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Changes to Covid testing and sick notes

The Covid-19 drive through test centre witnessed busy peaks earlier this year amid a surge in Omicron cases. Archive image by Johnny Bugeja

Day six and day seven Covid-19 tests will be carried out at the drive through at Mid Town Testing Centre as from Saturday under new arrangements announced by the GHA this week.  

This will have a knock-on effect on testing availability at Mid Town and also includes changes for sick notes for those who continue to test positive for coronavirus after day seven.  

Those day seven tests already scheduled for Saturday will be done at the Covid-19 Rapid Testing Facility at the Gibraltar International Airport.  

People are being urged to follow the instructions received by text message and attend the facility specified in the appointment.  

Those attending will be required to show their GHA card when attending the drive through facility, and those who are being tested need to wear a mask and be free of symptoms.  

Anyone experiencing symptoms on day six should not attend the testing facility test appointment and instead call 111 for advice, the GHA said in a statement.  

The Government said: “HM Government of Gibraltar would like to express their gratitude to the COVID-19 Rapid Testing Facility for having offered and conducted the day six and seven testing operation at no cost to the Government.” 

“The operation has been an interim measure conducted on behalf of the GHA, allowing time for the Drive Through to take on the task once ready to do so.” 

Minister for Health, Samantha Sacramento, said: “Once again we have seen businesses within the community step up to provide support in the fight against Covid-19 and I take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to the staff and management of the COVID-19 Rapid Testing facility for the service provided.” 

As these tests move to Mid Town, all general screening tests will now be done using lateral flow tests and will only be available between Monday to Friday, and no longer over the weekend.  

The general screening tests will be available from Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 6.30pm on a walk-in basis.  

Those who have Covid-19 symptoms should call 111 and arrange an appointment for a PCR test, with these appointments available throughout the week.  

Appointments for day six and day seven LFTs will be sent by text message and also available throughout the week.  

If someone is positive with Covid-19 but has not received a text message for a day six test, they must contact 111.  

SICK NOTES  

The GHA also clarified its position on sick notes after day six and seven for those who have tested positive for Covid.  

“The day of your test which indicates that you have tested positive counts as day zero and you are required to self-isolate until you receive the results of your test,” the GHA said in a statement.   

“Any time off work for day zero is covered by a self-isolation notice.” 

“If you are negative you can leave your residence and return to work, if you are positive you need to isolate.”  

“Therefore, day one of isolation is the day following this test.” 

“This is also reflected on the Covid sick note certificate which gives you up to seven days of sickness cover.” 

“Once you have tested negative on day seven you do not have to wait until the following day to leave your residence or return to work: you may leave as soon as you have been notified of your negative results.”  

“However, if you feel unwell or continue to have symptoms please continue to isolate for the full 10-day period and call 111 if you need medical assistance.”  

“Should you need an extension to your sick note for the full 10 days please email covidsicknote@gha.gi.” 

COVID-19 CASES 

Gibraltar on Wednesday recorded 108 new cases, bringing the total number of active cases up to 1,051.  

This includes 1,030 residents and 21 visitors to the Rock.  

At present there are four people in the Covid ward in hospital and another three who have tested positive in ERS.  

Some 57 people made a recovery over the past 24 hours.  

There are currently 1,216 people self-isolating and 210 test results pending.  

Of the 105 new local cases, 31 were close contacts of an existing active case.  

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