This document will be updated with Government advice on testing and the information on testing centres in the region (last updated 19th of May)
The Government have expanded testing to include:
- Anyone above the age of 5 can get a throat and nose swab test
for whether you currently have coronavirus. Testing is most effective within 3 days
of symptoms developing.
If you’re an essential worker in England, Scotland or
Northern Ireland, you can apply for priority testing
Individuals can apply for and book a test themselves, or their employer can do so on their behalf. Essential workers continue to be prioritised. A list of essential workers and details of how to apply for testing are here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested
Mobile testing site are being set up, including in the North East, and are bookable through the same website- the mobile test sites will appear as a test location option for the dates they were set up.
A little more information is available here, this is specific for Co Durham and Darlington, but gives an indication for national plans. https://www.neechamber.co.uk/uploads/files/0k4ybsG1X27egzsE.pdf
The Ikea carpark in Gateshead is acting as a regional testing centre. There are also mobile testting sites across the region which frequently change so check the Government website. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested
Once you have booked you will be given a time to go to the testing site and a QR Code, which must be bought with you to the appointment and will significantly reduce the waiting time. On average you will likely be at the test site for an hour and asked to remain in your vehicle. Please keep checking the ‘preferred test location’ on the online booking site to see which regional sites are open
There is a presentation here from the Department for Health for employers.
Testing is in high demand so slots are being booked quickly and you may find the website closed if daily limits are reached. The Government has promised expanded testing capability.