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All coronavirus test centres close as Living with Covid Plan begins

People looking to get a PCR test will no longer be able to do so from today, after all coronavirus testing centres closed.

The move is part of the Government’s Living with Covid Plan, which means that people can leave the house, even if they have tested positive for the virus.

It comes at a time when infections across the country are rising, although hospitalisations have dropped significantly.

A PCR test is administered in Diss during surge testing last year.Picture: Mark Bullimore
A PCR test is administered in Diss during surge testing last year.Picture: Mark Bullimore

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid said: “Thanks to our plan to tackle Covid, we are leading the way in learning to live with the virus.

“We have made enormous progress but will keep the ability to respond to future threats, including potential variants.

“Vaccines remain our best defence and we are now offering spring boosters to the elderly, care home residents and the most vulnerable – please come forward to protect yourself, your family and your community.”

Under the new plans, free symptomatic testing will only be provided for patients in hospital, people at higher risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus and people, such as NHS staff or carers, living or working in high-risk settings.

Covid case rates dropped by 7.6 per cent in south Norfolk over the past week, according to the latest figures provided by Public Health England.

A total of 1,493 people tested positive for coronavirus in the week leading up to March 25 – 123 less than the seven days prior.

In Diss and Roydon, cases rose by 15.5 per cent – from 97 reported cases to 112.

Harleston and Pulham also saw a rise, from 49 cases in the seven days leading up to March 25, to 65 cases the following week – an increase of 32.7 per cent.

Health leaders are now urging those that are eligible for a spring booster to come forward and book an appointment, while local vaccination clinics and health providers are reporting that almost a quarter of booked appointments over the last week were unattended.

Howard Martin, director of population health management and health inequalities at NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are pleased to see so many people coming forward to take up the offer of their spring booster.

“There are over 4,000 appointments already booked for next week in clinics across Norfolk and Waveney, which goes to show how important the vaccine remains to help people enjoy life without Covid-19 restrictions.

“While we welcome people coming forward to take up their jab, it is essential at this time that, if you do make a booked appointment, you attend or cancel, as vaccine supplies are calibrated to meet local demand and we don’t want anyone to miss out.

“While the spring booster programme continues at pace, I would remind anyone who hasn’t yet come forward for a vaccine that the evergreen offer of first, second and booster doses remains available.”

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