Do a Covid test before Christmas shopping: Government issues advice

Do a Covid test before Christmas shopping: Government issues new advice to take a lateral flow test before heading to crowded places in bid to prevent fourth wave this winter

  • First time Britons have been asked to take a test before going to highrisk place
  • New guidance also includes indoor settings such as sporting events
  • Cabinet Office guidance warned being in indoor places carries higher risk
  • Previously Britons have been asked to take a test after being in crowded place 

The Government has issued new advice to take a lateral flow test before heading to crowded placed to prevent a fourth wave this winter.

It is the first time Britons have been asked to take a test before going to highrisk settings – which could include busy shops and town centres.

Previously people in England were asked to take two tests a week or before meeting vulnerable individuals or after visiting a highrisk place, but not before.

The new guidance also covers indoor settings such as sporting events and music concerts, according to the i newspaper.

The Cabinet Office guidance also warned being in busy indoor places carries a higher risk of catching or passing on Covid-19.

It is the first time Britons have been asked to take a test before going to highrisk settings – which could include busy shops and town centres. Pictured, Bond Street in London

It reads: ‘You may wish to take a rapid lateral flow test if it is expected that there will be a period of high risk that day. 

‘This includes spending time in crowded and enclosed spaces, or before visiting people who are at higher risk of severe illness if they get Covid-19.’

Ministers and scientists have argued the UK is protected from another way of infections because of a high take up of boosters.

The Delta variant also hit the UK before the rest of Europe, so there is a higher rate of population immunity.

Experts say Plan B, which includes measures including mandatory face masks and working from home, will not be needed.

Meanwhile, the booster jab is expected to be available to the under-40s within weeks. 

A Government spokesperson said: ‘Taking a free rapid lateral flow test will give you peace of mind that you are unlikely to be infectious and able to spread Covid-19.

Experts say Plan B, which includes measures including mandatory face masks and working from home, will not be needed (file image)

Ministers and scientists have argued the UK is protected from another way of infections because of a high take up of boosters. Pictured, Boris Johnson

‘It remains vital to get vaccinated and continue to take other preventative measures such as regular hand washing, wearing a face mask and keeping spaces ventilated when meeting people indoors.’

One in three people who are infected with Covid-19 do not experience symptoms but a lateral flow test will allow them to avoid making others unwell.

It comes as nearly half of UK adults supported an indefinite lockdown for unvaccinated people, according to a poll.  

Around 45 per cent said they would want those without a Covid jab to have permanent restrictions on their movements in the survey for Savanta ComRes.

Savanta ComRes interviewed 2,184 UK adults between 19 and 21 November.  

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