12th April 2021

More groups urged to take part in free Covid-19 community testing

Free Coronavirus community testing is now available for even more groups of Somerset residents to help break chains of transmission and keep communities safe.

Around one in three people with Coronavirus do not have symptoms. Community testing, using lateral flow devices, is a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms, but who may still be spreading the virus.

Free, rapid lateral flow COVID-19 tests are now being offered to:

  • anyone whose job or volunteering work requires them to leave the house and be in contact with others
  • anyone who cares for others, either paid or voluntary

Everyone in these groups – even if they are vaccinated – is encouraged to test themselves twice a week from now on to help identify positive cases and prevent Covid-19 being passed onto others. This helps keeps the community safe.

You can find out how to book a lateral flow test if you do not have symptoms here.

If you are a parent, part of a household childcare bubble or support bubble which includes school staff or a pupil, you can collect testing kits to self-test at home. These tests are for adults only – secondary school age children are tested through schools, while younger children are not currently being tested.

Free lateral flow kits are available to collect from test sites across Somerset between set times. To find your nearest Somerset test collection site, please click https://somerset.maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/ and enter your postcode.

Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health at Somerset County Council said: “Even though case numbers nationally and locally are reducing, Covid-19 is still here and regular testing helps to break the chain of transmission. It really will help keep our schools and colleges open, our workplaces Covid-free and protect communities. I encourage everyone in these groups to get tested twice a week to stop passing this disease unknowingly onto others – even if you’ve been vaccinated.”

Lateral flow testing involves a swab of the nose and throat to collect a sample and provides a result within around half an hour. This screening test requires twice weekly testing.

  • If you test negative
    If your Lateral Flow Test result is negative, you have no symptoms and are not a close contact of someone who has coronavirus, you do not need to self-isolate for ten days but must continue to follow the national guidelines ‘Hands, Face, Space’
  • If you test positive
    If your Lateral Flow Test result is positive, you will need to self-isolate along with the rest of your household for ten days. If others in your household go on to develop symptoms, they (and the rest of your household) must then self-isolate for ten days from the onset of their symptoms.

This latest community testing programme is in addition to other types of testing already underway across Somerset, like PCR testing which continues to be available for anyone showing symptoms of coronavirus.

For more information about the different types of Coronavirus testing, please visit Coronavirus – Getting tested (somerset.gov.uk)Type your text here