Essex libraries offer take away self test Covid kits

Saffron Walden Library. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Saffron Walden Library. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO - Credit: Archant

Self test Covid-19 kits can now be collected from Essex libraries including Saffron Walden and Dunmow.

Residents without symptoms can take two boxes of seven tests for twice weekly testing at home.

Essex County Council has received an initial stock of 199,000 tests to start the scheme and further tests, and potentially more libraries will be available as more tests become available from the government.

Dr Mike Gogarty, Director of Public Health, said: “We are particularly keen to test people who cannot work from home, and are encouraging residents to take a test before seeing relatives or loved ones outside of their lockdown bubble. 

“It is also vital that people upload their results as directed in the test instructions, and that people self-isolate as per the government guidance if their result is positive.”

He added: “I cannot emphasise enough how important it is that as lockdown eases people remain vigilant, observe hands, face and space and get tested to make sure we reduce asymptomatic infections as much as possible.

“It is also important that people use the testing channel most appropriate for them to ensure that people we need to get tested can have access to the tests they need."

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Anyone in a bubble or household with children aged up to 18 should continue to choose the online direct option to get their tests delivered to their home. 

Libraries where you can collect a take-away self-test Covid-19 kit include:

Saffron Walden Library, 2 King Street, Saffron Walden, CB10 1ES. Open Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm, Friday 9am to 5.30pm, Saturday 9am to 5pm.

Saffron Walden Library. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Saffron Walden Library. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO - Credit: Archant

Dunmow Library, 47 White Hart Way, Great Dunmow, CM6 1FS. Open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm.

Dunmow Library. Picture: SaffronPhoto

Dunmow Library. Picture: SaffronPhoto - Credit: Archant

Braintree Library, Fairfield Road, Braintree, CM7 3YL. Open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm.

Other options

Take home self-testing kits can be collected between 2.30pm and 8pm any day from:

Stansted Airport

University of Essex, Colchester

Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford

Sandon Park and Ride, Chelmsford

Basildon Adult Community Learning Site.

Easter bank holiday closures

Essex County Council’s 12 Covid-19 rapid test centres for those without Covid symptoms - including the one at Saffron Walden ECL, 39 Audley Road, Saffron Walden, CB11 3HD - will be closed on Good Friday (April 2) and Bank Holiday Monday (April 5).

The centres will operate normal hours on Saturday and Sunday (April 3 and 4).

Normal service will resume on Tuesday April 6.

These tests are for people without symptoms and an appointment must be booked in advance.

Call 0333 772 6144 between 8am to 8pm any day. Or book via email or online.

A lateral flow test allows people who have no symptoms to find out if they are infected, but not know it yet.

It's a rapid test, and you can get a result within 20-30 minutes.

If you have coronavirus symptoms, book a test online via 

They may offer you a test centre at Stansted, or at a mobile testing unit.