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03 June 2020

Coronavirus regional testing site open in Salisbury

A drive-through coronavirus testing facility at the Beehive Park & Ride in Salisbury, as part of the Government's UK-wide drive to increase testing, opened at the weekend.

Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of or change in their normal sense of smell or taste, can book an appointment on the NHS website or by calling 119 to be tested for whether they currently have coronavirus.  

The site sits alongside the existing network of testing sites being set up around the UK. The facility will be piloted for its first few days of operation.

The Government has more than doubled the capacity of the NHS/PHE laboratory network, set up 55 regional test centres and 116 mobile testing units, and introduced home testing kits and three Lighthouse laboratories.

Health Minister Lord Bethell said:

"The Government continues to rapidly scale up the national effort to boost testing capacity for coronavirus to protect the vulnerable, support our NHS, and ultimately save lives.

"This is a national effort and we are proud to be working with a number of partners to turn this ambition into a reality and roll out additional capacity to where it is needed."

Professor John Newton, National Coordinator for the UK Coronavirus Testing Strategy, said:

"This is another opportunity to making testing easily available to anyone who needs it. Sites like this allow people who develop symptoms to quickly get a test and find out whether they need to stay at home with their household or can safely return to work or more normal life."

"This whole programme has been a great example of collaboration between industries and businesses with the public sector to build the capability needed to protect the population from coronavirus."

The testing centre is being operated in partnership with Mitie and will offer assisted and self-administered tests. Those tested will receive their results within a few days.

Simon Venn, Chief Government & Strategy Officer, Mitie, said: 

"Our priority during the pandemic is to support the nation's efforts to fight COVID-19 and help keep the country running. Testing is a critical part of the UK's strategy to combat coronavirus and we're proud to support the Government with this vital task.

"A big thank you to all the NHS staff, Mitie employees and other frontline heroes in Salisbury who are working tirelessly to keep us all safe." 

A Boots UK spokesperson said:  

"Boots has been at the heart of UK healthcare for 171 years and has always come forward to support the community in times of need. Our team in Salisbury is no exception. Some of our colleagues have already stepped forward to volunteer to run this COVID-19 testing station, which will start testing essential workers and people with symptoms of coronavirus on Saturday, 30 May." 

In addition to the regional test sites, 116 mobile testing units operated by the Armed Forces travel around the UK to further increase access to coronavirus testing. They respond to need, travelling to test at sites including care homes, police stations and prisons. New units are being brought into operation each day.

The Government has set up a home-testing service, supported by Amazon's logistics network and other commercial partners. Home test kits can be delivered to someone's door so they can test themselves and their family without leaving the house.

Last updated: 3 June 2020 | Last reviewed: 3 June 2020

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