Everyone can access twice-weekly Covid tests

12:18pm - 23 April 2021

Are you meeting up with more friends and relatives now coronavirus restrictions are easing?

If so, free rapid Covid tests which can be done at home are available to put your mind at rest before you see your loved ones.

You could take one before meeting friends or family in the garden, or if you’re taking someone for an appointment at hospital or doctors’ surgery.

Rapid tests can help identify cases of coronavirus which would otherwise not be found so we’re encouraging local residents to test themselves twice a week.

Regular testing is already the norm for many people, including secondary and college students, childcare bubbles, health employees and people who can’t work from home.

One-in-three people with coronavirus show no symptoms and potentially spread it without knowing, so rapid testing would pick up these cases and help prevent the spread of infection.

Results are given in just 30 minutes so those who test positive will know to self-isolate straight away and avoid passing the virus on to others.

As we expect more and more restrictions to be lifted over the coming months, it’s as important as ever to do all we can to reduce the spread.

Free rapid tests to do at home can be collected from a range of pharmacies and collection points across North Somerset, or ordered online for home delivery.

Find your nearest pick-up venue using the online map.

Rapid testing centres are also available at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre in Weston-super-Mare, Scotch Horn car park in Nailsea and Somerset Hall in Portishead.

Tests can be done on these sites or kits can be collected to take home.

The centres are open seven days a week from 8.30am-5.30pm with late opening until 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Book an on-site test online.

Home test kits can also be collected from the Covid-19 testing sites at Locking Road car park in Weston-super-Mare and Bristol Airport, daily from 2.30pm-8pm.

Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus should book a test. Symptoms of coronavirus are a new, continuous cough, a high temperature, loss or change of your sense of taste or smell.  

The North Somerset Together network is still available to help with social contact, practical support and advice on where to get more specialist help, such as around mental health or benefits.

Bringing people closer through vaccinations

Many of us have sacrificed seeing loved ones over the last year, to help keep coronavirus at bay and our communities safe.

Now vaccines, along with other measures such as face coverings and social distancing, offer a pathway back to normal.

To highlight the important role vaccines play in preventing disease and keeping people healthy and well, World Immunisation Week runs until Friday (30 April).

The annual campaign, run by the World Health Organisation, focuses on how vaccines can help bring people closer.

As well as helping to bring an end to the current pandemic, vaccines are used throughout life to protect people of all ages against disease.

Vaccination saves millions of lives each year and is one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions.

The UK is a world leader in childhood vaccination with one of the most comprehensive programmes in the world.

Taking up the offer of vaccination for any illness not only helps to protect you, it also helps to protect those around you, to keep those you love and care for safe.

It’s never too late to catch up on missed vaccines. Anyone who is eligible for vaccination but may have missed the chance when offered can contact their GP to find out more information and discuss options.

To find out more about vaccines visit the NHS website.