Changes to COVID-19 testing

Last month, the Prime Minister announced a plan for us to begin to safely live with and manage COVID-19. In line with this plan, by the end of this month routine asymptomatic (lateral flow testing) and symptomatic testing (PCR testing) will no longer be available for free for the general population.

This will mean that local testing sites in Swindon and others across the country will no longer be available after 30 March 2022 and the sites will be demobilised shortly after. This includes:

  • The Mobile Testing Unit at Civic Offices, Euclid Street
  • The Local Test Site at Broad Green Community Centre
  • The Regional Test Site at Wroughton Park and Ride

You will also no longer be able to order free asymptomatic test kits via the NHS website after 31 March, nor will you be able to collect free test kits from collection sites.

Testing will however still be made available for vulnerable groups, with further information to follow via the website.

Over the next week, our teams will be out and about distributing test kits at various locations, so feel free to take a test kit if you see them. We’ll also be sharing their locations via our Facebook page.

The impact of COVID-19 on local schools

With COVID-19 cases in Swindon increasing, many schools in Swindon are seeing an increase in the number of staff testing positive for COVID.

For some schools, this may affect their day-to-day running, as staff absences may require a change back to remote learning, last-minute changes to planned trips or excursions, class closures and changes to the usual support some children may have in place. COVID-19 is also impacting how many children travel to school.

The health and safety of all pupils and staff is of paramount importance and some schools may require further enhanced measures, in line with national guidance. Please check your child’s school website, and emails from the school every evening in case it may affect you or your child.

Upcoming vaccine clinics

Over the next week, we will be holding local COVID-19 vaccine clinics, offering first, second and booster vaccine doses:

Thursday, 31 March from 10am to 6pm – The Moonrakers, Cricklade Road, Swindon, SN2 5AA

Visit our website and take a look under ‘getting vaccinated’ for all our upcoming vaccine clinics. You can also find the dates of other local walk-in clinics on the NHS walk-in site finder.

A second spring COVID-19 booster is now being offered to:

  • people aged 75 and over
  • those in care homes
  • those aged 12 years and over with a weakened immune system

If you’re eligible, book your appointment now by calling 119 or by visiting the NHS website.

For more information, see the full E-Newsletter.