A new walk-through coronavirus testing facility has opened for those with symptoms to book appointments at the Grand Theatre, in Swansea, as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to continue to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for local communities.
Testing is available only for those with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. From the start of the pandemic, testing has been prioritised for the most vulnerable, including patients in clinical settings and care home residents, vital health and care staff and to manage outbreaks.
The new site is situated so as to be easily accessible without a car. Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practising good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout, including while travelling to and from the testing centre.
Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through testing will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.
Testing at the new site started on Friday (Friday 9 October), with appointments made available each day.
The site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history, which now includes more than 500 sites available across the UK, including 77 drive-through sites, 156 walk-through sites, 258 mobile units, home testing and satellite kits and five mega laboratories.
Health Minister Lord Bethell said:
“We continue to expand testing to make sure that everyone with symptoms can get a test, with our new walk-in sites making it even easier no matter where you live.
“This new site forms part of our national testing network, which has the capacity to test more than a million people a week and is growing all the time.
“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.”
Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said:
“Our new walk through sites offer communities better access to coronavirus testing, so everyone with symptoms can get a test. This new site is part of our ongoing work to expand testing across the UK to deliver 500,000 tests a day by the end of October.
“Please book a test if you have coronavirus symptoms: a new continuous cough, a high temperature and a loss or change in sense of smell or taste.”
The testing centre is being operated in partnership with Mitie and will offer self-administered tests.
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 Swansea, who are working tirelessly to keep us all safe.”