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Everyone With Coronavirus Symptoms Can Be Tested

Online booking Service details here!

From today, (Monday 18 May) everyone in Wales with symptoms of coronavirus will be able to request a test as a new online booking service becomes available.

Wales is joining a new UK-wide system for ordering home testing kits, in line with the Welsh Government’s Test Trace Protect strategy.

Earlier today, the four UK Chief Medical Officers confirmed the loss or change in smell or taste (anosmia) has been added to the list of symptoms of coronavirus.

This means from today, people will need to self-isolate if they have a loss or changed sense of normal smell or taste. They will also be able to request a test using the new system.

All members of their household must also self-isolate for 14 days, unless the person with symptoms has a negative test result.

Anyone experiencing the other coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature and continuous cough – will also be able to apply for a home testing kit using the new UK online portal. For further information and a link to the booking website, visit: https://gov.wales/apply-coronavirus-test

This will be supported by a national 119 phone service, through which people can also order a home test.

Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething said: “This announcement is a major step forward in increasing coronavirus testing in Wales even further.

“Critical workers will continue to be prioritised for testing but now members of the public with symptoms can apply for a test. The number of people we can test will increase as we continue to build our capacity.

“In conjunction with a new tracing app, this increase in testing is at the heart of our Test Trace Protect strategy, which will help us to further reduce the spread of the virus and gradually ease restrictions on everyday life in Wales.

“The public will be our most important partners in delivering this strategy – we are asking only those people who have symptoms to request a test, to ensure they go to the right people.”

Critical workers in Wales can also now order home testing kits via the UK-wide key worker website, with tests prioritised towards these workers over members of the public according to capacity.

The ability for critical workers and the public to book slots at drive-through testing centres, mobile testing units and community testing units through these websites will be introduced soon. In the meantime critical workers can continue to use the current local referral arrangements. See https://gov.wales/coronavirus-test-bookings-and-process 

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: "Throughout this crisis, the UK and Welsh Governments have worked closely together to put the safety of Wales’ population at the centre of our efforts to combat the coronavirus. The decision of the Welsh Government to join the rest of the UK on the testing portal brings that alignment even closer.

“The UK Government continues to support the Welsh Government in tackling the coronavirus in Wales, including providing over £2.2 billion in financial support, delivering unprecedented funding schemes for individuals and businesses affected by the economic hardship caused as well as mobilising the Armed Forces to bolster the medical and logistical effort.

“There are far more similarities than differences in the approaches of the different administrations of the UK and we remain committed to working together as four nations to overcome this devastating virus.”

Angela Burns, Welsh Shadow Health Minister, said: "Knowledge of and full, detailed figures on the numbers of cases are vital for the virus to be monitored so that other measures and policies can be brought in on the back of the data collected.

"This measure will bring reassurance to many people, especially the parents of some of our youngest people here, if introduced in Wales.

"However, it comes with the usual caveat of 'How will Wales cope?', because the testing regime in Wales has been very poor, with missed and then abandoned targets since this pandemic began.

"We need to see real and sustained improvements and increases here by the Welsh Government before this new policy can give us hope."

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