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Harlow Covid-19 testing moves to rapid Lateral Flow Tests

25 Jan Harlow Covid-19 testing moves to rapid Lateral Flow Tests

Following a change in government policy, Covid-19 testing in Harlow and across Essex is changing to focus on rapid testing, with Lateral Flow Testing becoming the default approach to testing in local communities.

Essex County Council (ECC) has opened 13 fast Covid-19 testing centres across Essex including one at the Harlow Civic Centre, which offer local people quick and easy Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) and give a result in around 30 minutes. These centres will replace the existing PCR testing offer currently available in communities, which are run by local councils in Essex.

The final date for any PCR tests to be distributed by the Harlow site at the Latton Bush centre Griffin Suite is Wednesday 27 January 2021. Any unused tests will be collected from sites on 29 January or 1 February.

The PCR testing facilities will close on Thursday 4 February which will also be the final day that completed tests are collected from the sites. Residents are required to return any outstanding PCR tests before 4 February.

With LFT an integral part of the county’s Covid-19 response, Harlow residents are urged to book one at their local fast testing centre as soon as possible. .

Anyone living or working outside of their home in any district of Essex will be able to access a LFT at the relevant local centre for their district or the district that they work in.

More people taking a fast LFT will quickly help to identify positive asymptomatic Covid-19 cases in Essex and those individuals who may unknowingly be spreading the virus. This is particularly important in respect of individuals who are unable to work from home and who come into close contact with others as part of their job.

If you test positive following a LFT, you will be required to arrange a confirmatory PCR test and to self-isolate immediately. There is financial support available to help people whose work is affected.

If you test negative, it is vital that you continue to adhere to current Covid-19 guidelines around Hands, Face, Space.

LFTs are available by appointment only and you can book online or by calling 0333 772 6144. Lines are open from 8am to 8pm every day, including Saturday and Sunday.

Alternatively, you can email and a member of staff will contact them to arrange an appointment.

Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms should continue to access a test via