TESTING sites across Shropshire will stay open over the New Year so that anyone with Covid-19 symptoms can still access testing throughout the whole of the festive period.

With coronavirus cases on the rise across Shropshire, NHS and public health services are highlighting the importance of booking a test at the first signs of symptoms. These are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

“Effective testing for COVID-19 is one of the first lines of defence in reducing infections. Testing has taken place in locations across Shropshire and we have seen a good take up from residents,” said Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and climate change.

“I would strongly urge anyone who has symptoms, no matter how mild they may be, to immediately self-isolate and arrange to be tested.

“New appointments are released throughout the day and we have sites across Shropshire. People with symptoms also need to stay at home and isolate to protect themselves, their families and their community from any potential spread.

“I would also encourage everyone with a compatible smartphone to download the new NHS COVID-19 app, which supports the NHS’ wider Test and Trace programme.”

All test sites will remain open, with reduced opening hours and booking slots available on bank holidays when demand is expected to be lower. NHS Test and Trace contact tracers will also continue to work throughout the festive period with amended opening hours, to ensure there are no delays in contacting close contacts of positive cases and breaking chains of transmissions.

Anyone with symptoms must also immediately self-isolate for 10 days and should only leave the house to access a test. To book a site test or a home test go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus call 119. For advice call 0345 678 9028.