Community testing sites across the Island will be distributing free coronavirus (COVID-19) home testing kits to anyone aged 16 and over from Monday (29 March). About one in three people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms but can still pass it on to others. Twice weekly (rapid lateral flow) testing of people without coronavirus symptoms is important to help stop the virus from spreading.
With some restrictions set to be lifted from Monday, allowing two households and up to six people to reunite outdoors at a safe distance, regular home testing offers some comfort we are not putting friends and family at risk.
Simon Bryant, the council’s director of public health, said: “All our small actions can make a big difference as we come out of lockdown. Tests are now available for everyone without COVID-19 symptoms. Whether you’re getting ready for the start of the tourism season, opening up your shop for the first time since January or you’ve been vaccinated and are looking forward to meeting your family outside, pick up your test kits and get tested. Give yourself peace of mind and help keep our Island safe.”
Tests can be picked up from any of the council’s community testing sites in Ryde, Sandown, Newport, Yarmouth and Cowes, or from the Newclose County Cricket Ground testing site.
For more information, including opening times, visit https://keeptheislandsafe.org/communitytesting
Secondary school pupils are given test kits by their school. Primary school pupils are not being asked to get tested. People can continue to take a test at a community testing site if they prefer.
John Metcalfe, the council’s chief executive, added: “Regular testing of everyone offers another helpful tool to defeat the virus.
“Testing is vital as it helps us to identify, track down and control any remaining pockets of the virus and prevent it spreading into the wider community. So I would urge anyone that is out and about to take these tests twice weekly and so protect your family, friends and the community. Even if you have already had your first vaccination, please do go for regular testing as it is still not clear whether you can carry the virus and transmit it to others.”