The Health Secretary has urged people to take a lateral flow test for coronavirus before attending Christmas parties amid rising cases in the UK.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday, Sajid Javid advised employees heading to festive office parties and those visiting vulnerable people to take the free tests “as a precaution”.
Anyone over the age of 11 can access a free lateral flow test kit, which are designed for people without coronavirus symptoms who have not been told to self-isolate.
A maximum of two kits, which contain seven tests each, can be collected from some pharmacies, community centres and libraries, or ordered for home delivery via the Government website.
When quizzed on which precautions people should be taking as offices plan Christmas parties and people continue to enjoy mass gatherings, Mr Javid told the conference: “Take advantage of that offer of a free lateral flow test.
“Because where we’ve seen that people are, if they’re going to a party perhaps that has relatives there that are elderly or grandparents, someone who’s immunocompromised, then it’s really important that you take a lateral flow test.
“They’re there not because you have symptoms, but to take as a precaution.
“That makes that party or what you’re doing – you can still go ahead with it – but it makes that a lot safer.
“If we want to keep and hold on to the progress that we’ve made then we’ve all got a part to play.”
Mr Javid also advised people to take rapid tests “as part of your weekly routine”, adding that one quarter of recent positive cases have come from lateral flow tests taken by asymptomatic people as a precaution.