From today, everyone in Wales with symptoms of coronavirus will be able to request a test as a new online booking service becomes available.
Wales is joining a new UK-wide system for ordering home testing kits, in line with the Welsh Government’s Test Trace Protect strategy.
Earlier today, the 4 UK Chief Medical Officers confirmed the loss or change in smell or taste (anosmia) has been added to the list of symptoms of coronavirus.
This means from today, people will need to self-isolate if they have a loss or changed sense of normal smell or taste. They will also be able to request a test using the new system.
All members of their household must also self-isolate for 14 days, unless the person with symptoms has a negative test result.
Anyone experiencing the other coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature and continuous cough – will also be able to apply for a home testing kit using the new UK online portal. For further information and a link to the booking website, visit: www.gov.wales/coronavirus or www.llyw.cymru/coronafeirws.
This will be supported by a national 119 phone service, through which people can also order a home test.
Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething said:
This announcement is a major step forward in increasing coronavirus testing in Wales even further.
Critical workers will continue to be prioritised for testing but now members of the public with symptoms can apply for a test. The number of people we can test will increase as we continue to build our capacity.
In conjunction with a new tracing app, this increase in testing is at the heart of our Test Trace Protect strategy, which will help us to further reduce the spread of the virus and gradually ease restrictions on everyday life in Wales.
The public will be our most important partners in delivering this strategy – we are asking only those people who have symptoms to request a test, to ensure they go to the right people.
Critical workers in Wales can also now order home testing kits via the UK-wide key worker website, with tests prioritised towards these workers over members of the public according to capacity.
The ability for critical workers and the public to book slots at drive-through testing centres, mobile testing units and community testing units through these websites will be introduced soon. In the meantime critical workers can continue to use the current local referral arrangements. See Apply for a coronavirus test.