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Getting tested and vaccinated

  • Getting a test if you have symptoms

    Anyone feeling unwell or worried they may have coronavirus can now get a test for COVID-19.

    The three main symptoms of coronavirus are:

    • A high temperature
    • A new, continuous cough
    • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

    However, there are other symptoms of coronavirus including a persistent headache and diarrhoea, so you should get a test if you feel in any way unwell.

    When you are booking a test, if you don't have the classic symptoms, simply say you don't. A few clicks later on the website, you can then choose the option which says: "My local council or health protection team has asked me (or someone I live with) to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms".

    If you have been in contact with somebody who has symptoms of coronavirus, you must self-isolate for 10 days, even if you have no symptoms yourself, and even if you have had a negative test result - as you could still be incubating the virus.

    You are not eligible for a test through the national Test and Trace system for the reason of travelling to or from another country. If you return from a country that is subject to quarantine requirements and FCO foreign travel advice, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days, even if you test negative during those 10 days. Please do not waste a test that may be needed for others with symptoms.

    Testing locations

    You can choose to take the test:

    • At a test site (if one is locally available to you)
    • With a home test kit

    There are lots of coronavirus test appointments available in Blackpool if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. You can select walk in or drive through options when booking your appointment.

    Please note: If you cannot get a test now, or the location or time are not convenient, try again in a few hours.

    You cannot be tested for coronavirus at your GP surgery.

    Order a test online at GOV.UK

    Or call 119 to get a test if you are unable to use the internet.

  • Symptom-free testing for everyone

    Twice weekly coronavirus testing is now being offered to everybody in England.

    You can pick up free rapid tests at local test sites and participating local pharmacies.

    Find your nearest collection site

    Or order tests online

    The community testing hub in Blackpool is also available for those with no symptoms to drop in to get a rapid COVID-19 test done in a few minutes, with a result sent by text message after 30 minutes.

    The hub is also offering a vaccination booking service, providing assistance to anyone needing to book their Covid-19 vaccination.

    Community testing hub

    Please note: The testing hub is closed on bank holidays

    Location Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    Hounds Hill
    Unit 95
    65 Victoria Street
    Blackpool
    FY1 4RJ
    9.15am to 11.40am 9.15am to 3.40pm 9.15am to 3.40pm 9.15am to 3.40pm 9.15am to 3.40pm 9.15am to 3.40pm

    Type of test

    Rapid ‘lateral flow tests' are used that give results within 30 minutes, without needing to send them to a laboratory.

    Booking

    No, you can just walk in with no appointment needed. Lateral flow testing devices are used with results given in around 30 minutes. If you are taking a test at the hub, you just need a mobile number or email address to register when you arrive. You can also pick up tests from these hubs.

    The test

    A swab (similar to a big cotton bud) is used to take a sample from inside the nose/throat. It does not hurt, and takes seconds. The sample is added to the lateral flow testing device to detect COVID-19.

    Requirement

    Symptom-free testing is currently voluntary, but it will help people to make informed decisions to help keep themselves and their families safe, and help protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19.

    Testing positive

    Those who test positive must:

    If your confirmatory PCR test is taken within 2 days and comes back negative, you and your contacts will be able to stop isolating.

    Testing negative

    A negative test result from a rapid test does not prove you are free from COVID-19.

    Not all cases are picked up, as these tests are not as accurate as laboratory ones, especially when it is early in the infection.

    • Do not change your behaviour - stick to national guidelines
    • Wash hands regularly
    • Use a face covering in public
    • Keep 2 metres apart

    Frequency of tests

    You should start getting regularly tested twice a week to stop the spread of the virus.

    If you have symptoms

    If you have symptoms, then you must not attend these drop-in sessions and should self-isolate immediately. Book a free test by calling 119, book online or through the NHS COVID-19 app.

  • Self isolating

    If you have any of the 3 main symptoms of COVID-19 however mild, you must self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started.

    You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

    If you are not experiencing any of the 3 main symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19 you also must self-isolate for 10 days, starting from the day the test was taken. If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, you must restart your 10-day isolation from the day you develop symptoms.

    Duty to self isolate

    There is a legal duty on all those who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact, to self-isolate. Failure to comply with this new duty will be an offence carrying a fine of at least £1,000 and up to £10,000 for multiple breaches.

    The duty means that anyone notified of a positive test result and any of their notified contacts will have a legal duty to self-isolate.

    Contact tracing

    Local contact tracers may call you if you need to self-isolate.

    They will call from the following phone number: 01253 478000.

    How long to isolate

    Those testing positive for COVID-19 will be legally obliged to self-isolate for a period ending 10 days after the onset of symptoms or, for people who did not have symptoms when they were tested, 10 days after the date of the test. If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, you must restart your 10-day isolation from the day you develop symptoms.

    Other members of the household will be legally obliged to self-isolate for a period ending 10 days after the onset of the infected person's symptoms (or, if they were asymptomatic, after the date of the test).

    Non-household contacts will be obliged to self-isolate for the period notified to them by NHS Test and Trace (the period ending 10 days after their most recent exposure to the person who has tested positive).

    Please read the government guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus infection.

    Travelling abroad

    You may have to self-isolate when you arrive in England, if you are travelling from a country that is not on the travel corridor exempt list. Please check the government website for further details, including how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK.

    Support if you are self isolating

    You could be eligible for a support payment of £500 if you are financially impacted by needing to self-isolate.

    Find out if you are eligible

    Our Corona Kindness service can help if you need further support with tasks such as food shopping or getting medical supplies.

    Call 0808 196 3080 or email helpneeded@blackpool.gov.uk

  • Getting the vaccine

    Vaccines are important

    The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus.

    Getting the COVID-19 vaccine

    The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine anyone over the age of 18.

    Book your vaccination now

    You will need to be registered with a GP surgery in England. Register with a GP

    More information on getting the coronavirus vaccine

    Vaccine Van

    A vaccine van will be visiting a number of locations in Blackpool, where adults can just drop-in to get their vaccination with no appointment needed.

    More information on vaccine van locations

    Free bus travel to Blackpool Victoria Hospital

    There is a free bus service for anyone with a vaccination appointment at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

    If you are travelling to your vaccination appointment on the Blackpool Transport bus service 74/75, you can travel for free by showing your vaccination booking confirmation text, email or letter.

  • Workplace testing

    Evidence shows that around 1 in 3 people who test positive for COVID-19 have no symptoms at all.

    These asymptomatic people can spread the virus unknowingly, in workplaces and in the community. That is why the testing of people without symptoms is vital.

    Employee testing is quick and easy

    Swabbing and processing symptom-free tests can be conducted at home by the employee.

    Rapid ‘lateral flow tests' are used that give results within 30 minutes, without needing to send them to a laboratory.

    The tests are designed to be easy to use and require minimal training to operate.

    Find out more and register your workplace now