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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Health Minister extends availability of free covid tests into August

Minister Robin Swann has announced the extension of the availability of lateral flow testing for those with symptoms into August.

The move follows an earlier decision to extend availability until the end of this July.

Minister Swann said:

“Whilst indications are that we are moving in the right direct with regard to the trajectory of the pandemic and that prevalence is reducing, it is vital that we keep the situation under review.

“Thankfully the overall risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and death for those who contract COVID-19 continues to be much lower than during previous waves.

“However, we continue to see severe pressures in our hospitals and the contribution of COVID-19, even though admission numbers are smaller than in previous waves, adds to these pressures.

“After careful consideration therefore I have decided to extend the current availability of lateral flow testing, including for those with symptoms, for a further short period, as a precautionary measure.”

Under current arrangements, lateral flow tests are available to members of the public with COVID-19 symptoms, including importantly those who may be eligible for COVID-19 treatments. Tests are also available to a small number of groups without symptoms including health and social care staff, those visiting others in health and care settings, and those providing close personal care to someone at higher risk should they contract COVID-19. Further details can be found on NI Direct.

The position will continue to be kept under review with further announcements in August as necessary.

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