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Ilminster Forum Updates

Changes to Coronavirus testing guidance

From 11 January in England, people who receive positive lateral flow device (LFD) test results for Coronavirus will be required to self-isolate immediately and won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.


Lateral flow tests are taken by people who do not have symptoms of covid-19. However, anyone who develops 1 of the 3 main Covid symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate and take a PCR test. They must self-isolate if they get a positive test result, even if they have had a recent negative lateral flow test – these rules have not changed.


The symptoms are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal


Professor Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health for Somerset County Council, said: “While covid levels remain high across Somerset, and indeed, the country as a whole, people can be confident that rapid tests are highly accurate. The vast majority of people who test positive on an LFD can be confident that they have covid-19, and should self-isolate. However, these tests are only for people who do not have symptoms of covid-19. Anyone with covid symptoms should self-isolate and book a PCR test.”


Under the new guidance, anyone in England who receives a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test result should report their result on and must self-isolate immediately, but will not need to take a follow-up PCR test.


Anyone who tests positive will be able to leave self-isolation seven days after the date of their initial positive test if they receive two negative lateral flow test results, 24 hours apart, on days six and seven providing they no longer have a fever.


At present anyone with a positive lateral flow test who has no symptoms needs a PCR test - carried out in a lab - to confirm their result. This can take days to arrive and health officials are worried people may not be isolating during this time. The change will also improve access to PCR tests for people with symptoms and for healthcare, transport and other key workers following problems over test supplies.


There are some exemptions to the new rule. People who require Test and Trace financial support, those taking part in Covid research studies and around one million people in England eligible for new NHS treatments for Covid will all be asked to take a follow-up PCR.

With the current surge in demand, due to the increase in people with Covid-19 symptoms or testing positive on LFDs, some people have experienced delays when booking an onsite PCR testAvailability is temporarily reduced in some areas to ensure labs can meet processing demand. Availability is refreshed very regularly, so check back every 30 minutes. Please also remember that you can also order a PCR test kit to be delivered to your home. Again, availability will be refreshed regularly, so continue to check the site throughout the day to make sure you receive your test promptly.

LFDs tests should become available for order online every few hours, as availability is refreshed regularly. People are encouraged to re-visit the site every few hours. Please remember that LFDs can be collected at local participating pharmacies, as well as via the online ordering serviceYou will need a QR code to collect from a pharmacy.

Visit Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests - GOV.UK ( to order your lateral flow tests to your home or find out where to get rapid lateral flow tests locally at Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests - NHS (

Posted: 08/01/2022 23:39:00


Upcoming Events

Event: Illustrated Talk on Lawns by John Addison
Location: Barrington Village Hall

Barrington and District Gardening Society guest speaker John Addison has been in horticulture for over 50 years. He is an associate lecturer at Cannington Campus - part of Taunton and Bridgwater College and has been a judge at the Chelsea Flower Show. Free tea/coffee and biscuits will be served at the end of the talk.New members and visitors always welcome - just turn up on the night or for more information contact Robin Le Clercq on 01460 54691.

Date: 18/01/2022
Time: 7.30pm
Price: Not available

Event: Ilminster Food Bank
Location: Minster Rooms, Court Barton, Ilminster

Local churches, schools, members of the public and organisations collect dried, tinned and packet food, with other household items, to give to those that need a helping hand. This help is either temporary or long term depending on the individual circumstances. Fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs and milk vouchers are also given, where appropriate, to be used at PB Fruits of Ilminster. We thank the team at PB Fruits of Ilminster for their commitment to supporting us. It may be that you find yourself redundant, without hours on your zero hour contract, issues with receiving benefits, struggling to feed children during the holidays or ill. If that is you please come and see our team on Saturday and Wednesday mornings 10am - 12pm at the Minster Rooms, Court Barton. No referral needed. During COVID19 we are able to deliver food where needed. Please contact the church office if you need this service. If you are an organisation that would like to contribute to the Ilminster Foodbank please contact the church office.

Date: 19/01/2022
Time: 10am to 12pm
Price: Free

Event: Ilminster FoodShare
Location: Minster Rooms, Court Barton, Ilminster

Come along every Saturday and Wednesday morning, between 10am and 12pm, to help yourself to good quality surplus food and work with us to reduce food waste. FoodShare is run by a committed team of volunteers who hate to see waste. Supermarkets regularly throw food away that is perfectly fine for consumption but, because of their internal processes, remove it from their shelves. This food was destined for the bin but the team at the Minster have worked with the local supermarkets and businesses to try and reduce this. They go round the local area to collect twice a week from these businesses, check the food, and then offer it to all for free. All the food is either just before its 'use by' or within its 'best before' date. Our team are careful to ensure that all fresh food is handled correctly and ready for the people of Ilminster to take. Local businesses that are currently taking part in FoodShare are Tesco, Co-op and The Pantry, West Street

Date: 19/01/2022
Time: 10am to 12 pm
Price: Free

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