'Walk-through' Covid test site for people with symptoms opens in Dagenham

Ballards Road car park in The Leys, Dagenham

Ballards Road car park in The Leys, Dagenham, where a Covid-19 PCR testing facility has opened for people with symptoms. - Credit: Google

A new “walk-through” Covid-19 testing facility for people with symptoms of the virus is open in Dagenham.

PCR testing began at the site in Ballards Road car park in The Leys yesterday (Wednesday, September 8), with appointments to be made available each day.

Designed to be easily accessible without a car, the site has opened as part of the government’s drive to make testing more available.

UK Health Security Agency chief executive Jenny Harries said: “This new walk-through site is part of our ongoing work to make it even easier for people who need a PCR test to get one.

“If you have developed a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss or change in sense of smell or taste, or if you are asked or advised to get a test, please book one and follow any advice you’re given.

“As we return to a more familiar way of life, testing - and isolating when necessary - remain a vital way of controlling the spread of the virus and protecting one another.” 

Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through test centre will be given guidance on getting to and from the site safely, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.

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Those being tested are required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practicing good personal hygiene and wearing a face mask the whole time, including while travelling.

Health minister Lord Bethell said: “We have built the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities in British history to ensure that everyone can get tested for Covid-19 regularly. 

“New sites like this one make it even easier to get a test no matter where you live. 

“If you have symptoms of Covid-19 or are asked or advised to take a test, I urge you to book one today, to protect others and stop the spread of the virus.”

People can book a test by visiting https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ or calling 119.

Free, twice-weekly rapid testing is available to everyone in England without symptoms.

This comes after Covid cases rose at Queen’s and King George Hospitals.