People across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire are advised that COVID-19 testing facilities which work within the UK wide booking system will close by the end of March 2022.
This means that from April 2022, members of the public with symptoms of COVID-19 or wider cold/flu like symptoms will no longer be PCR tested through these facilities. This is part of Welsh Government’s announcement on Friday 4 March about changes to the national Test Trace Protect service over the coming weeks.
Hywel Dda University Health Board confirm that all mobile testing units (MTUs) in Aberystwyth, Aberaeron, Haverfordwest, Kilgetty and Llanelli and the regional testing facility at Carmarthenshire Showground will cease to operate.
To ensure we continue to protect the most vulnerable in our communities, some testing arrangements will continue to be delivered by the health board, in particular for some hospital admissions and inpatients, health and social care staff, staff in special schools and care home residents. People will be contacted directly by the health board if they are required to have a test prior to admission, procedure and/or treatment.
People can be reassured that arrangements are in place to mobilise the mobile testing units should any outbreak areas be identified. Access to lateral flow test kits will be available through the UK portal for members of the public with symptoms and for some vulnerable groups without symptoms.
Steve Moore, Chief Executive said: “We wish to extend our thanks to the Welsh and UK governments, Sodexo, Guardwatch and the teams of staff who have delivered this testing service efficiently and effectively for our public. Working together in partnership has helped us to keep our local communities safe and we are grateful to everyone for your support over the last two years. We would also like to thank our partners and others for providing suitable testing sites and facilities.
“We are still not out of the woods, however, as COVID-19 continues to circulate widely and remains highly transmissible. I encourage everyone to keep up with the safe behaviours that we know work to protect against the virus – regular hand washing, wearing a face covering where required, keeping a safe distance, and ensuring adequate ventilation when indoors with other people. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms or wider cold/flu like symptoms, please stay home if you can until you’re better so we can minimise further spread and continue to protect our communities and especially those who are vulnerable.”
The drive through mass vaccination centre and the health board’s community testing unit (CTU) at Carmarthenshire Showground will also close by end of March 2022. Arrangements are being made to relocate CTU services to an alternative site and people can continue to access their COVID-19 vaccination in Carmarthen at Y Gamfa Wen mass vaccination centre (located at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Jobswell Road, SA31 3EP).