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Getting tested and vaccinated

  • Symptoms

    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

    • High temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
    • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
    • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

    Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms. Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if you’re worried about your symptoms.

  • 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 hubs in Blackpool are 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.

    Please do not call testing hub venues as they cannot help with testing sessions information.

    Community testing hubs

    Hubs are closed on bank holiday Monday 3 May

    Whiteholme Community Centre hub will be closed on election day Thursday 6 May 2021

    Location Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 Session 4
    The Oracle
    49 St Anne's Road
    Blackpool
    FY4 2AP
    Monday
    8.15am to 6.30pm
    (closed bank holidays)
    Thursday
    8.15am to 6.30pm
    Saturday
    9.15pm to 4.40pm
    Whiteholme Youth and Community Centre
    All Saints Road
    Blackpool
    FY5 3AL
    Tuesday
    12.15pm to 6.30pm
    Thursday
    8.15am to 6.30pm
    (closed 6 May)
    Salvation Army
    Raikes Parade
    Blackpool
    FY1 4EL
    Tuesday
    8.15am to 5.30pm

    Wednesday
    8.15am to 6.30pm

    Friday
    10.45am to 6.00pm

    Saturday
    Closed
    Hounds Hill
    Unit 95
    65 Victoria Street
    Blackpool
    FY1 4RJ
    Monday
    8.15am to 3.40pm
    (closed bank holidays)

    Wednesday
    8.15am to 3.40pm

    Friday
    8.15am to 3.40pm

    Saturday
    8.15am 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, these are walk-in hubs. 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 new 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 new duty means that anyone notified of a positive test result and any of their notified contacts will have a legal duty to self-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.

    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 for those 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 to people most at risk from coronavirus.

    In England, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at hundreds of local vaccination centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres. More centres are opening all the time.

    It's being given to:

    • People aged 40 and over
    • People at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
    • People who live or work in care homes
    • Health and social care workers
    • People with a condition that puts them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
    • People with a learning disability
    • People who are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus

    You also need to be registered with a GP surgery in England. You can register with a GP if you do not have one.

    The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

    More information on getting the coronavirus vaccine

  • Winter Gardens vaccination hub

    Vaccination centre

    The Winter Gardens will be operating as a vaccination hub from Monday 25 January 2021. Access will be strictly by appointment only.

    • Appointments will be either by letter or a telephone call
    • Entrance to the vaccination centre will be on the corner of Coronation Street and Adelaide Street
    • Patients in wheelchairs or walking sticks will be able to use the front entrance

    Parking

    • You are advised to park on East Topping Street. There will be a seperate area for those heading for a vaccine towards the Church Street end of the car park
    • A pay and display machine in that particular area of the car park will be reconfigured to give a free one-hour allowance for parking
    • The five-minute walk to the vaccination centre will be signposted
    • There will be marshalls on site to help patients park, answer any queries and sign post you to the venue
    • Parking attendants will also be on site to help

    More information on getting vaccinated in Lancashire

  • 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. Identifying those individuals will save lives.

    Employee testing is quick and easy and can be conducted in the workplace itself or at home by the employee.

    Rapid testing in the workplace helps to ensure your business can continue to operate by identifying anyone who may be unknowingly passing the virus on to others. By engaging in workplace testing, businesses and their employees are helping to keep their workforce, customers and service users safe, and reduce infection so that we can return to normality as soon as possible.

    Offering testing will build confidence among employees when returning to the workplace and demonstrate to them that employers are committed to supporting their safe return to the workplace.

    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

  • Testing for schools

    Secondary and college students

    Symptom-free testing has now been introduced for secondary school and college students.

    Secondary school and college students will take rapid Covid-19 tests twice a week at home, after they have completed 3 initial tests on their return to school/college.

    Primary school children

    Primary school children will not be regularly tested due to low levels of transmission between younger aged children, but they will still need to come forward for tests if they have symptoms.

    Testing for families and the wider school community

    From 8 March when schools reopen, whole families, households and bubbles with nursery, primary school, secondary school and college age children in them, will be able to test themselves twice every week from home.

    Twice-weekly testing will also be offered to adults working in the wider school community, including bus drivers and after school club leaders.

    Getting your tests

    You can pick up free rapid tests at local test sites and participating pharmacies. No appointment needed.

    Find your nearest collection site

    Or order tests online

    The community testing hubs in Blackpool are 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.

    Community testing hubs

    Location Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 Session 4
    The Oracle
    49 St Anne's Road
    Blackpool
    FY4 2AP
    Monday
    8.15am to 6.30pm
    Thursday
    8.15am to 6.30pm
    Saturday
    9.15pm to 4.40pm
    Whiteholme Youth and Community Centre
    All Saints Road
    Blackpool
    FY5 3AL
    Tuesday
    12.15pm to 6.30pm
    Thursday
    8.15am to 6.30pm
    Salvation Army
    Raikes Parade
    Blackpool
    FY1 4EL
    Tuesday
    8.15am to 5.30pm

    Wednesday
    8.15am to 6.30pm

    Friday
    10.45am to 6.00pm

    Saturday
    Closed
    Hounds Hill
    Unit 95
    65 Victoria Street
    Blackpool
    FY1 4RJ
    Monday
    8.15am to 3.40pm

    Wednesday
    8.15am to 3.40pm

    Friday
    8.15am to 3.40pm

    Saturday
    8.15am to 3.40pm

    You will be able to:

    • Collect 2 packs of 7 rapid self-test kits to take home, per individual collecting (up to a maximum of 4 packs e.g. for very large or extended families). The testing regime is twice per week per person.
    • Take the tests at home.
    • Register the test and record the results at home, using the NHS website or through the 119 call centre for positive, negative and void results.
    • If you have a positive self-test result, you will be asked to take a laboratory Covid-19 test to confirm the result by either ordering one online or by booking an appointment to attend a local test site.

    Symptom-free testing is voluntary, but it can help give you peace of mind and protect families and schools.

    Anybody in a household or bubble with someone who goes to school will be able to pick up 2 packs of 7 test kits just by giving their name and contact details when they visit a collection site.

    If you cannot collect tests from a test site, order rapid test kits online.