Home Covid testing kits can be collected from two testing sites or ordered free online as the relaxation of lockdown restrictions starts today.

The home testing kits can be collected from the Chuter Ede or Jarrow Library testing sites from 2.30pm to 8pm, seven days a week (restricted to two per household per day).

They can be also be delivered to homes via https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests (restricted to one box per household per day).

All positive lateral flow tests now require a confirmatory PCR test at a COVID testing site. If a confirmatory test is taken within 48 hours and is negative, people can end self-isolation.

From today the rule of six or two households applies outdoors and all retail can reopen plus personal care, libraries and community centres, as well as leisure and gyms for individual use only.

Outdoor hospitality – pubs and restaurants for food/drinks can open outdoor only, and most outdoor attractions and children’s activities can reopen.

No international holidays are allowed yet (this will be reviewed in mid-May) and the maximum attendance at funerals is 30, and 15 for weddings/wakes/receptions.

NHS Test and Trace has moved to a universal asymptomatic testing offer for the Lateral Flow Devices across the physical collection channels (workplace, community collect, pharmacy) and direct to home service: https://www.gov.uk/find-covid-19-lateral-flow-test-site

The latest Covid update to Healthnet reported a total of 11,284 Covid cases in South Tyneside, with 918 Covid-related deaths in South Tyneside and Sunderland Trust hospitals.

View the full report here.