Testing rules relaxed in de-escalation of Covid-19 measures

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ISLANDERS will no longer be required to have a PCR test when being admitted to hospital or other care settings, as part of further de-escalation of Covid-19 measures by the government.

The government announced on Monday that Islanders would instead be required to take a lateral-flow test in these settings from Saturday 1 April.

The changes also include updates to mask wearing policy, and testing and isolation guidance.

Health, care and emergency services will have autonomy to determine the requirements for masks for their staff and in their premises, based on the current level of risk.

Asymptomatic staff and inpatients in healthcare settings will no longer be tested daily, but anyone with symptoms will be managed in line with standard guidance.

Following a positive Covid-19 test, all Islanders will be advised to stay at home for five days, and to avoid vulnerable people for ten days if possible – there will no longer be a requirement for two consecutive negative LFTs before returning to work for any employees.

LFT kits are still freely available to order online. However, it is anticipated that the universal offer of LFT kits will be removed, and all non-diagnostic testing will stop from 30 June. Guernsey confirmed last week that free LFT kits will no longer be available in the island from 3 April.

These changes follow those that were announced in January and the government said that the latest guidance was considered proportionate to the level of risk Covid-19 currently posed to the Island and reflected an overall fall in demand and need for testing.

Public health director Professor Peter Bradley said: ‘Our priority is and always will be the health and safety of Islanders, and these changes that we are announcing today continue to reflect our approach to the sustained management of Covid-19.

‘I want to reassure Islanders that we will continue to support them if they are unwell or concerned about Covid-19. I urge everyone to continue following the guidance by staying at home and doing an LFT if you feel unwell.’

Islanders visiting a patient on a hospital ward will still have to wear a mask, and continue to wear one in:

– The oncology unit
– The renal unit
– The Medical Day Unit
– The Day Surgery Unit
– Ambulatory Emergency Care
– Samarès Ward

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