Lateral flow tests offered to all Jersey students returning to university

Jersey students who study overseas will be offered a free lateral flow test at the airport testing centre from next week. Credit: PA

Jersey students who study overseas will be offered a free lateral flow test at the airport testing centre from next week.

It comes after the UK announced that universities will reopen on 17 May.

Bookings must be made by Monday 19 April for appointments on Wednesday 21 April and by Sunday 25 April for all other appointments.

Students will be asked to provide evidence of their university and return flight to the UK.

Up to a third of individuals who test positive for COVID-19 have no symptoms at all and can therefore spread the virus unknowingly. Therefore, this form of testing those without symptoms is vital.

Government of Jersey

The UK's Department for Education says it expects students to be able to return to campus when further easing of restrictions on social contact indoors is confirmed, which is expected no earlier than 17 May.

What is lateral flow testing?

Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests are easy-to-use swab tests that provide a coronavirus test result within 30 minutes, without needing a lab's analysis.

These are used because they provide a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19, but who may still be spreading the virus.

Appointments will be available at the airport drive-through on:

  • Wednesday 21 April

  • Wednesday 28 April

  • Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 3 May and 10 May

  • Wednesday 19 May – for those students who may return later

We would encourage all students to take a Lateral Flow Test at the Airport drive-through, before they travel back to university. If students test positive, they will be asked to take a PCR test and must self-isolate pending this PCR result in line with the stay-at-home guidance. The turnaround time for a PCR result is now less than 24 hours. Of course, if confirmed as positive, further isolation and management is required. The incidence of infection on the Island is currently very low. This testing is optional, and it is not required by the UK or by universities, however Jersey’s Government is responding to the recent UK guidance, which has advised students to have LFD testing in their communities before returning to university.

Dr Ivan Muscat, Jersey's Acting Medical Officer for Health

Students can book their test by calling the coronavirus helpline on (01534) 445566 or 0800 735 5566.