Closure of all Covid testing sites in the North East and North Yorkshire
THE remaining Covid testing sites in the North East will close for the last time today despite the rise in cases in the region.
The government announced in February that free testing for most citizens would end on March 31.
Free PCR tests will also not be available to people with Covid symptoms from April, except for a small number of at-risk groups.
Visitors to adult social care facilities and visitors to the NHS, prisons or places of detention will no longer be required to take a test.
Read more: Free Covid tests in England will be scrapped for most people from this week
A spokeswoman for the UK Health Security Agency said: “In line with the government’s Living with Covid plan, from the end of March 31 all testing sites for the general public in England will cease operations, once free tests for the general public ended.
“We would like to once again thank the staff for their hard work and for playing such a vital role in our response to the pandemic.
“Free PCR and LFD testing will continue to be available for specific groups after March 31 and further details are set out here.
“The government has retained the ability to allow rapid testing response should the need arise, such as the emergence of a new variant of concern.”
Stockton Council has confirmed that its Wellington Square testing site will close on Thursday and from Friday it will be used by the NHS for vaccinations two days a week.
Covid testing sites must close:
Chester-le-Street – Riverside car park
Durham – Territorial Lane Parking
Bishop Auckland – Etherley Lane
Shildon – Railway Museum
Hartlepool–West View Road
Stockton – Thompson Street East
Middlesbrough _ Cannon Park car park
Middlesbrough–Pallister car park
Northallerton – Forum car park
Catterick – Richmond Road
People eligible for free testing in England include:
- Hospitalized patients who show symptoms of Covid. These patients will undergo laboratory tests at the hospital where necessary for their care or to support ongoing monitoring of the virus.
- People at risk of severe Covid-19 who have symptoms. These people might be eligible for Covid-19 treatments that help relieve their symptoms. People in this group will receive lateral flow tests to keep at home for use if they have symptoms.
- Certain workers or residents of “high-risk settings” who exhibit symptoms. This includes some care home and hospice staff and residents, NHS workers and prison staff. People will also be tested before being discharged from hospital to care homes, hospices, homeless facilities and domestic violence shelters.
- Some NHS and social care staff will continue to receive free tests when they do not show symptoms when infection rates are high in the community.
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