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Large consignment of lateral flow tests arrives on Island

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Well over 100,000 lateral flow devices (LFDs) and have been delivered to the Island and are being made available to the Manx public today. Further deliveries will be made on a regular basis.

Civil Defence volunteers are assisting in the distribution of LFD packs to community pharmacies and other regional pick-up points around the Island.

Members of the public who wish to collect a kit from their local pharmacy should check the list of participating businesses, and any restrictions on visiting them which may apply.

In order to allow people access to the tests they need when they need them, and to deter stockpiling, no more than one set of seven tests should be requested per person.  

Local authorities are assisting in the distribution of LFDs, and the public can collect them from town halls and commissioners’ offices during their normal opening hours at these locations:

Douglas Borough Council

Henry Bloom Noble Library, Duke Street, Douglas

Peel Commissioners

Town Hall, Derby Road, Peel IM5 1RG

Castletown Commissioners

Castletown Town Hall, Farrants Way, Castletown IM9 1NR 

Port Erin Commissioners

Port Erin Commissioners Office, Bridson Street, Port Erin IM9 6AN

Ramsey Commissioners

Ramsey Town Hall (and Library on Saturdays) Ground Floor

Onchan Commissioners

Onchan District Commissioners, Hawthorn Villa, Main Road, Onchan, IM3 1RD

In addition, Ramsey Commissioners will offer test kits from their public library counter on Saturdays.

Civil Defence will run collection hubs at the same four school car parks as last week between 7.30pm and 9.30pm tonight, Monday 26 July and tomorrow, Tuesday 27 July.

North: Ramsey Grammar School car park in front of the East Building

South: Castle Rushen High School car park

East:     Ballakermeen High School car park

West:  QEII High School car park 

The provision of LFDs allows widespread testing among the public, after the requirement for a PCR test on day nine for those who had previously tested positive was removed, and self-isolation restrictions on close contacts lifted.

The approach supports government’s mitigation strategy, where the public are encouraged to make informed decisions about what is best for their own circumstances, and for their families.

Taking a lateral flow test will be useful when planning to visit someone who is vulnerable, shielding or in poor health, and for work purposes, and reporting of results will help government monitor transmission of coronavirus in the community. 

People should test themselves no more than twice per week for general awareness, unless they have been identified as close contacts, where daily testing is recommended.

A short video offering simple guidance on how the home tests should be used is available to view online.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or who returns a positive lateral flow test result should request a PCR test using the online booking request form


Why use Lateral Flow Testing?

The increased use of Lateral Flow Testing can help to identify people who do not have symptoms but are still capable of infecting others. Identifying cases of the virus, and self-isolating if required, will help to stop the virus spreading within the Isle of Man community.

Regular use of LFDs will help members of the public check whether they are testing positive for the virus, but tests should not be carried out more often than twice per week.

Even those who are vaccinated, or 2+2, are at risk of passing COVID-19 on to others, so people should continue to test themselves regularly and isolate if the test is positive.

What is a Lateral Flow Test?

Lateral Flow tests are rapid tests, which are taken in a similar way to PCR tests.

The results are provided quickly and the tests can be done at home or in the workplace, making them simple and easy to use for the majority of people.

Rapid tests are around 93% accurate and the likelihood of getting a false positive is very low. Therefore if you do test positive, it is very important that you isolate immediately and contact 111.

When to use the Lateral Flow Test

With widespread availability of Lateral Flow tests, current guidance is:

  • Take no more than two tests in a seven day period
  • Report the rapid lateral flow test results no matter what the result is, on the same day as the test
  • If the result is positive, go home or stay at home immediately, and call 111
  • If the result is negative, report the result and take a further test 3-4 days later

When you shouldn’t use a Lateral Flow Test:

  • If you have been told to self-isolate by 111
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, in which case you should stay at home and call 111 to access a PCR test