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Coronavirus: Access to testing expanded

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Access to testing has been expanded Access to testing has been expanded

Six new ‘walk through’ local testing sites with the capacity to test hundreds of people each day are now offering appointments to people in England, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced.

The local testing sites are all easily accessible by foot or on a bike. Three months since the first regional drive through test site was set up in Nottingham, there are now 68 such sites across the country.

According to the Department of Health and Social Care, the new walk-through sites will bring testing to the heart of communities, by focusing on offering appointments to people without cars who can safely travel on foot, without coming into contact with others.

‘It has never been easier to get a free coronavirus test, and our new walk-in centres are yet another way to get one,’ Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.

‘If you have symptoms, however mild, please get tested now to help stop the spread of the virus and protect the people around you.’

Home testing kits can now be returned without booking a courier service, allowing those choosing this testing option to post their testing kits at any of the 30,000 Royal Mail priority postboxes across the UK, which will all be marked by a regionalised NHS logo by 3 July.

In addition to this, 30 additional mobile testing units are now travelling the UK, responding to increased regional demand for testing, and supporting hard to reach areas.

‘The biggest network of diagnostic testing in UK history is ready and able to offer a test to anyone, anywhere in the country. In England, NHS Test and Trace is there to help those testing positive to trace their recent contacts and advise those at risk to stay at home, ultimately saving lives,’ added Mr Hancock.

‘It is encouraging to see transmission of the virus is going down, but we all still have a part to play to limit this further. Getting tested as soon as you develop symptoms is an essential step to protect the most vulnerable and help us to safely ease lockdown measures.’

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