Rapid Covid-19 testing kits for people without symptoms are being rolled out to community pharmacies across Scotland.
It’s aimed at encouraging further uptake of testing among people with no symptoms and finding cases which would otherwise go undetected.
Free packs will be available to be collected from participating pharmacies, with each pack containing seven devices which can provide results in around 30 minutes.
However, people with Covid-19 symptoms should not enter pharmacies to collect self-test kits or use a lateral flow device and must instead self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test at NHS Inform.
People will be able to find out which pharmacies are taking part in the scheme by going to NHS inform, following a link and entering their postcode.
Anyone with symptoms, such as a cough, fever or loss of taste or smell should self-isolate immediately and book a PCR (polymarese chain reaction) test.
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.”
He added: “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.”
Professor Harry McQuillan from Community Pharmacy Scotland said: “The community pharmacy network across Scotland provides access to NHS services close to people’s homes at the heart of our communities.
“This distribution service further enhances the ongoing testing programme and builds upon the community pharmacy teams role in supporting Scotland’s public health response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
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