48 hours.
People who have access to symptom-free testing through their workplace or place of study should continue to access testing through that route.
Anyone with one or more of these symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
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Notes to Editors:
- Visit www.surreycc.gov.uk/symptomfreecovidtesting for all asymptomatic testing options
- Lateral flow devices (LFDs) – or rapid tests – used by the UK government go through a rigorous evaluation by the country’s leading scientists.
- LFDs detect cases with high levels of virus, making them effective in finding individuals who are the most likely to transmit the disease, including those not showing symptoms.
- Extensive clinical evaluation from Public Health England and the University of Oxford show lateral flow tests are specific and sensitive enough to be deployed for mass testing, including for asymptomatic people. The Oxford University and Public Health evaluation is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/oxford-university-and-phe-confirm-high-sensitivity-of-lateral-flow-tests