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Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health & Social Services

First published:
17 December 2021
Last updated:

The safety and protection of the most vulnerable people in our communities is at the heart of our response to the pandemic.

Following the emergence and rapid spread of the omicron variant, we have updated our guidance for staff in healthcare, social care, hospices and special schools who are eligible for routine asymptomatic testing  

These staff members, regardless of their vaccination status or previous infection with Covid-19, will now be strongly encouraged to take a lateral flow test (LFT), every day before they attend work. They should take the test at home, using the LFTs provided by their employer, in good time before the start of their shift, to allow that shift to be covered by alternative staff member, if they test is positive.

Daily testing in this way is more likely to identify those people who may be infectious, without showing symptoms, and before they leave home to start work. This will in turn help protect patients, service users, children and other staff members.

We are engaging with our partners across the relevant sectors to support the implementation of this change in guidance so operational changes can be made as soon as possible.

Staff will also be reminded about the importance of reporting all their results on the UK Government portal. This is a vital part of the programme which supports evidence-based decision-making.