Test kits rolled out to pharmacies across the country

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COMMUNITY pharmacies across Scotland are extending access to rapid Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing kits for people without COVID-19 symptoms.

The expansion started yesterday, with its aim to encourage further uptake of testing among people with no symptoms and finding cases which would otherwise go undetected.

It builds on current efforts in place to improve access to rapid lateral flow devices (LFDs) for people without COVID-19 symptoms, by making it easier for people without access to digital services.

| Health News Scotland
Free packs are available to be collected from participating pharmacies, with each containing seven devices which can provide results in around 30 minutes(Photo from Bermix Studio on Unsplash)

People with symptoms of COVID-19 should not enter pharmacies to collect self-test kits or use a LFD and must instead self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test at NHS Inform

Heath Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “Testing has a vital role to play as we move safely out of lockdown and this rollout of testing kits to pharmacies for the public to drop in and pick up helps build on our strategy to tackle COVID-19.

“It would be a mistake to think that the successful delivery of the vaccination programme means testing becomes less important. The evidence suggests vaccination provides strong protection, but does not yet guarantee you can’t still get the virus and pass it on.

“Around one in three people with COVID-19 do not show any symptoms and rapid lateral flow testing is already helping us identify new cases. The ability to quickly identify new outbreaks and put appropriate measures in place will remain at the heart of our strategy to help break chains of transmission.

“Regular, rapid testing is already available to people in a wide range of settings, including schools and communities where rates remain high and everyone should access testing regularly.”

People can find out which pharmacies are taking part by going to NHS inform, following a link and entering their postcode.