With supplies of Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test kits limited across the country, those without symptoms can still access on-site testing at four locations within the region.

Permanent test sites are at Stanney Oaks Leisure Centre, in Ellesmere Port and the Dingle Centre, in Winsford. Both are open from 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

Two further pop-up units, which, this week, are located at Mercer Walk, Ellesmere Port from Monday to Friday and St Theresa's Parish Community Centre, Blacon Avenue, Blacon from Wednesday to Friday, are open 9am to 3.30pm.

From Tuesday 11 January, a temporary change to national testing policy means those who test positive with an LFD test whilst displaying no symptoms are required to self-isolate immediately, without the need of a confirmatory PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. This is because, with rates of infection as high as they are, it is highly likely that a positive LFD result is a true positive.

The latest seven-day infection rate for the borough is 2,011 per 100,000 people, up until 7 January. Last year's January peak was 624 per 100,000 people.

Councillor Louise Gittin, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: "The numbers of people in hospital with COVID-19 is much lower than this time last year, but there are 237 patients with COVID-19 being treated in local hospitals, and this number is rising."

Mrs Gittins reinforced the importance of regular testing and urged those who have not gotten their first, second or booster dose of the vaccine to do so as soon as possible.