Covid testing site for Preston's essential workers moves to Guild Hall

Free Covid testing for essential workers in Preston has moved to a new city centre site at the Guild Hall.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 10:19 am
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 2:02 pm
Regular coronavirus testing for Preston workers - only available to those without symptoms - will move from its current site at the Harris Museum to the Guild Hall tomorrow (Friday, April 9)

The rapid lateral flow testing - which is only available to those without symptoms - will move from its current site at the Harris Museum to the Guild Hall tomorrow (Friday, April 9).

Preston City Council said the move is due to the Harris reopening to the public next week, as lockdown restrictions are eased further from Monday, April 12.

The service provides lateral flow tests, which give results in 30 minutes, to anybody working in Preston (as opposed to from home).

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The service provides lateral flow tests, which give results in 30 minutes, to anybody working in Preston, including those returning to work next week. This will include pub staff, shop workers, gym instructors and hairdressers.

This includes those returning to work when lockdown restrictions are lifted on Monday, including pub staff, shop workers, gym instructors and hairdressers.

It is the first time the Guild Hall has been used since the election count in November 2019. But the test site will be in the unit formerly occupied by the nursery as opposed to the main hall.

A spokesman for Preston City Council said: "We've had support from Public Health England and the national testing programme in setting up testing sites.

"This site was previously ear marked for community testing over the summer so a lot of the work had already been done to organise the logistics."

Neil Fairhurst, deputy chief executive of Preston City Council, added: "Our free testing service for workers in Preston has been a great success so far and we’re grateful for the businesses who have taken up our offer of free testing to keep their employees and customers safe.

"Regular testing is vital to quickly identify new cases and prevent workplace outbreaks, especially as one in three people with the virus don’t display symptoms. It also gives members of the public the confidence to visit businesses in the city.

"As more businesses open up to the public from next week it is important as many businesses as possible take advantage of this service. We are happy to speak directly with businesses and employers to help them understand the service."

The testing site is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9am - 4.30pm. Booking isn’t required, but you must bring a relevant work ID and wear a mask.

You can access the testing site by entering Guild Hall via the front entrance in Lancaster Road. Remember, if you test positive you will need to self-isolate immediately.

The council recommends that workers get tested every three to five days so that new cases are quickly identified.

The service is not available to the general public or anybody experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. If you have symptoms you should book a test via the government’s website or by calling NHS 119.

Who is eligible for the free testing?

Free, asymptomatic COVID-19 testing at the Guild Hall is for essential workers who cannot work from home and are not being tested through their workplace.

For example, this can include:

- Delivery and taxi drivers

- Care workers

- NHS staff

- All shop workers

- Takeaway staff

- School staff

- Community-based workers

Why should I get tested?

According to the Government, as many as 1 in 3 individuals with coronavirus may not display any symptoms. With some essential businesses still open this can create workplace outbreaks and put people at risk.

By getting regular rapid tests, new cases can be quickly identified and isolated. The city council also says these quick and easy tests will help members of the public feel confident to continue visiting essential businesses, such as shops.

If you are feeling unwell or are in doubt, please get tested immediately by calling NHS 119 or booking via the government's website and selecting the option 'the council have asked you to get a test'.