WARRINGTON residents who have not yet been vaccinated against coronavirus are being urged to do so to enjoy the benefits of changes to self-isolation rules.

From today, Monday, under 18s and fully vaccinated people will no longer have to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for Covid-19.

Fully vaccinated individuals and young people identified as close contacts should still take a PCR test, even though they no longer have to self-isolate, to detect any potential cases of the virus.

Anyone who tests positive following the PCR test will still be legally required to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status.

Those not fully vaccinated will still need to isolate if they are identified as contacts, and everyone will still have to isolate if they test positive to protect themselves and others.

Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, Warrington Borough Council’s cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, welcomed the rule change.

She said: “It is fantastic that so many people in Warrington have already had both doses of the vaccine, and now have the option to take a quick PCR test instead of having to self-isolate for 10 days.

Warrington Guardian:

“The Covid-19 vaccine offers the best protection possible against the virus and is the reason why those who have had the vaccine will no longer be required to isolate, so I would urge you to take up the offer of the vaccine if you have not already.

“As we all know, it is important to keep testing yourself to check if you have Covid-19, even if you have been vaccinated, as in some cases you may have the virus without showing any symptoms.

“Getting tested takes only a few minutes and you can get a test online, at pharmacies, and at our town centre testing site.”

As people with both doses of the vaccine identified as close contacts are still at risk of being infected, people are advised to consider other precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

This includes wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and limiting contact with other people, especially with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.

The NHS Covid-19 app will also update in August in line with the new guidance on self-isolation for close contacts.

Anyone with any coronavirus symptoms, no matter how mild, should instead self-isolate and book a PCR test via gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

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It is still not too late to get your Covid-19 vaccination, and adults can get jabbed from a walk-in vaccination site without being registered with a GP or booking an appointment.

If you are under 17 years and nine months old and eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, you cannot use this service to book an appointment. Please wait to be contacted by the NHS.

A number of ‘grab a jab’ sessions are also running in Warrington, with drop in sessions at Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub, Stockton Heath Medical Centre and Imman Pharmacy in Bewsey throughout August.

You can also book your vaccine through national booking service via nhs.uk/coronavirus

The council is also reminding residents to use symptom-free tests regularly to check if you have coronavirus, as around one in three people with Covid-19 do not have symptoms.

The town centre testing site on Sankey Street in Golden Square Shopping Centre is open Monday to Saturday for anyone to get a free coronavirus test or pick up a box of home test kits.

If you are outside of the town centre, you can pick up a box of home test kits at any participating pharmacies in Warrington, as well as order them to be delivered to your home via gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests