A new walk-through coronavirus testing facility has opened for those with symptoms to book appointments at Belvedere Road car park in Lowestoft, as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to continue to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for local communities.
Testing at this site is only available for those with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your 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. The government is committed to continue expanding the capacity of the network of UK test sites and laboratories to make it even easier to get tested and reduce the time it takes to receive test results.
The car park will remain open for anyone wishing to park, with the 'pay and display' machine temporarily relocated. Some of the HGV parking bays will be used by testing staff and will therefore be unavailable to the public.
The new site is situated so it is 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, practicing 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 test site 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 began on Wednesday 10 February, with appointments made available each day. The testing facility is operated by the Department for Health and Social Care in partnership with G4S.
The site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history which has the capacity to process more than 700,000 tests a day and includes more than 800 sites across the UK, including 87 drive-through sites, 475 walk-through sites, six Lighthouse laboratories, home testing and satellite kits, and a large number of mobile units.
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 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 ten days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book a test if they develop symptoms.
A new Covid-19 rapid testing centre targeting people who unwittingly have the virus and do not show symptoms is also now open at Kirkley & Pakefield FC clubhouse in Walmer Road, Pakefield. The site is operated on behalf of Suffolk County Council. Tests should be booked in advance. Community testing sites are also available in Felixstowe. Find out more about community testing in Suffolk.