A new walk-through coronavirus testing centre has opened today in Sutton, as part of the Government’s drive to make tests more accessible for local communities.
The new site, situated at The Phoenix Centre car park, is designed to be accessible for those without cars, with people reminded not to travel by taxi or use public transport to reach testing facilities and to use face coverings and observe social distancing throughout.
Tests will only be made available to those exhibiting symptoms, and appointments for tests can now be booked, with new appointments available each day and tests will be self-administered.
The three main coronavirus symptoms are a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, and a loss or change of your sense of smell or taste and those with symptoms should book a test.
Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them trace their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.
Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book a test if they develop symptoms.
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.
“If you have symptoms of coronavirus, I urge you to book a test today and follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace if you are contacted to protect others around you and stop the spread of the virus.”
Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, added: “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.
“Everybody should continue to think hands, face, space, and follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace if you are contacted – this is the only way we can return to a more normal way of life.”
A new centre was also unveiled in Kingston at the back end of last month, as the Government ramps up testing facilities.
Tests can be booked online or over the phone by calling 119.