Free rapid Covid-19 tests available to all in Preston and Lancashire

Posted on - 9th April, 2021 - 11:23am | Author - | Posted in - Fylde News, Health, Politics, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
A coronavirus testing site at Moor Park in Preston Pic: Donna Clifford
A coronavirus testing site at Moor Park in Preston Pic: Donna Clifford

Rapid coronavirus testing is now available to everyone in Lancashire, as the county heads out of lockdown and looks towards its recovery.


From today (Friday 9 April), rapid coronavirus testing kits for people with no symptoms are available to everyone in England, with people encouraged to test themselves twice a week.

Alongside the rollout of the vaccine, regular testing is at the heart of plans to reopen society and the economy, helping to suppress and control the spread of any possible variants.

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Up to now, rapid coronavirus tests, which differ from laboratory tests delivered via the NHS, have not been made widely available.


The main purpose of rapid coronavirus tests is to find people with Covid-19 infection who do not have any symptoms, in order to get them to self-isolate and to prevent them spreading the virus.

This means you should only take a rapid test – which usually show a result within 30 minutes – if you do not have any symptoms.

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If you test positive for Covid-19 using a rapid test, you must begin to self-isolate and book a confirmatory test via the NHS as soon as possible.

This will help ensure that people do not need to self-isolate unnecessarily and help avoid any delays to your self-isolation payment.

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If you do have symptoms, you must begin to self-isolate immediately and book a test through the NHS.

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The three most common symptoms are a high temperature; a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, although a variety of other symptoms have been reported.

As well as being able to order rapid tests directly to their homes, residents can also take a rapid Covid test at numerous community sites across Lancashire, as well as via workplaces and the NHS.

This means it is easier than ever to utilise this crucial tool in the fight against Covid-19.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Lancashire’s Director of Public Health, said: “Testing regularly will help us reclaim a more normal way of life in Lancashire.

“Since rapid testing was introduced, more than 120,000 positive cases across England that would not have been found otherwise have been identified.

“By making rapid tests available to everyone, the ability to identify and control variants will be greatly increased.

“This in turn will help break the chains of transmission and save lives by supporting people to self-isolate and to trace their contacts.

“As we begin to return to some form of normality, we must do so by continuing to follow all of the up-do-date Covid guidance.

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“Hand hygiene remains crucial and maintaining distance from others and wearing face masks where appropriate is also key.

“By doing all of these things and coming forward for your vaccine when it is your turn, you can play your part in helping Lancashire on its road to recovery.”

The latest vaccination stats in your area can be seen below

For more information about regular rapid tests if you do not have symptoms of Covid-19, visit here.

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