Lateral flow tests are available in the Bradford district. Two new centres began operating in order to help drive down transmission rates of the virus.

Testing is now available for people without symptoms in St George’s Hall in Bradford city centre and in the Airedale Shopping Centre, Keighley. There is no need to book an appointment, anyone who lives or works in the Bradford district can just turn up. Queues may be managed to ensure COVID safety and social distancing.

St George’s Hall will be open to the public from 8.15am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturdays and on Sundays from 10.15am to 4pm.

Airedale Shopping Centre, Keighley will be open from 9am to 4.30pm Monday to Saturday and on Sundays from 11.15am to 3pm.

These testing centres will be closed on 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 December and 1 January but if you have symptoms some of the PCR testing sites will be open every day including Christmas Day.

Roughly one in three people with the virus have no symptoms and so could be spreading the disease without knowing it. Broadening testing to identify those showing no symptoms will mean finding positive cases more quickly, and so break the chains of transmission.

Lateral Flow Tests are new tests which are not to be confused with PCR tests. PCR tests are the tests that have been used since the beginning of the pandemic at the main testing sites but also at the Mobile Testing Units and the Council’s Home Testing Service, they’ve been very successful and are very accurate.

Lateral flow tests are another tool recommended by the Government to make sure people do not transmit the virus. Although the introduction of lateral flow testing is a step forward, public health advice is that the tests are not 100% accurate and can provide a ‘false negative’. Anyone getting a negative test result will be informed that they still have to stick to the guidelines: wash their hands regularly, wear a face covering and stay at least 2m apart. They will also be encouraged to get tested regularly.

Anyone who receives a positive result will have to isolate immediately and book to get a PCR test to confirm the diagnosis.

There will be help for anyone being tested provided by COVID-19 support workers who will be on hand to offer advice and guidance on how to do the tests. Many of the workforce are multi-lingual.

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Executive Member for Healthy People and Places said: “Lateral Flow Testing could significantly improve the detection of positive cases.  It enables more people who have the virus but are without symptoms, to self-isolate and help prevent the spread of the virus.

“The testing we’re offering at St George’s Hall and the Airedale Shopping Centre is for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

“I would urge people to get themselves tested, to help Bradford district to get back to as normal a life as possible, as soon as possible.

“To improve our chances of detecting positive cases, people who test negative can book themselves a test each week if they wish. By getting tested regularly we can save lives, keep our loved ones safe and help to stop the virus spreading.