CAROLINE ANSELL MP: Covid testing should be like brushing our teeth

Our vaccination programme is rightly a big driver in getting back to normality but so is testing and we need to make it as normal as brushing our teeth.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 1:24 pm

The government this week unveiled free testing for those without symptoms and this is an important new line of defence to protect our recovery and make sure we can safely have visitors here in Eastbourne this summer and beyond, so that students can go back to colleges and universities and we can get back to our places of work.

Free tests are easy to get hold of either online through the GOV.UK website for a home order of seven rapid lateral flow home test kits, or look for local pharmacies or a local test site where you can collect them.

I’ve already done some home tests and it’s good to know I am negative. It gives me confidence and means I can give that added reassurance to those I meet.

I’ve had my first Covid jab too but the vaccination does not stop all infections so it’s important we know we are negative, especially as we go out and about and we increasingly get our freedoms back as the Government’s road map progresses over the coming months.

Please do get your tests and get into the habit of taking them. They will make a difference.

This week in Westminster, I asked ministers to look at transitional support for renters who have got into arrears due to Covid.

The Government put in place a ban on evictions last year to protect people during the pandemic but it is due to end next month on the May 31.

I spoke to Eastbourne Citizens Advice Bureau last week and there is a growing fear that some families will be at risk of losing their homes.

The housing secretary Robert Jenrick said there would be next steps to protect renters and ensure landlords get the best service and the help they need.

I am really pleased the minister made it clear further measures will be forthcoming.

We need to protect those at risk of homelessness and also landlords too, who can also face financial difficulties due to Covid.

I spoke with local universities this week to discuss getting students back on campus.

I certainly want that to happen as I have one at home and he needs to be living his best life as an undergraduate.

However, the issue is not Covid-secure lectures but really about the potential impact of students from multiple households, and from across the country, forming new households on their return to halls and digs. Routine testing by us all to suppress transmission as cases inevitably rise with recent openings, is really important for their return.

Finally, I would like to wish everyone happy St George’s Day for Friday April 23.

Here in England, I think we don’t perhaps celebrate it as much as other nations of the UK celebrate their patron saints. I’ll definitely be raising a pint and a toast!