A walk-through COVID-19 testing facility opened this afternoon (Thursday 21 January) at Bracknell Leisure Centre, as part of the government’s UK-wide drive to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for communities.
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, can get a free swab test that takes less than a minute. Tests should be booked on GOV.UK as soon as symptoms begin or by calling 119. You can expect your result the next day.
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 travelling to and from the testing centre).
Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through testing centre will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely. The testing centre will offer assisted and self-administered tests.
Testing is available for everyone, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.
Cllr Paul Bettison OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council and Chairman of the Local Outbreak Engagement Board, said:
“I’m really pleased that Bracknell Forest residents now have a walk-through centre much closer to home – it will make testing for COVID-19 even more convenient.
“If you have symptoms, it’s really important that you self-isolate straight away, alongside your household, and apply for a test on GOV.UK or by calling 119.
“By taking swift action if you have any of the symptoms, you can help reduce the risk of passing the virus on to your family, friends and community.”
Health Minister Lord Bethell, said:
“Testing is proving an effective way to contain the virus so we are scaling testing capacity and walk-through centres to make it even easier for everyone to get a free coronavirus test.
“Our NHS Test and Trace service will contact you if you test positive or if you have been in close contact with someone who has the virus. I urge anyone with symptoms to book a test today, and anyone contacted by NHS Test and Trace to follow their advice to protect those around them from the virus.”
Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said:
“Getting a test is now faster and easier than ever. Local sites will mean anyone who has symptoms can get a free test quickly to find out whether they have the virus.
“Over 95% of people will get their results the next day, and anyone who tests positive will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help to prevent the spread of the virus.”
Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.
About the site
The site was open until 5pm today (Thursday 21 January) and will operate from 10am to 5pm on Friday (22 January) and from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week from Saturday (23 January). Tests should be booked on GOV.UK or by calling 119.
The test site offers the standard PCR tests and can carry out around 250 tests a day.