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coronavirus

NHS Orkney issues COVID-19 testing guidance

Visitors to island communities such as Orkney’s are being asked to take two tests prior to departure to minimise the risk of importation of COVID-19.

NHS Orkney has provided further details surrounding access to lateral flow device (LFD) tests — as visitors are encouraged to take two tests prior to arriving in island communities such as Orkney’s.

From next week, anyone will be able to request LFD tests by post, and NHS Orkney says people will soon be able to collect tests locally.

The Scottish Government is asking people to take the tests to protect island communities where the prevalence of COVID-19 is low as travel restrictions ease from Monday.

Michael Dickson, chief executive for both NHS Orkney and NHS Shetland, said easing travel restrictions meant more visitors would visit the isles soon, including cruise ships, in late summer and that meant an increased risk of COVID cases.   

Mr Dickson said: “Using LFD tests is not compulsory but it is a responsible step to take ahead of travel. Our islands do not have the facilities to manage a major outbreak which is always a risk when people start to travel again.

“An additional process for being able to collect test kits locally is coming soon and once we have this in place we will announce on Facebook and through local media what this procedure will be.”

The first LFD test should be taken three days before departure and the second should be on the day of departure to the islands.

If a person tests positive with an LFD test, travel must be delayed, the person should immediately isolate and a PCR test booked through their home health board. 

Tests can be requested through the UK Government website or by 0300 303 2713.

Those planning to travel should select “yes” when the site asks if they are being asked to get tested by a local authority or by an NHS Public Health team.  

They should also click “Scotland” under the “where in the UK do you live question” even if they live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. 

More information can be found through the Scottish Government website.

 

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