Regular Rapid (LFT) Covid-19 testing has never been more important and more straightforward to access, as we all continue to play our part to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our communities and to stay on track to the eventual easing of restrictions when it is safe to do so.
Given that the move to Stage 4 of the Government’ Road Map has now been delayed until July, we are encouraging everyone over the age of 16 who is able to, to make regular, twice weekly Rapid Covid-19 tests part of their routine. This will help us identify any cases among people who are not showing symptoms and who could unknowingly be spreading the virus.
Support for those who need to self-isolate is also available, including for those who may not have been eligible for support before, thanks to our Community Resilience Fund. More information about the wide range of help available can be found on our website at Financial support for residents | BETA – South Gloucestershire Council (southglos.gov.uk) or by calling our freephone Covid Support Line on 0800 953 7778.
Accessing rapid Covid-19 tests is now easier than ever in South Gloucestershire, with our bright pink testing van visiting communities across the district, kit collection available at 12 of our libraries, many pharmacies and the option of having kits delivered directly to your home from the Government website Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
The distinctive van is out and about seven days a week to make collecting tests simple, and trained staff are also available to explain how the tests can be done and can supervise you taking and registering a test if you are unsure.
The van’s timetable is:
Mondays Cadbury Heath Community Centre from 9:00AM to 12:00PM
Cribbs Causeway (ASDA) from 2:00PM to 5:00PM
Tuesdays Emersons Green (Bottegino’s) from 9:00AM to 12:00PM
Hawkesbury Village Hall from 2:00PM to 5:00PM
Wednesdays Staple Hill (Fountain Square Band Stand) 9:00AM to 12:00PM
Marshfield Community Centre from 2:00PM to 5:00PM
Thursdays Longwell Green (ASDA) from 9:00AM to 12:00PM
Charfield Community Centre from 2:00PM to 5:00PM
Fridays Stoke Gifford (Sainsbury’s) from 9:00AM to 12:00PM
Severn Beach Village Hall from 2:00PM to 5:00PM
Saturdays Thornbury High Street (17 High St) from 9:00AM to 12:00PM
Kingswood High Street (near Iceland Foods) from 2:00PM to 5:00PM
Sundays Patchway Community Centre from 9:00AM to 12:00PM
Pucklechurch Community Centre from 2:00PM to 5:00PM
For those who wish to attend a site to take a test, our community testing facility is at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre and is open from 8:30AM – 7:30PM on Monday’s and Wednesday’s; From 8:30AM – 5:30PM on Tuesday’s, Thursday’s and Friday’s and from 9:00AM – 1:00PM on Weekends.
South Gloucestershire Director of Public Health, Sara Blackmore, said: “I know many people were eagerly awaiting the 21 June, but the decision to delay follows rising case numbers and the presence of the Delta variant, including here in in South Gloucestershire. I believe this delay is sensible, to give the NHS more time to vaccinate most of the adult population.
“So, we remain in Stage 3, which means that we must all continue to follow the rule of six indoors and up to 30 people outside. But there are three key practical things we can all do to help us reach Step 4 as soon as it is safe to do so: These are to take up the vaccine when invited to do so; to take regular, rapid, Covid-19 tests and to report the results, whether the result is positive or negative; and to effectively self-isolate if you test positive or are notified that you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive.
“The number of people taking regular, rapid tests in South Gloucestershire has dropped considerably recently, which means cases are going undetected and people are unknowingly spreading the virus. If you are not testing because you are worried about the financial implications of having to isolate, please get in touch as we can offer you support, including grants, and advice.
“We are on the right track, but it is vital that we keep going, so remember Hands Face Space Fresh Air, test regularly and get vaccinated.”
South Gloucestershire Director of Public Health, Sara Blackmore, has recorded a new video which explains the reason for the delay to Step 4 and urges everyone to keep going: Our Director of Public Health explains the reason for the delay to Step 4 of the Covid-19 roadmap – YouTube.
Full details of all the ways to access testing are available on our website: Testing and self-isolating | BETA – South Gloucestershire Council (southglos.gov.uk)
Full details of the financial support available if you need to self-isolate or your income has been effected during the pandemic are available on our website: Financial support for residents | BETA – South Gloucestershire Council (southglos.gov.uk)
A number of organisations and local groups are still working actively in their communities to help those who need support as the long-term impacts of the coronavirus continue to be felt. Full details of these groups, including contact details, are available on our website: Get help and support | BETA – South Gloucestershire Council (southglos.gov.uk)