Thanet among first Tier 3 areas announced to receive community testing programme

Areas for community testing announced

The first wave of Tier 3 areas to receive the government’s community testing offer have been confirmed today (December 12) with Thanet included in the list.

The government says that when combined with existing measures, this will help put Tier 3 areas on a route out of the toughest restrictions.

More than 100 local authorities are engaged in the community testing programme with more rollouts due to begin in the new year.

The government says roughly one in three people have the virus without symptoms so could be spreading the disease without knowing it. Broadening testing to identify those showing no symptoms will mean finding positive cases more quickly, and break chains of transmission.

With its targeted approach, community testing aims to reduce the prevalence of the virus in the highest risk areas. Based on their in-depth knowledge of their local community, local authorities have created community testing plans, taking into account detailed prevalence data and demographics.

More than 1.6 million lateral flow tests will be immediately delivered for use in December with many more to follow.

Government support will be provided to support community testing programmes for a minimum of 6 weeks, with more Tier 3 local authorities due to join the community testing offer over the coming weeks and into 2021.

Matt Hancock

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I am really pleased to announce the first areas embarking on enhanced community testing programmes – after the successful work in Liverpool. With one in three people with coronavirus showing no symptoms, increased community testing is a vital additional tool at our disposal to help identify those who are infected and infectious, but unaware that they might be spreading the disease.

“Community testing will be very important in helping the areas where levels of the virus are highest to drive down infection rates and ultimately will help areas ease tougher restrictions.

“This is just the start, and we are working quickly to roll out community testing more widely as soon as more local teams are ready. I urge all those living in areas where community testing is offered to come forward and get tested.”

Roll out

General Sir Gordon Messenger, Chief of Operations, said: “We want to extend our thanks to the more than 100 local authorities who have engaged so quickly and comprehensively, allowing us to take forward the first stage of the community testing programme, and our operational team will begin to roll these out from as early as next week.

“We continue to work extensively with Local Authorities on their proposals to expand the programme to more areas over the coming weeks and months, increasing testing services available to communities.”

Craig Mackinlay

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay said: “While we continue to make fantastic progress on the rollout of a vaccine, we cannot afford to become complacent about the threat of coronavirus, which continues to remain a real danger within our communities.

 “Community testing is one of the most powerful tools we have to break the chain of transmission and drive down the infection rate in areas like mine where the virus remains prevalent, and I would encourage everyone in my South Thanet constituency to get tested so together we can keep the virus under control.

County Councillor Karen Constantine, who represents Ramsgate, said: “I wrote to KCC leader Roger Gough on 26 November seeking more detail on the proposal to test in Thanet. Despite a polite reminder I have received no response from Roger. This simply isn’t good enough under the current circumstances.

“I want to see both testing and vaccinations in Thanet at speed and at scale. Our high rates of Covid mean that urgent action needs to be taken. I welcome the involvement of the Army as their logistics know how will aid us.

“However, how are we going to tackle Thanet’s twin issues of poverty and low pay? We saw in Liverpool that poorest people did not volunteer to be tested. Only 1 in 25 came forward. In Thanet far too many people are struggling financially. Very few can afford to isolate on paltry statutory sick pay rates.

“The Government need to address this issue, as a positive test means our residents will have to make hard decisions, to pay rent or to eat. We need to be urging our government to provide better care, wrap around care. KCC need to address the clear inequality gaps that are now clear.”

Community testing builds on the nearly 1.5 million lateral flow test kits which have already been delivered to 90 local authorities across all levels of tier restrictions to date, through the Directors of Public Health programme.

The government said extensive clinical evaluation has been carried out on the lateral flow tests by Public Health England and the University of Oxford which show these tests are accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community.

Asymptomatic testing works alongside the existing PCR testing service for those with COVID-19 symptoms as part of the NHS Test and Trace testing offer. With over 700 test centres across the country, including 79 drive-through sites, 386 local test sites, 20 satellite test sites, 258 mobile testing units, and home testing, the average distance a person travels to visit a test site is now 2.3 miles.

