'Eligibility criteria' required for free Covid-19 Lateral Flow Kits as Manx care to stop PCR tests

In total Manx Care administered 169,008 Covid-19 PCR tests. Credit: ITV News

The Isle of Man is changing its Covid-19 testing providers and policies.

From 31 August Manx Care will no longer deliver PCR testing as part of the Island's approach to "living with the virus".

People may still get a PCR test, for example if needed for travel, through private providers on Island.

In addition, from 15 August Lateral Flow Tests will no longer be free for all.

From Monday people will also no longer be required to perform a Lateral Flow Test before entering a health and social care setting.

This includes patients attending day clinics, visitors to Noble's Hospital and visitors to residential or care homes operated by Manx Care.

People who are displaying any symptoms of the virus are asked to stay away from all Manx Care premises, though.

Testing kits are still available for free for people who meet an eligibility criteria.

Travel-related PCR testing must now be done through a private entity on the Island. Credit: ITV News

They will still be given out for free for health and social care workers and individuals who need to screen themselves before undergoing a hospital procedure.

Individuals who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable and eligible to receive antiviral treatments will also still get them for free.

Anyone who is not eligible for free tests will be able to purchase them from local pharmacies.

169,008 Covid-19 PCR tests were performed by Manx Care between April 2020 and the end of July 2022.

At the peak of the third wave, 750 tests per day were carried out at the facility at the Grandstand.

In total, the Isle of Man Government issued over 3.7 million free Lateral Flow Kits, costing £8 million

Manx Care’s Executive Director of Nursing, Paul Moore, said: "I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to every single one of our colleagues who worked in the Swabbing Team throughout the pandemic, and our colleagues in the Pathology Lab at Noble’s who’ve worked exceptionally long hours to report the volume of test results they have done.

"As the Isle of Man continues to adopt the endemic approach to living with Covid-19 and manage it in the same way that it does other respiratory viruses, it’s appropriate that Manx Care reviews its own policies and makes changes in line with this."

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