Splash World in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

From tomorrow (Friday 9th April), people in England will be able to access twice-weekly rapid tests for coronavirus. 

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health is encouraging everyone in Sefton who is going to a work environment or who will be returning to their workplace to take up this offer. 

She said:

“Rapid tests are tests for people without the coronavirus symptoms of a new persistent cough, a high temperature or a loss of sense of taste or smell and they usually provide a result in around 30 minutes.

“One in three people with coronavirus show no symptoms, which means they can accidentally spread it without knowing.

“Taking a rapid test twice a week will find those invisible cases and help prevent the spread of infection.”

Rapid coronavirus testing involves taking a throat and nasal swab, dropping the sample into the container supplied and then checking the result after 20 to 30 minutes.

Rapid test kits can be collected from Bootle Town Hall and Splash World in Southport from 8am-8pm seven days a week. No appointments are needed.

Kits can also be collected from walk-through Local Test Centres opposite Bootle Town Hall and at Crosby Library Car Park, Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall between 2.30pm and 8pm, seven days a week. No appointments are needed.

People can also choose to have assisted testing at one of Sefton’s SMART test sites, which are also open 8am to 8pm seven days a week and located at Bootle Leisure Centre, Splash World in Southport and at Aintree Racecourse although this centre is closed and will re-open on Monday 12th April.

People can find out more about testing in Sefton at www.sefton.gov.uk/COVID-testing

Anyone who gets a positive result from a rapid test must self-isolate for 10 days and immediately book a PCR test by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus .

Eligible people who test positive are entitled to the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment in the same way as a regular swab test through NHS Test and Trace.

As well as getting regular rapid tests Margaret Jones is encouraging anyone who is offered a vaccination to go along and get a jab to protect themselves and those around them.  

She said:

“Tens of thousands of people across Sefton, including me, have already had their first vaccination and many will have had their second too, but it is important that all of us take the opportunity to get our jab when it is offered.

“Infection rates in Sefton have dropped significantly but vaccination is the best way for to protect ourselves and those around us and underpins our way out of lockdown and a return to the more normal ways of life we all want to see.”

People can find out more about vaccinations and who is eligible for a jab at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.

Do you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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