List of local authorities

Amber Valley



Derbyshire Dales

North East Derbyshire

South Derbyshire


Stockton on Tees





Folkestone and Hythe






Tonbridge and Malling

Tunbridge Wells


Blackburn with Darwen









Ribble Valley


South Ribble

West Lancashire


















Cannock Chase

East Staffordshire



South Staffordshire


Staffordshire Moorlands



North Warwickshire

Nuneaton and Bedworth







  1. Roughly one in three people have the virus without symptoms so could be spreading the disease without knowing… This is wrong it is 1 in 3 with coronavirus show no symptoms…a massive difference.

    • The “massive difference ” between the two statements has passed me by.
      Would you mind spelling it out, please?

      • I think Dr Bob was pointing out that the statement “one in three people have the virus without symptoms” is ambiguous.

        Does it mean “one in three of all people have the virus, and don’t happen to be showing any symptoms”, or does it mean “one out of every three people who catch the virus won’t show any symptoms”?

  2. The PCR test has been proven unreliable in supreme courts elsewhere in the world. It’s said that the test can pick up dead or dormant cells from any coronavirus. And is not fit for purpose and any restrictions imposed based on them illegal. So why is this still going ahead when this has been proven by doctors, scientists and professors. And Cambridge university have found 9000 false positives.

    • No test is 100% reliable.
      The PCR test is better than no test, as long as it’s results are used with common sense. Ie a negative test does not mean you don’t have CV. A positive test indicates that you should self isolate (even if the test is wrong – better safe than sorry)
      Mass testing will do two things: identify asymptomatic spreaders, and gain an insight into the number of infections in the region.
      I’d like to know why since this scheme was announced at the end of November, it’s taken nearly 2 weeks to get it underway.
      Where do I go for a test?

      • So it is a bit like the old way of determining a witch-if the lady doth float then she is a witch & is burned at the stake, if she sinks & drowns then she is innocent.

        This is like the Turkeys voting for Christmas-well there is a test that is highly unreliable, but it is better than nothing-if you test negative you probably still have it & can then go out & infect people, but if it is a false positive then you are locked up for 10-14 days for no reason. Oh yes, line me up for that jab we wwere assured was safe for everybody to have & that we now know can cause you to go into Anaphylactic Shock while you are at it as well & a large groups of people are now being told it isn’t safe for them to have it.

    • Absolutely correct Sarah. The inventor of the PCR test himself said it shouldn’t be used in this way. Before he died. Not logical on so many levels for any sane observer. The World Freedom Alliance made up of medical, scientific, legal and financial experts is doing excellent work and will bring pubic officials to account one day if they have knowingly misled the public. An alliance of German doctors is doing similar, plus other actions world-wide.

  3. Here we go the anti vaccine brigade I only hope by this negative attitude that they don’t get this terrible illness themselves irresponsible of them to give this desease to others. Typical of today’s selfish society.

    • Well Brian, perhaps you missed the statement after weeks & really months telling us the vaccine was safe, there were no side effects & how it is our patriotic duty to get injected with something that in 30 plus years was fraught with so much danger that is has never been approved for use in humans, that was rushed through, licenced on just 2 months worth of data-which we have no idea is genuine, or as in the past partly suppressed by the drug companies, not published in full for public view & most importantly not peer reviewed to see if these results can be replicated.

      That just 24 hours after Hancock’s pathetic fake dry tears of joy over people being injected suddenly people are having life threatening allergic reactions & now the advice is don’t have this vaccine if you have ever had bad reactions to other vaccines, medicines or foods-which means a large chunk of the population-myself included cannot have it.

