Mobile rapid testing unit for North Somerset

COVID-19 rapid test kit

A mobile unit will begin touring North Somerset to give more people access to rapid testing. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A mobile rapid testing unit will begin touring North Somerset next month to give more people access to twice-weekly coronavirus tests.

North Somerset Council runs sites in Weston, Portishead and Nailsea offering assisted tests and home test kit collections, but the mobile unit will also visit Clevedon to enable people to access the service.

The authority's executive member for health, Cllr Mike Bell, said: “We are working to give all our residents access to local regular testing if they do not have symptoms of Covid-19.

“Our new mobile testing unit will allow us to bring assisted rapid testing to Clevedon for the first time and give more opportunities for people across the area to get their twice-weekly tests.”

From Saturday, the council's testing sites at Hutton Moor, in Weston, Somerset Hall, in Portishead, and Scotch Horn car park, in Nailsea, will be open from 8.30am-5.30pm on weekdays, with late opening until 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9am-1pm on weekends and bank holidays. The centre at Hutton Moor will also be moving into a car park booth.

From Saturday, people will no longer need to book for assisted testing, although residents will still be able to guarantee a time slot by logging on to www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rapidtesting

Nailsea's testing booth will be in place until May 16, when it will be replaced by the mobile unit - a specially adapted van - which will visit the town on Thursdays and Fridays.

The mobile centre will visit Clevedon on Mondays and Tuesdays, starting on May 17. It will be in Weston on Wednesday, and Nailsea on Thursdays and Fridays. The specific locations the unit will visit will be revealed closer to the time. 

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The mobile testing centre will also tour the area at weekends, offering assisted tests and home kit collections. 

Director of public health, Matt Lenny, said: “Testing for people who do not have symptoms of coronavirus is an important strand of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

“It helps find those people who are infected with the virus without symptoms, so they can isolate and stop the spread.

“As we enjoy the benefits of fewer restrictions, and the extra social contacts this bring, it is vital that anyone with Covid-19 must self-isolate.”

The rapid testing site can be used for people without Covid-19 symptoms. Anyone with coronavirus symptoms should isolate and book a test by logging on to www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

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