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New UK government walk-through coronavirus testing site opens at Highland Council headquarters in Inverness

By Andrew Dixon

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New Covid-19 walk-in testing centre in the Highland Council car park.
Picture: James Mackenzie
New Covid-19 walk-in testing centre in the Highland Council car park. Picture: James Mackenzie

The UK government has opened a new walk-through coronavirus testing centre in Inverness.

Located in the Highland Council headquarters car park, the site is designed to be easily accessible for people without a car.

The new facility is part of a drive to continue to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for local communities. It is operated by Mitie on behalf of the UK government.

Tests must be booked in advance at www.nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect or by calling 0800 028 2816. People should only book a test if they have coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste).

Highland Council leader Margaret Davidson said: “The Highland Council is pleased to support the UK and Scottish Governments in the fight against coronavirus by hosting this new Covid-19 walk-through test centre at the council’s car park at headquarters on Glenurquhart Road, Inverness. This will provide easy access for people requiring a test.”

Health minister Lord Bethell said: “We continue to expand UK government 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 UK 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 contact tracers if you are contacted to protect others around you and stop the spread of the virus.

“This is a UK-wide effort and we are proud to be working with a number of partners to turn this ambition into a reality and roll out additional capacity to where it is needed.”

Baroness Dido Harding, interim executive chairwoman of the National Institute for Health Protection, said: “The UK government’s 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 contact tracers if you are contacted – this is the only way we can return to a more normal way of life.”

David Duguid, UK government minister for Scotland, said: “The UK government is helping all parts of the UK fight the coronavirus pandemic and this new walk-through testing centre in Inverness will make it easier for people to get tested.

“Testing is vital, helping to manage local outbreaks and protecting people’s livelihoods. The UK government is providing the bulk of Covid testing in Scotland, and this new walk-through centre is just the latest in our extensive testing network.

“We are pleased to be working with local and commercial partners. These sites are not possible without the hard work of many people and I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work to get this testing centre up and running.”

Simon Venn, Mitie chief government and strategy officer, said: “Our priority during the pandemic is to support the nation’s efforts to fight Covid-19 and help keep the country running. Testing is a critical part of the UK’s strategy to combat coronavirus and we’re proud to support the UK government with this vital task.

“A big thank you to all the NHS staff, Mitie employees and other frontline heroes in Inverness, who are working tirelessly to keep us all safe.”

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