      A more inquiring mind than yours who like a sheep just believes everything put out by the government & trots out the anti-vax nonsense to try to shut up people with legitimate concerns as done by your beloved leaders might have actually bothered searching online to see that people were reporting side effects during testing & nearly 140 people in the US suffered allergic reactions to it. Now you might ask yourself why people were not asked before they were injected if they had ever had allergic reactions to these things before they were injected with something that can kill them & whether a virus that has killed 1.5 million people (mostly those living in abysmal regions with no sanitation, obese people & those with compromised immune systems)out of a population of nearly 8 billion in one year is worth the risk of being stuck with something that could stop you breathing & who knows what it can do long-term as there are no studies.

      • Are you a doctor? Do you have any medical or scientific knowledge apart from what you find on certain websites? Are you a statistician? If not, please stop quoting selective facts(?) as being irrefutable, because they are not.
        All medicines have side effects and may affect people differently.
        Vaccines do have side effects, they are not universally safe. Driving a car, flying in a plane, flicking a light switch all have risks, however slight.
        The two health workers who had adverse reactions were carrying ippi pens, but how they got an adverse reaction when the vaccine contains no protein required to give an allergic reaction is not known. This was commented upon by several medical authorities at the time.
        The vaccine has been given oversight as it has gone through its testing stages and not just at the end. It is perfectly OK to question, but not to decry from ignorance.
        You can be inoculated, just wait until the JCVI look into the circumstances of what happened.
        Modern day vaccines are safe, not totally, unconditionally safe, but safe for almost everyone. How many have died from the Flu and Pneumonia vaccines? How many die from Flu, every year? Between 30,000 + 70,000 depending on various factors. It is a balance of risk against benefit and so it is here.
        I am not an expert, but I do read and treat information to critical analysis and my own in built bias. If more of use stopped weaponising statistics, it would be a better world.
        It is not right to ‘write off’ the million and half persons, who lost their lives, because they were obese, poor, or just a few, compared to the world’s population. Are you some kind of eugenics fanatic, or just lacking in Christian charity?
        Remember this Steve, unless all are inoculated, none of us are, no matter how young, rich or otherwise insulated from life’s downsides. I would rather die being a sheep than an idiot in wolf’s clothing.

        • Are you any of the above either? The problem is we have been told this jab is safe for EVERYBODY for ages now & how we should all rush out & get it, then 24 hours after the first injections we are told it actually isn’t safe for everybody & people with prior side effects to vaccines, medicines & foods shouldn’t have it-so my question is why weren’t people asked this simple question before they were injected & why anybody would trust this government or a pharmaceutical company whose shares are soaring & isn’t in their interest to hinder that in any way?

          Christian charity? Do you not remember the tale of the Good Samaritan? No, I am a realist & injecting hundreds of millions of people, possibly billions of people with something that can kill them-having told them there is nothing to fear when this virus has in reality killed a fraction of the worlds population & most of those in horrendously poor places that as we have heard will not get the vaccine anyway as western countries are hoarding it for themselves like good Christians, along with people in abysmal physical condition-always the ones that struggle to fight things off is more along the lines of Nazi Germany.

          How about we actually do proper testing & peer replication who aren’t biased, rather than rushing something to market right away? Considering this thing is likely going to be gone by 2022-is this really a sensible thing to be doing?

          • You are, consistently, so mistaken.
            The vaccine was not rushed through. It was (and is) tested, and peer reviewed.
            20,000 people were inoculated in the trials; none had adverse reactions.
            By the time these two health workers had suffered a reaction, from which they rapidly and fully recovered, over 4000 more people had been inoculated without incident.
            On such a scale, it’s more dangerous to take ibuprofen.

          • Life has risks – operations radiotherapy and chemo have risks and they are given to you during consultations , hope you are not in a position like me having to make these decisions . I did not hesitate and took all the risks as I will with the vaccine .

  4. Never mind testing, when is the vaccine coming to all Thanet GP surgeries? Surely a more logical priority.

    No info on this at all.

