Southend community testing programme urging everyone to use twice-weekly home testing kits

May 20, 2021

The Council’s community testing programme is to close its two remaining rapid lateral flow device (LFD) assisted swabbing sites as it moves towards encouraging testing at home for everyone.

Belfairs Methodist Church will close on 22 May and Twenty One, located on Pier Approach, Western Esplanade, will close on 29 May.

Rapid LFD Covid-19 self-test kits are being offered to everyone living and working in Southend-on-Sea under the Community Collect initiative to support the government’s roadmap out of lockdown to a more normal life.

Self-test kits are available from over 45 locations across the borough including pharmacies and the following libraries:

  • Shoebury library
  • Southchurch library
  • The Forum, Southend-on-Sea
  • Westcliff-on-Sea library
  • Kent Elms library
  • Leigh-on-Sea library

Participating pharmacies can be found on this interactive map:

Krishna Ramkhelawon, Southend’s Director of Public Health, said: “Regular testing and reporting of your results is important because it helps to reduce infection rates across the Borough, protects those at higher risk of infection and prevents and reduces the spread of the virus. Please be mindful that close contact continues to carry a risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, and people must consider the risk to themselves and others. Some people are more vulnerable to Covid than others. As well as regular testing, continue to exercise caution and please continue to remember the hands, face, space, fresh air approach.”

Two packs of home test kits can be collected from pharmacies and libraries and each pack contains seven tests. You must be over 18 years old to collect home test kit.

Once you have completed your home test, you should report every result (positive, negative or void) to NHS Test and Trace, on the same day you take the test. Report your result online or by phone as indicated on the kit.

For people who have coronavirus symptoms guidance remains: get a PCR test and stay at home. Residents can order online and request both PCR and LFD tests for home delivery from the national website.

Cllr Trevor Harp, Cabinet Member for Health & Adult Social Care, said: “With mass home testing now readily available across the Borough, we have seen a reduction in the use of our LFD sites and the closure of two sites already, and now is the right time to close all sites and focus efforts and resources on our community collect programme. Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms but can still be infectious. I urge everyone to get tested twice a week using a home test kit which can be collected free from pharmacies and libraries across the Borough.

“To maximise accessibility and use of testing we will continue and build upon work that we are doing with homeless people, Citizens Advice Bureau, Sexual Health services, and with Southend Mosques.”

The PCR sites run by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) for people with symptoms remain open, with some also offering home testing LFD tests.

For more information visit:


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