New Dartford Covid-19 testing centre joins more in SE London

A new walk-through coronavirus testing facility has opened in a car park in Dartford, joining an asymptomatic testing centre opening on the waterfront in Woolwich.

The Dartford facility opened on Monday, January 25, in the Arcacia Hall car park, with residents suffering from coronavirus symptoms able to book appointments daily.

The new site is walk-through, situated to allow easy access without care, but those getting tested must not travel there by taxi or public transport, as well as following a number of other safety measures.

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Alex Lever, Managing Director of G4S’s Testing Site Programme, said: “The Dartford walk-through site will play a key role in supporting the national response to the pandemic and we are extraordinarily proud of our dedicated employees at Covid-19 testing sites across the UK.

“Their enthusiasm has been inspiring as they continue to support the Government, our health services and the public in this crisis.”

This comes as a new rapid testing facility opened in Woolwich at the Waterfront Leisure Centre late last week.

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The centre is for people without Covid-19 symptoms but are more at risk from the virus or more at risk of catching it.

The Waterfront facility is open 8am to 8pm, Tuesday to Saturday, and can provide results in 30 minutes.

It joins the following sites:

  • Daniel Defoe Hall, University of Greenwich, Greenwich . Open Wednesday to Sunday, 8am to 8pm
  • David Fussey Building, University of Greenwich, Avery Hill. Open 7 days per week, 10am to 5pm, and 8am to 5pm from 25 January
  • Charlton Athletic Football Club, Charlton. Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
  • Waterfront Leisure Centre, Woolwich. Open Tuesday to Saturday, 8am to 8pm
  • New! Princess Alice pub, Thamesmead – opening Wednesday 27 January from 11am to 8pm. Then Monday to Sunday, 8am to 8pm

Whilst those without symptoms can visit the Greenwich site, those travelling to the Acadia Hall facility must already be suffering from symptoms – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

Anyone can book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

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.

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 86 drive-through sites, 463 walk-through sites, six Lighthouse laboratories, home testing and satellite kits, and a large number of mobile units.

Health Minister, Lord Bethell, said: “To respond to the coronavirus, we have built a major testing and tracing system from scratch. We are constantly working to expand and improve it with new technologies and innovations so everyone with symptoms can get a test.

“New walk-in sites like this one makes it even easier to get a test no matter where you live. If you have symptoms of coronavirus, I urge you to book a test today and follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace if you are contacted to protect others and stop the spread of the virus.”

The testing centre is being operated in partnership with G4S and will offer self-administered tests.

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