A walk-through coronavirus testing facility will open today (Friday 18 September) at Arc Sports Centre in Glasgow, as part of the UK Government’s drive to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for communities across the UK.
Anyone with coronavirus symptoms, however mild, can get a free swab test that takes less than a minute. Tests should be booked or ordered as soon as symptoms begin at NHS Inform or by calling 0800 028 2816 and you can expect your result the next day.
The new site is hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University and is easily accessible without a car. Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practising good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout (including travelling to and from the testing centre).
Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through testing will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely. Testing at the new site will start today. Testing is available for everyone, 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. In Scotland this includes 6 drive-through sites, the Lighthouse Lab in Glasgow, 18 Mobile Testing Units and now two walk-through sites – all funded by the UK Government. More walk-through sites are expected to open across Scotland in the coming weeks.
UK Government minister for Scotland, Iain Stewart, said:
The UK Government is committed to expanding testing capacity in Scotland and this new walk-through centre in Glasgow, funded by the UK Government, is a key part of this.
We know testing is a vital part of our fight against coronavirus and these walk-through centres will make it even easier for everyone to get a free test.
These sites are not possible without the hard work of many people and I would like to thank everyone involved for their incredible efforts.
The testing centre is being operated in partnership with Mitie, and will offer self-administered tests.
Simon Venn, Chief Government & Strategy Officer, Mitie, said:
Our priority during the pandemic is to support the nation’s efforts to fight COVID-19 and help keep the country running. Testing is a critical part of the UK’s strategy to combat coronavirus and we’re proud to support the UK Government with this vital task. A big thank you to all the NHS staff, Mitie employees and other frontline heroes in Glasgow, who are working tirelessly to keep us all safe.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University, Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, FRSE, said:
GCU is dedicated to serving the Common Good and making our sports facility available for this vital walk-through Test Centre is an important way we can help our local community, our staff and students, and support the country’s emergency response.
It adds to others ways GCU has been responding to the pandemic, including our nursing and paramedic students joining the frontline, providing PPE and other essential equipment to the NHS, undertaking key research on the social impact of the lockdown and our academic staff advising on policy development.
I’ve no doubt this Test Centre will be of great benefit in the weeks and months ahead and we are happy to have had the government’s assurances that the close and segregated management of the Test Centre will mean there is no increased risk to our staff and students.
The test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat, which can be done by the person themselves (self-administered) or by someone else (assisted). Those being tested may experience some mild discomfort but it should not hurt.
Test and Protect is Scotland’s way of putting into practice the test, trace, isolate, support strategy. It will prevent the spread of coronavirus in the community by: identifying cases of coronavirus through testing, tracing the people who may have become infected by spending time in close contact with them, supporting those close contacts to self-isolate so that if they have the disease they are less likely transmit it to others. Find out more about how it works on the NHS Inform website.