A NEW local coronavirus testing centre is to open in Cambridge in the overflow car park near to the Abbey Leisure Complex, Pool Way, off Whitehill Road.
Cambridge City Council is working with Cambridgeshire County Council and other public health partners to get the testing centre in place.
The facility will make it easier for people in the local area to get a test for coronavirus as they will be able to walk or cycle to it once they have an appointment.
It will be in place for as long as it is needed and is being funded by the Department for Health and Social Care.
It will be open seven days a week for 12 hours per day from 8am to 8pm starting on Monday 26 October with reduced opening hours on Sunday 25 October, 10am to 5pm, while set up is taking place.
People must book an appointment for a test by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by phoning 119.
Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council, said: “This new local testing centre will make it simpler for people to get the tests they need and therefore help to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
“Anyone who has one or more of the symptoms should arrange a test - all tests need to be booked in advance.
“We are seeing virus cases go up across the country, including in cities like Cambridge, and the best ways of stopping it spreading remain the same: washing hands, wearing a face covering and keeping at least two metres apart whenever possible. People also need to stick to the national rules limiting social gatherings.
“We will continue to work in close partnership with our public health colleagues and neighbouring councils to do all we can to minimise the spread of the virus in Cambridge and across the county.”
Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “This new testing facility will help people, especially those who do not have a car, get easy access to tests which will in turn help us to track and contain the spread of the virus much more effectively.
“I encourage anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus - a fever, new continuous cough and/or a loss or change in sense of taste or smell – to get a test.
“I would say to Cambridge residents that if you have any of these symptoms you must self-isolate with everyone in your household and only go out to get a test. By doing that you will be keeping your friends and family safe and helping to reduce the likelihood of stricter measures being imposed.”
While the testing centre is in the overflow car park at the Abbey Leisure Complex it is not operationally linked to the leisure centre and is a self-contained facility.
People coming for a test should report directly to the testing centre and not to the reception at Abbey Leisure Complex whose staff are not equipped to deal with enquiries or people who are potentially infected with the virus.
Set up of the site started on Friday 23 October. A letter was delivered to local residents to keep them informed.
For the latest advice on coronavirus go to: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus