Covid-19 response: Community testing focus moves to rapid tests

Residents in Uttlesford without Covid-19 symptoms are being encouraged to seek a rapid coronavirus test.

As part of the community testing programme, Essex County Council has opened a rapid testing site (Lateral Flow Device Testing) in Saffron Walden.

Tests are by appointment only and bookings should be made online, at Anyone booking should live in Uttlesford.

Essex, as a testing pilot area, is leading the way in this rapid testing, particularly around workforce testing.

Following a change in government policy on community Covid-19 testing, Uttlesford District Council (UDC) must close the two PCR test collection sites at Turpin's Indoor Bowling Club, Saffron Walden and the Rowena Davey Centre, Great Dunmow. These sites are for individuals to collect a test to do at home. People can also collect them for their immediate family and/or members of their support bubble.

Tests will be available until Thursday 28 January, unless stocks run out sooner. The sites will remain open for people to return completed tests until Thursday 4 February. The government has confirmed it will not be supplying any more PCR tests to councils.

Updates will be made on the UDC website and social media channels if tests run out before Thursday 28 January.

Cllr Petrina Lees, UDC's Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health, said: "The PCR testing sites in Uttlesford have been popular and we're pleased to see so many people in our community coming forward to get tested.

"The national focus has now turned to rapid testing and we stand prepared to do our bit in supporting this next phase in battling the virus. Residents without symptoms, who are unable to work from home and have no choice but to come into contact with others, should book a rapid test.

"In the meantime, anyone who has collected a PCR testing kit should still complete it and drop it back to one of the sites as soon as possible. This will be important in helping to identify and isolate positive cases of Covid in our community."

To find out more and keep up-to-date with community testing, go to

Anyone who has symptoms for Covid-19 - a high temperature, new or continuous cough, or a loss or change of taste or smell - should book a test through the national booking system. Further information is available at

25 January 2021