RESIDENTS still travelling to and from work are being urged to take advantage of a new Covid testing scheme.

Braintree Council is now distributing postal tests from its main offices at Causeway House, Bocking End, in an effort to tackle the high infection rate in the district.

The rate stands at 1,075.3 cases per 100,000 people after 1,641 residents tested positive for coronavirus in the past seven days.

Both the rate and number of infections remain similar to figures recorded last week.

Council bosses are hoping the new community testing programme can help to identify residents who are spreading coronavirus without knowing.

Residents can collect a postal test from the council offices anytime between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday.

The tests, which involve a swab from the nose and mouth, must be done at home and can then be placed in a drop box back at Causeway House.

Council leader Graham Butland said: "We know around one in three people who have the virus have no symptoms so we are hoping to identify those who are not aware that they have the virus and may be unwittingly spreading it to other people – including friends, loved ones and work colleagues.

"Regrettably, the number of coronavirus cases are still increasing across our district so broadening testing to identify those showing no symptoms, will mean finding positive cases more quickly and breaking chains of transmission.

"Anyone with symptoms or has been told to self-isolate must use other means of obtaining a test - they can register online for a postal test kit, attend a local testing site or mobile testing unit.

"Community testing aims to reduce the prevalence of the virus in our district, so I will advise residents to take advantage of this service.

"Testing is open for all but we are currently primarily focused on people who are working in workplaces rather than at home, and/or those who can’t work from home.

"I would remind anyone with one or more of these symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – no matter how mild - should self-isolate and book a test at or by calling 119.”

For more information about the scheme, visit