10 January 2022
I’ve been contacted by constituents who have been struggling to get hold of lateral flow tests. Haringey Council have provided this useful information:
Lateral flow testing for those without symptoms
To manage the supply of test kits and ensure there are sufficient tests for critical workers and those who are contacts of a positive Covid case, home test kits are being distributed from Community Collection points only. These are the points where test kits can be collected:
· The Mall, Wood Green (outside Pret a Manger) Mon-Sat 9am-5pm; Sunday 11am–5pm
· Hornsey Library, as per library opening hours
· Tottenham Green Pools and Fitness Leisure Centre 9am-5pm
Kits will also be available at our vaccine bus or nearest library, subject to supply and local opening hours.
PCR testing for those with symptoms:
The Government (DHSC) have continued to provide three Mobile Testing Units in Haringey, as well as the Test Centres at the Irish Centre and Stamford Hill School. The Mobile Units are open seven days a week (9am – 5pm) and are bookable via the national PCR booking portal. Opening hours are subject to review by the DHSC.
Full and further information is available on our website at www.haringey.gov.uk/covid-testing
With the arrival of the worrying new Omicron variant, it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated and keep yourself, your loved ones and our community safe this winter.
The vaccine is safe, effective and the best weapon in our fight.
With walk-in clinics open across Haringey today, please get out there and get boosted.
30 November 2021
The omicron variant is a painful reminder that the pandemic is not yet over. We need to act with speed to bolster our defences to keep the virus at bay.
I have always said that face covering should be worn on public transport and in shops, and in Parliament today I supported the new measures the Government has introduced in response to omicron including the use of face coverings, new measures for PCR testing on international arrivals, and earlier access to the booster vaccine.
But they must do more.
We are 20 months into the pandemic and the Government still hasn’t fixed the woefully low sick pay levels that make it so difficult for people to isolate. Nor have they delivered the promised improved ventilation in our schools, something I have consistently called for in Parliament.
Vaccination remains our greatest tool in the fight against Covid-19 and the roll out of the booster vaccine needs to accelerate with priority for vulnerable and housebound people. I raised this directly with the Health Secretary on Monday:
The NHS North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group has a list of frequently asked questions about the vaccine which you may find useful.
Haringey Council’s website has details of vaccination centres in Haringey.
Omicron Variant and travel to/from South Africa
A number of constituents have been in touch as they have been impacted by the sudden travel restrictions imposed on South Africa. Many flights have been cancelled and for those entering England, additional testing and hotel quarantine will now be required.
South Africa is now on the red travel list. Affected countries are:
This means that before entering England, you must:
- take a COVID-19 test – you must take the test in the 3 days before you travel to England
- book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 COVID-19 tests
- complete a passenger locator form
You must do this even if you are fully vaccinated.
When you arrive in England, you must quarantine in a managed hotel, and take 2 COVID-19 tests. You must do this even if you are fully vaccinated.
More information on travel rules can be found here. I strongly recommend that you visit this page before and after travel in order to keep up with the latest government travel announcements.
Although the testing and hotel isolation may sound frustrating, stricter travel restrictions are needed now whilst scientists determine the nature of the threat posed by Omicron. Nevertheless, I understand that these new restrictions will have difficult financial consequences for many constituents, particularly those who were already abroad when the changes were announced. Indeed, PCR tests and the cost of hotel quarantine are very expensive and certainly out of pocket for most people. It is not right that companies should be profiteering out of this situation, and there should be more Government intervention to ensure that costs are reasonable and support is available.
Throughout the pandemic and alongside many Labour MPs, I have raised the issue of expensive and unreliable PCR tests in Parliament. Although the government has acknowledged faults, they are yet to offer better and cheaper/free alternatives to the public. This is not good enough, especially for people who have family abroad who they may not have seen now for almost two years.
In August, I asked the following Written Parliamentary Question:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to subsidise the cost of a private covid-19 PCR test for people on low incomes who are travelling overseas and are required to take a test.
If you believe you are exempt from hotel quarantine, you can find out more information here and fill out an exemption form.
If you have any further questions or need help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with my office