Rapid testing is next step in reducing spread of Covid-19

People in Somerset will have access to regular coronavirus testing from today (Friday 9 April) as the country takes another vital step towards society opening up again.

The Government is encouraging everyone in England to access free, regular, rapid Covid-19 testing. This regular testing is for those without symptoms of Covid-19 and helps break the chain of transmission which might otherwise have gone unidentified, as well as helping to identify and suppress new variants of concern. 

From Friday 9 April, there will be several routes people in Somerset can use to access Lateral Flow (rapid) testing.

You will be able to book or collect a test at a local Community Test Site. In Somerset there are Community Test Sites located in Bridgwater, Minehead, Shepton Mallet, Taunton and Yeovil.

Details of the test site locations, dates and times for the services in Somerset are available here: Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests – NHS (test-and-trace.nhs.uk)

Those who are unable to get to a test centre can order a home testing kit to be sent to their home.

Home testing kits can be ordered online here: Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Some workplaces will be providing tests, either within the workplace, or by sending them home. People are advised to check with their employers for details and use one of the other options if needed.

A new pharmacy collect service will also be available in Somerset with 40 pharmacies signed up and more expected to come on board soon. The service is available to those over the age of 18 without symptoms.

Participating pharmacies will provide a box of seven rapid tests to use twice a week at home. To find a pharmacy where tests can be collected, use the following link: Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests – NHS (test-and-trace.nhs.uk), and type ‘Somerset’ into the search bar to display the participating pharmacies.

Somerset County Council’s Director of Public Health, Trudi Grant, said: “Testing is one of greatest defences against coronavirus.

“Lateral Flow (rapid) testing will be really important as we move forward, and society starts to open up again.

“It will help seek out and isolate asymptomatic cases early, identify and reduce the impact of any new variants of the virus, and play a vital role in limiting the spread of Covid-19.”

To support people’s ability to access testing, Somerset County Council has launched a community survey to seek the views of as many people across Somerset as possible.

The survey focuses on three key areas: testing, vaccinations, and self-isolation, with the aim of understanding any barriers that may prevent people from doing these things or accessing the vaccine when it is offered. Please click here to take part in the survey.

More information on rapid testing in Somerset if you don’t have symptoms can be found here: Coronavirus – Get a test if you do not have symptoms (somerset.gov.uk)

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For further information, please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk

Notes to Editors

Where Somerset’s Community Test Sites are located: