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Government offers PCR test processing to private providers

01 June 2022

From Monday 6 June, the Government's COVID-19 PCR testing lab at the Hospital will be offering PCR test processing to on-Island private providers of testing services, as the OpenCell laboratory plans to leave Jersey. This is in addition to PCR tests being processed by the Government for public health reasons.

The move comes as the global and local demand for private PCR testing decreases, as countries de-escalate their COVID-19 policies.

From September 2020 until November 2021 OpenCell has been a key part of the Island's COVID-19 response and processed most PCR tests undertaken in Jersey. In November, the Government opened a PCR laboratory at the General Hospital which is now responsible for the processing of PCR tests for public health purposes.

OpenCell has remained on Island since November 2021 to support the private sector provision of PCR testing (including pre-departure tests for travel related reasons).

Islanders are being reassured that the laboratory service that was provided by OpenCell for private providers will now be available from the Government's COVID-19 PCR testing lab. This will ensure that privately provided PCR testing services will be maintained on Island for those requiring certificates for travel and other purposes.

Islanders are reminded that pre-departure testing is not undertaken by the Government.

Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, said: "I would like to thank OpenCell for their support over the past two years, which has helped us manage the urgent requirements for testing during the pandemic. I would also like to reassure Islanders that the move will not impact testing services and results will be handled diligently by the team within the current expected turnaround times.

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, over a million PCR tests have been undertaken which is a great testament to the hard work that has taken place. The move to bring testing under one umbrella will be more cost effective and provide a more efficient approach to how tests are processed."

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