A dedicated walk-through Covid-19 testing site will be open in Birkenhead this weekend.
The semi-permanent site, known as a Local Testing Site (LTS), is being built in Birkenhead on Friday 4 September and will be open to the public for testing from 2pm until 5pm on Saturday.
LTS are designed to supplement existing testing routes such as Regional and Mobile Testing Units. They are the first to offer bespoke walk-through appointments; to improve access for the whole community, especially those who do not have access to a car or should not be using public transport because they have symptoms.
Unlike Mobile Testing Units, which are often deployed for around four days, the LTS will be open for several months to ensure that accessible testing is continually available to people within their communities.
The Birkenhead LTS will have 12 testing bays that will accommodate approximately 288 tests per day.
Opening times for the first weekend will be:
2pm to 5pm on Saturday 5 September
10am to 5pm on Sunday 6 September
8am to 8pm from Monday 7 September – seven days per week.
The site is being set-up at the car park of the Hamilton Building, Conway Street, Birkenhead and users will be asked to self-swab when attending. LTS appointments can be booked at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. Alternatively, you can attend the LTS without an appointment.
Leader of Wirral Council, Councillor Pat Hackett said: “The opening of this new local testing site is vitally important to ensure we prevent the spread of coronavirus in Wirral. We have seen a sharp increase in positive cases in the Borough over the last few weeks and by having increased testing capacity right in the heart of our communities we can make sure that people experiencing symptoms can get a test when they need it with or without an appointment. I would like to thank the community representatives who worked with us to make sure the facility will best serve the people of Birkenhead and Wirral.
“This site is set to be closely followed by others in Bebington and Wallasey later this month and we will continue to work closely with our communities to ensure that all of the testing availability is used in the best possible way to keep Wirral well.”
Regional Testing Director for Cheshire and Merseyside, Terry Whalley, said: “This additional capacity is great for Wirral and the whole of Cheshire and Merseyside.
“Having more semi-permanent LTSs in Cheshire and Merseyside means that we will be able to use other testing facilities more flexibly and be able to deploy them in a more targeted way in the future. This will help the Directors of Public Health, and other professionals have a greater say in how testing is used and deployed in their own area.
“Having this extra capacity, more permanently, means that we can respond and react in a much more targeted way with other testing resources, should we see local outbreaks or other urgent needs. Such decisions can now be made in the knowledge that there are more testing sites in Cheshire and Merseyside to rely on day to day.
“We will carefully study the use of these new sites as we look to roll out further testing capability across Cheshire and Merseyside in our bid to continue protecting lives and livelihoods.
If you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus, you are eligible for a test:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/everyone-in-the-united-kingdom-with-symptoms-now-eligible-for-coronavirus-tests
NHS test and trace: how it works: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works#people-who-have-had-close-contact-with-someone-who-has-coronavirus
Those unable to access the internet can call 119.
Link to the NHS test booking route: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-for-coronavirus/ask-for-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/