With Christmas fast approaching and a rise in COVID-19 cases across the UK, we are encouraging people in Halton to keep doing ‘no symptoms’ lateral flow tests before getting together with family and friends this Christmas as well as getting their booster jab during the holidays if they haven’t yet had it already.

No symptoms – home lateral flow test kits

Lateral flow home test kits are widely available across Halton including:

  • Our public health team will be visiting local shopping areas (9.30am – 3.30pm) as follows:
    • Tuesday 21 Dec – Co-op, Hale Road, Hale Bank, Widnes WA8 8UU
    • Wednesday 22 Dec – Runcorn Old Town, behind the bus interchange WA7 1AT
  • Local pharmacies – please find your nearest participating pharmacy here – https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/

Get boosted

Getting fully vaccinated including a booster jab is the best defence against Covid-19 and any new variants that we may encounter. NHS clinics are running across Halton and the best ways of booking a local appointment are:

  • Book or manage 1st, 2nd, 3rd or booster doses of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine by clicking here or call NHS 119. Local appointments are regularly updated to the national booking system as vaccines and clinics become available so please keep trying.
  • Find a local walk in site by clicking here
  • Local GPs are contacting people by text including a booking link for a local appointment

Dr Ifeoma Onyia, interim Director of Public Health, said: “We are in worrying times but there is a lot you can do to help keep yourself and others safe. The best defence against the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 is to get a vaccination and it’s never too late to get a first or second jab as well as a booster.

“I urge everyone to use lateral flow tests ahead of getting together with family and friends, it’s a quick and easy way to be safer and tests are widely available across Halton. You can also take other practical steps when meeting people such as regularly opening the windows to let fresh air circulate for a few minutes and washing hands frequently. It all helps to reduce how much of the virus is hanging around waiting to infect the most vulnerable amongst us.”

Get Boosted Street Team

NHS vaccine ambassadors will be out in Runcorn this Wednesday 22 December at ASDA encouraging everyone to get their vaccine during the holidays. The team will also be giving out lateral flow home test kits.

 If you have symptoms – please get a PCR test

Anyone who feels unwell should isolate and get a PCR test as soon as possible. We advise everyone to err on the side of caution. People often report cold like symptoms as well as the main COVID symptoms of a new persistent cough, high temperature or fever or loss of smell and/or taste. The local NHS Test Centres are at:

  • The Heath, Runcorn
  • Behind The Brindley Theatre, Runcorn
  • Kingsway, Widnes.
  • There are also mobile test units at The Queen of Hearts Pub car park in Runcorn and the Widnes Market car park in Widnes.

PCR test centres are open every day over the Christmas and New Year holidays. You can book a test here – https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

More information on COVID testing in Halton is at www.halton.gov.uk/covidtesting or call 0151 511 5200.