Lateral flow test kits are now available for collection from community pharmacies around the Island, and this evening from four high school car parks, as supplies are re-stocked.
The home testing kits are being made available to close contacts of people who have tested positive for Covid-19, who do not have symptoms themselves, in an initiative to free more people from self-isolation while helping to prevent transmission of the virus.
Government announced last night that anyone identified as a close contact who does not have symptoms of COVID-19 is no longer required to self-isolate or have a PCR test; previously, people who were not fully vaccinated had been required to do so. The latest step is designed to reduce the impact of self-isolation on local businesses, schools and other organisations, by allowing non-symptomatic close contacts to go about their normal daily lives.
Additional supplies of lateral flow kits are due to be delivered to participating pharmacies and will be available to collect by asymptomatic close contacts or a family member or friend on their behalf.The kits are available in packs of seven free of charge, with one pack available per person. Those collecting them must wear a face covering when entering the pharmacy and observe social distancing rules within the premises.
In addition, kits will be available this evening between 8pm and 10p from pick-up points in school car parks in key areas of the Island.
Minister for Health and Social Care David Ashford said:
‘Last night’s announcement generated much interest, and many people took the opportunity to obtain a test kit. We have sufficient supplies on the Island for close contacts who wish to use the tests to manage their release from self-isolation in a responsible way. I must be clear that the kits are for this group only, and ask that people do not request more tests than they need, or for any other reason.’
People identified as a close contact should take a test every day for seven days from the point they are advised they are a close contact, and should confirm their daily results at an anonymous online reporting system, to assist government monitor any spread of the virus
The lifting of restrictions on close contacts is part of Government’s current approach to learning to live with the virus while continuing to act responsibly. Close contacts who are released from self-isolation are asked to inform their employer that they have been identified as a close contact, and indicate whether they will be undertaking daily home testing.
They should also tell friends, family and colleagues who may feel anxious or vulnerable, and consider carefully who they interact with in the 10 days after being told they’re a close contact.
Lateral flow test kits available from pick-up points at high school car parks 8-10pm:
- North – Ramsey Grammar School car park in front of the East Building (nearest Parliament Square)
- South – Castle Rushen High School car park
- East – Ballakermeen High School car park
- West – QEII High School car park
Members of the public are asked not to enter any school buildings looking for lateral flow tests during the day. Lateral flow test kits held in secondary schools are only available for collection by parents/carers of students who attend that school and are for the students’ use only.