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People socialising should be tested for coronavirus twice a week according to Kent County Council's Director of Public Health Andrew Scott-Clark

People who are socialising outdoors should be tested for coronavirus twice a week, according to Kent's director of public health.

Andrew Scott-Clark made the statement saying as restrictions begin to ease, people should take advantage of symptom free testing sites regardless of whether or not they have been vaccinated.

Ashford GP Jack Jacobs talks about the need for twice a week tests

He said: “I strongly advise that everyone who leaves home for work, and now to socialise outdoors, should take a test twice a week.

"We still need to monitor cases closely and isolate anyone who is carrying the virus without knowing it.

“I also implore everyone in Kent to be extra vigilant over the Easter weekend. Stick to the guidelines and remember ‘Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air’ at all times.

“I want to thank everyone who has and continues to be tested in Kent, but now is not the time to be complacent or careless. We need to keep going to ensure we can reduce coronavirus infection rates if we are to see restrictions eased further by April 12."

More than half a million symptom free Covid-19 tests have now been carried out at sites across Kent.

Out of those, 2,686 positive cases were identified that would otherwise gone undetected.

As a result, these people have been able to act quickly to self-isolate and prevent passing the virus on to others.

KCC says the testing provision will remain across the county until at least the end of June.

Mr Scott-Clark added: “To reach the milestone of testing half a million people in the county is a testament to the amazing staff who run the testing centres, but also to the people of Kent who have so enthusiastically taken part in this testing programme.

Andrew Scott-Clark outside a mass testing site in Sheerness East WMC. Picture: John Nurden
Andrew Scott-Clark outside a mass testing site in Sheerness East WMC. Picture: John Nurden

“Covid-19 has not gone away and remains a very real threat, with an increase in cases in the county this week.

"Now more than ever, as we are finally allowed to meet family and friends outside and start to enjoy more freedom from lockdown restrictions, twice-weekly symptom free testing continues to be a vital tool in keeping infection rates low."

As of 4pm today, the number of Covid cases in the county passed the 140,000 mark - total is now 140,010 for Kent and Medway.

And the number of people to have died within 28 days of a positive Covid test in Kent/Medway is now 4,712.

All asymptomatic sites will be closed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday but will be open on Easter Saturday.

To book a symptom free test, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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