Asymptomatic covid testing open to the public in Thanet

Testing at Ramsgate Port Photo Karen Constantine

Rapid-result coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for people who don’t have symptoms is now available to anyone who lives or works in Thanet and Swale.

The testing will find people who don’t currently have symptoms, who may be unknowingly spreading the virus in the community.

Asymptomatic testing in Thanet is taking place at Ramsgate Port.

Kent County Council Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark said: “We have opened up the booking system for our symptom-free testing sites to allow anyone who lives or works in the two districts to get a test.

“It’s important that as many people without symptoms come forward and book themselves regular tests so we can find people who may be unknowingly transmitting the virus either at home or at work.

“Remember, up to 1 in 3 people may have COVID-19 without any symptoms at all and with this new strain that is more transmissible, we need to identify those people and encourage them to isolate so we break the chain of transmission.

“My message to everyone across Kent is please keep following the tier 4 restrictions and limit your social interactions. It’s important to self-isolate, not only after receiving a positive test result but also while you wait for the results.”

Symptom-free testing sites will be rolled out across the county from January 4 to help try to reduce the rates of COVID-19.

You do not need to be invited to book a test. To book use this link:

Details on the booking page are in the process of being updated to make it clear tests are open to all residents.

Symptom-free testing sites are being set up using funding from central government to support local councils in tier 4 to help reduce rates of COVID-19.

These sites are in addition to the regional and local testing sites for people who have symptoms, such as those at Manston and Margate.

If you have symptoms you should NOT attend the symptom-free testing sites but instead book a PCR test

NOTE: KCC is currently dealing with a technical issue which has resulted in some users getting a page error message


    • I would be interested to know how you think the chance to pick up asymptomatic people who are carrying and therefore potential infecting others, can be seen as “pointless”

    • I don’t know about “pointless ” exactly, but we have to ask questions.
      If this is the “flow” type test then it is established to be very flawed, not actually 100% detecting everybody who is infected.
      Also, of course, if someone is tested at these centres , and is told “negative”, well “hooray”!
      But, flushed with relief, they make their way home, maybe using the bus, or popping into a shop for a paper, or meeting a friend in the street for a close-up chat, and, in the process they pick up the virus!!
      The test is only accurate at the moment it is carried out. To be effective, testing has to be regular for all of us and a positive test has to lead to immediate self isolation. THEN it would begin to reduce the spread.

  1. We have a hardly used centre on Dreamland car park why could that not be used to cover north Thanet as well as Ramsgate port. Sensible I think KCC don’t realize Thanet politically is in north and south Thanet That would be appropriate places for this as citizens don’t have to travel to far from home. They want us not to travel to far why one site?

    • A valid point. By the same token, why should South Thanet folk have to travel to North Thanet for a hospital appointment or to attend the Council Offices?

  2. How is it pointless? Liverpool brought numbers down by additional testing and imposing stricter measures, it wasn’t a pointless exercise. What is pointless is having a lockdown which some people continue to ignore and carry on doing as they please

  3. I’m really pleased this is rolled out to everyone and I hope the community takes it up. Thanks for the excellent Covid reporting and updates IOTN.

  4. It’s not for everyone though. If you click on the link it is for key workers, people who live with them or if you get an invite.

    • Yes, there’s some confusion here.
      The link actually says:
      “You can use this form to book a symptom-free test if you do not have symptoms and you:

      are a key worker who lives or works in Kent or
      you live with a key worker or
      are a Kent resident who has received an invitation from Kent County Council to book a test”.

      This is at odds with what the piece says”
      “We have opened up the booking system for our symptom-free testing sites to allow anyone who lives or works in the two districts to get a test”
      I wonder if Kathy Bailes could clarify?

        • Shame website link and page doesn’t actually work. I tried several times tonight. I get as far as confirming dont have covid symptoms. Begin booking.. Comes up with page not found. Tried on phone and message I got was no sites available for booking

          • The website is updated but the booking form is still failing. It took me several tries to get booked as I was constantly being thrown back to the beginning. Perseverance works and if you are that keen to get a test you will persevere.

  5. As the article states the website has NOT been updated. Every body can have the test, i have requested the website is updated immediately, but we in opposition parties know how slowly these things take for kcc to do things quickly

  6. Seems some testing stations are in very public locations (yes reasons understood) but many lack confidentially as the centres are overlooked and could be filmed or observed.

    Why grass up residents doing tests.

    if rumour spreading was an Olympic sport. Thanet would have many gold medals

    • I may be really dense but why would people be coy about having a test?
      It’s not the same as going to the clap clinic!

  7. I’m confused with this booking thing can’t find anywhere to get an appointment.
    I don’t have symptoms so can I just turn up at port Ramsgate and get the test

  8. I just tried to book a test. But unless I say I’m a key worker, it simply tells me that there are no available test centres.
    KCC need to get a bit of a grip.

    • KCC has now added this “You can use this form to book a symptom-free test if you do not have symptoms and you:

      live or work in Swale or Thanet”

  9. If you use the website independently and not the isle of Thanet news link it should be updated, please understand why i as a kent opposition councillor gets frustrated with the administration

  10. We went and got tested today – very efficient service from delightfully friendly staff. We were negative. We understand that the result in not definitive so will of course continue to follow all the Tier 4 rules, but at least it reassures us that we do not need to do more to avoid spreading infection.
    Like some others we had trouble getting through following the link given (it gave an error message after the second page) but got through via the KCC website, even though the URLs seemed the same. Maybe accessing it via the KCC website downloads a cookie that allows you to go further?
    Anyway, thanks for all you hard work Kathy in keeping us informed and all the best to all at Isle of Thanet News for 2021.

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