Free no symptoms COVID-19 tests and home test kits available at Diwali in Chester this Saturday 23 October

19 October 2021

The Hindu festival of light, Diwali is being celebrated in Chester this Saturday, 23 October.
 
As a part of the precautions in place to keep the event as COVID-19 safe as possible, one of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Community Testing buses will be on site outside the town hall between 10.30am and 12.30pm. 
 
Getting a test is free and visitors can also pick up free test kits to use at home.
 
LFT tests are for people with no symptoms of COVID-19. One in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms, but this does not mean that they are not infectious. The LFT test is good at identifying people who although symptom free, are infected with COVID-19 and so may be unknowingly spreading the disease. 
 
A recent study by University College London has found LFTs were more than 80% effective at detecting any level of Covid-19 infection and likely to be more than 90% effective at detecting who is most infectious when they use the test.

Government recommends that everyone tests for COVID-19 twice a week regardless of whether they have been vaccinated. Free home test kits are readily available at participating local pharmacies and online as well as the Council’s pop-up testing buses.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should book a PCR test at: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.  

Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: ”Diwali is such a colourful, joyous occasion and just what we need after lockdown and our recent wet weather.
 
“It is wonderful that the celebrations are back, having been cancelled last year due to COVID-19."
 
“However, we all need to keep safe when we are celebrating or just out and about and be respectful of the health, fears and concerns of others. I would advise everyone to get vaccinated, as soon as you’re eligible, for both flu and COVID-19 and get a booster for COVID-19 too. 
 
“It’s also really important to keep testing to stop the spread of the virus. So, if you are in Chester on Saturday join in the Diwali celebrations and have a bit of fun, take a free test and grab a pack of test kits to take home.”
 
The festival is organised by the Sanjhi Indian Association and starts at noon with a colourful parade from the Town Hall Square to Eastgate Street for a display of traditional Indian dancing at 12.30pm.
 
The Diwali organisers are taking precautions to keep the event as COVID-19 safe as possible, which has included removing public workshops.
 
Like all events the programme may have to change or cancel at short notice following public health advice.
 
 

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