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Argyll and Bute Council offers prize draw entry as an incentive to get tested for Covid

Argyll Live are offering the prize incentive to encourage more people to get tested

People in Argyll and Bute are being offered the chance to win a spa break, a gym membership or a Kindle if they get tested for Covid.

Argyll Live has teamed up with NHS Highland to offer the added incentive in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.

The health board says it is part of a pilot scheme currently being deployed right across the country.

Leisure and spa ventures up for grabs

Getting tested will earn you a place in a draw for one of the prizes.

Atlantis Leisure and Crerar Hotels are working with the leisure arm of Argyll and Bute Council to offer them.

Research shows one in three people who contract the virus do not display any symptoms.

However, they can still be infectious to others.

Spa treatments are one prize on offer for those who take up testing

Prizes help improve uptake and demographic reach

An NHS Highland spokeswoman said: “Incentivising testing was a national concept primarily introduced to encourage the public to undertake testing and also to improve the demographic reach of testing programmes.

“Incentives are being piloted throughout Scotland.

“Prizes are generally of a health and well-being nature and early evidence at Argyll and Bute local level suggest this approach is positively contributing to improved uptake and demographic reach.”

Covid in Scotland

Incentives ‘well worth offering’

Councillor Kieron Green, Argyll and Bute Council’s policy lead for health and social care, is strongly encouraging people to get tested twice a week.

Mr Green said: “It’s important that people get into this habit.

“If having a small incentive nudges more people into getting tested then I feel that is something well worth offering.”

Councillor Kieron Green

Scheme has helped identify 80,000 cases across the country

A Scottish Government spokesman said the targeted community testing programme has helped identify 80,000 cases since January.

He said 25,000 of these were found in asymptomatic people.

The spokesman added: “This is designed to rapidly target additional testing resources in areas of high prevalence in order to identify and isolate individuals, and break chains of transmission in those communities.

“Some partnerships have introduced incentivisation schemes designed to meet the needs of their communities, and encourage participation.”

Where is testing taking place?

In order to be entered into the prize draw, people must have attended a test centre in Argyll and Bute.

Testing is taking place in Oban’s Corran Halls, Lochgilphead Community Centre, Taynuilt Village Hall, the Aqualibrium in Campbeltown, Tarbert’s Templars Hall, Helensburgh’s at Victoria Halls and Dunoon’s Queen’s Hall.

Dates for Rothesay’s Moat Centre are still to be confirmed, with a venue in Inveraray still to be announced.

Incentives not just being offered in Scotland

Last month, The Press and Journal reported that the Scottish Government was “looking carefully” at a possible incentive scheme to encourage people to take the Covid vaccine.

The UK Government has already announced partnerships with the likes of Uber and Deliveroo to offer discounts to people getting the jab.

It also said vouchers or money-off codes could be handed out at vaccine sites in the future.

Incentive schemes are in place in many other countries – with some offering lotteries for luxury homes and cars, and others turning to sacks of rice, hunting rifles and even live chickens.

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