Getting into the habit of testing – BANES Council campaign: ‘Up the beak, twice a week.’

Residents in Bath and North East Somerset are being encouraged to get into the habit of having a rapid Covid-19 test.

Over the coming weeks, lockdown restrictions are expected to be loosened across England in line with the Government’s Roadmap. Changes will include the return of organised sport, as well as groups of six people or two households being allowed to mix outdoors.

This means an increased risk of transmission, and so individuals going out to work, volunteers, and parents and carers are being urged to regularly visit one of the test centres in B&NES to either take a test, or to pick up a test kit.

Councillor Rob Appleyard, cabinet member for Adult Services and Health, said: “As we see the country emerge from lockdown over the coming months, it’s clear we’ll have to make some changes to our lifestyles to enable us to adapt to the new normal. It’s important that everyone, even those who have been vaccinated, continue to practise good habits such as washing hands, wearing a mask and social distancing.

“But it’s also important that we start to get into the habit of having a regular Covid-19 test – preferably twice a week and 3-4 days apart. One in three people who have coronavirus will experience no symptoms, so it’s important we pick these people up and stop them unknowingly passing the virus on to others.

Cllr Appleyard added: “In the words of our Director of Health, Dr Bruce Laurence: ‘Up the beak, twice a week.’”

Having a Covid-19 lateral flow test (LFT), is quick and easy. Once you’ve registered online, getting tested takes just five minutes – with the results being sent later that day. The tests are open to anyone over the age of 16 who lives or works in Bath and North East Somerset – provided they don’t have symptoms. This includes essential workers and volunteers, those people unable to work from home, personal carers and childminders.

There are three sites in Bath and North East Somerset where you can take a quick, free test – these are:

  • The Apex Hotel, James Street, Bath
  • The Masonic Hall, Bath Road, Keynsham
  • The Centurion Hotel, Charlton Lane, Midsomer Norton

These sites are all open from 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday. You can also book online, and this can be done up to two weeks in advance: www.bathnes.gov.uk/rapidtest.

There are also two venues in B&NES where you can collect a test kit and test yourself at home, with more coming online soon. These are:

  • Carpenter House in Broad Quay, Bath
  • 1st Keynsham Scouts HQ in Ashton Way:

Visit this page for more information about booking a rapid flow test including eligibility: www.bathnes.gov.uk/rapidtest

Please do not contact the venues directly with rapid flow testing enquiries. For questions about access to local rapid testing email rapid_test@bathnes.gov.uk.

All council updates on coronavirus can be found at https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/coronavirus