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Changes to Covid testing in Northern Ireland: how to get a lateral flow test

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Health officials have announced changes to Covid testing in Northern Ireland on Wednesday.

Health officials have announced changes to Covid testing in Northern Ireland on Wednesday.

Health officials have announced changes to Covid testing in Northern Ireland on Wednesday.

Changes to who should get a PCR test in Northern Ireland have been announced by health officials on Wednesday.

Fully-vaccinated close contacts will no longer be required to take a PCR test, instead they will be advised to take a lateral flow device (LFD) test as soon as possible.

The Public Health Agency is urging members of the public to only book PCR tests when necessary.

The agency has also put in place new PCR testing protocols to help protect the testing system in Northern Ireland and ensure availability of testing for those who need it.

New Covid protocols have been issued by the PHA in response to concerns about the availability of tests.

It comes after a record 21,000 Covid tests were carried out on Monday.

On Wednesday, the PHA published new arrangements regarding PCR testing in order to “protect the testing system in Northern Ireland and ensure availability of testing for those who need it”.

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While health officials have encouraged the use of LFD testing, concerns have been raised over a shortage of lateral flow tests being provided to pharmacies in Northern Ireland.

Gerard Green, chief executive of Community Pharmacy NI, called on the Department of Health to help increase their supply.

The public can find where to pick up lateral flow tests in Northern Ireland via this website.

The test kits can be ordered for free on the gov.uk website with the packs posted out. They can also be picked up for free at a number of pharmacies, with information on the NHS website showing all the closest pharmacies that carry them.

More information on ordering lateral flow tests can be found: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/regular-rapid-coronavirus-tests-if-you-do-not-have-symptoms/


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