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Source: Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

Summary

The Government announced (on the 13th March 2020) the move to the delay phase in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 from today are to self-isolate (stay at home) and do not require swab samples to be taken and tested for Coronavirus. This will result in a significant reduction in the swab sample collection requirement in the community.

There may still be some individuals who require swabs to be taken and we have yet to finalise the plans for testing workers that support the critical national infrastructure including NHS staff. Although it is appropriate to pause activity in the community home swabbing services, hospital pods and drive-thru swabbing facilities these services should not be taken down; the capability should be retained until further guidance is issued.

For individuals who have already had their swabs taken under the previous case definition, we are obliged to complete the test and to ensure that they receive the results as that may still change our advice to them.

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