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Free community testing for Covid draws to an end

Free community testing for Covid draws to an end

Tuesday 21 March 2023

Free community testing for Covid draws to an end

Tuesday 21 March 2023


Free community lateral flow tests will end next month as Covid-19 is dealt with like any other respiratory virus.

The announcement comes a year on from when Guernsey recorded its highest daily number of confirmed cases, 2,936.

That stands in stark contrast to the current data, which says there are 103 known active cases.

From 3rd April, free LFTs will no longer be available for members of the community who are symptomatic.

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Pictured: New case data from May 2021.

“This further de-escalation of our testing strategy has been part of our on-going planning and has been made possible by the significant progress we have made as a Bailiwick in living responsibly with Covid-19,” said Dr Nicola Brink.

“We’re now managing Covid-19 in line with how we manage other respiratory tract infections. This shows how well islanders have adapted and how embedded Covid-19 guidance is among the community.

“As individuals we don’t self-test for other respiratory virus infections, we naturally stay at home if unwell and seek advice and treatment from our GP if needed. It is important that our ongoing management of Covid-19 aligns with those same principles going forward. We need a sustainable and long-term plan for Covid-19 testing and the changes we will be implementing on 3April supports directing our available services to those most at risk."

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Pictured: Dr Nicola Brink.

“We are, however, maintaining a stock of LFTs to use in vulnerable settings such as the hospital, care homes and the prison to mitigate against infection in all other service users. Likewise, health and care staff who work closely with vulnerable people will continue to have access to LFTs if they are symptomatic," continued Dr Brink.

Guernsey entered its first lockdown on 25 March 2020 after confirming one case of on-island transmission.

A second lockdown was imposed on 23 January 2021, with all internal restrictions ending on 22 March 2021 and borders finally opened on 1 July that year.

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