    • Probably the twelfth of never-the logistics are difficult & as I said previously we are considered the ass end of the universe.

  5. Please take the test , it will quicken the time taken to come out of tier 3 so we can open the economy up again

    • How will it Barry?

      Genuinely want to know how mass testing alone helps us out of tier three??? I can find no info or evidence that this is the case.

      Surely people self isolating and not spreading the virus will…. the same people that cannot follow a common sense approach will not be going for tests. It’s not a path way out at all is it. It’s a good statistical tool and nothing more.

      Clearer messages and a standard rules for people to follow is the way out.

    • Not if you get a false positives and cause unnecessary destruction to the local economy and people’s lives with dodgy data. Seen the latest Cambridge research on this? Seen the thousands of medical and scientific experts speaking out on this globally?

  6. Andrew, show me the full trial data & peer reviews please-how can it be peer reviewed when on November 18th Moderna announced they were looking to publish final results & a safety analysis? The regulator is not replication & peer review.

    The drug companies involved say that nobody suffered reactions-however there is a proven history of drug companies hiding negative results including deaths, or stopping trials & publishing the positive data only. We now know that nearly 140 people in the US had allergic reactions to it. The biggest problem of course is we have no idea what the potential long term side effects could be, due to how this has been rushed through-people developing auto-immune conditions for instance.

    Seeing as we now hear that Pfizer & Moderna are predicted by wall street analysts to make 32 billion dollars from this vaccine alone next year do you really think safety is their number one interest?

    • Completely agree Steve. People who have worked for Pfizer say it is rushed to the market (Dr Mike Yeadon and locals I’ve met) and wouldn’t take the jab. So do quite a few NHS staff and many prominent medical and scientific experts worldwide. It is all there to see in black and white, but heavily censored by the corporate media. There were also bad side effects on the trials and some whistleblowers coming out on this. No doubt they were required to sign a NDA. It also seems crazy to give the jab to a vulnerable elderly person with a failing immune system. Why would you do that?

      • It would be interesting to know how many elderly people in not great health were participants, how many completed the trials, if any had side effects etc.

  7. Gilly, obviously I have no idea why you feel you have to take this vaccine & it is your choice. I am under 50 & not with health problems that would put me in a priority group for getting it anyway, even if I could take it-but with a history of severe breathing problems due to allergic reactions to medicines & other things I couldn’t take it even if I wanted to, as per the advice now being given.

    Your point about Radiotherapy & Chemotherapy is totally irrelevant-we know these therapies work due to decades of them being used, after being peer reviewed & published studies, we also know the potential side effects & weigh it up against the downsides of cancers, leukemia’s etc still remaining post surgery or coming back & that for many that is a guaranteed death sentence.

    What we are talking about here is something that the company itself was still making their final analysis on in late November, that has not been published & then peer reviewed by their peers-there is a reason new drugs take a long time to hit the market & not just have a regulator taking a few days to licence something-especially something that in over 30 years prior has never been considered safe to licence for use in humans.

    This is not a cancer that is in you, this is something that you might or might not get, if you do get it then chances are you will have mild symptoms like a cold or flu & fight it off & if not there are now drugs available that are very effective in treating it, this is something that as said in one year has killed just 1.5 million people out of nearly 8 billion on the planet & the overwhelming majority of those people are the obese or have serious immune issues. Considering this thing is likely to pretty much be gone by the end of next year or 2022 you have to weigh up whether being injected with something that has already been lied about, in an industry that has a long history of covering up/manipulating their trial data & only publishing parts of the data to make money & that is projected to make these companies who are only interested in money & the price of their shares 32 billion next year is worth it.

  8. Speaking as someone with absolutely no qualifications in psychiatry, I wonder sometimes if the embracing of conspiracy theories is perhaps a sort of coping mechanism. (My coping mechanisms are very simple-I wear a face covering in shops and clean my hands a lot.)

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