Monday 20 March 2023
As the Bailiwick continues to successfully adapt to living responsibly with COVID-19, a further de-escalation of community testing will come into effect next month.
Public Health guidance has been updated to reflect that the Bailiwick should now be managing COVID-19 infections in line with how other respiratory virus infections are dealt with. Central to this is the continued downscaling of our use of Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs), focusing their use in the future only where they are most needed.
As such, from 3rd April 2023, free LFTs will no longer be available for members of the community who are symptomatic. Islanders are asked to continue following guidance that has become well-established and understood within the Bailiwick in recent years; stay at home if you are unwell to minimise the risk of spread and seek medical treatment via your GP if needed.
LFTs will continue to be utilised to minimise the risk of potential outbreaks in vulnerable locations, by testing islanders admitted to such settings, including the hospital, care homes and prison. Visitors to such locations are no longer advised to test beforehand but are strongly encouraged against visiting friends or relatives if symptomatic.
Health and care workers will continue to be tested if symptomatic.
Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health, said:
'This further de-escalation of our testing strategy has been part of our on-going planning and has been made possible by the significant progress we have made as a Bailiwick in living responsibly with COVID-19. We are now managing COVID-19 in line with how we manage other respiratory tract infections. This shows how well islanders have adapted and how embedded COVID-19 guidance is amongst the community.
As individuals we don't self-test for other respiratory virus infections, we naturally stay at home if unwell and seek advice and treatment from our GP if needed. It is important that our ongoing management of COVID-19 aligns with those same principles going forward. We need a sustainable and long-term plan for COVID-19 testing and the changes we will be implementing on 3rd April 2023 supports directing our available services to those most at risk.
We are, however, maintaining a stock of LFTs to use in vulnerable settings such as the hospital, care homes and the prison to mitigate against infection in all other service users. Likewise, health and care staff who work closely with vulnerable people will continue to have access to LFTs if they are symptomatic.'