Rapid testing for coronavirus is being extended in Bristol.
From this Friday (April 9) anyone in Bristol will be able to get a lateral flow test at one of a number of sites across the city.
Available only to those not showing symptoms of the virus, people will be able to access a test at a local testing site, collect self-test kits to take home or order a test kit direct to their home.
The Bristol Rapid Testing Centre, located on Wellington Road, is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 5pm.
Three local sites in Bristol are available in the afternoons for people to collect rapid tests to take at home, between 2:30pm – 8pm:
Victoria Rooms Car Park, BS8 1EG
Netham Park, BS5 9RU
Hengrove Leisure Park, BS14 0HR
Portway Park and Ride in Shirehampton is also now seven days a week, 9am to 3pm as a collection point for tests to take at home.
The council is urging people not to visit these sites before 2:30pm, as they are also used in the morning for testing for people who have symptoms of coronavirus.
The extension of rapid testing in the city comes as lockdown restrictions in the country continue to be lifted, with hairdressers, non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality reopening from Monday (April 12).
Reports today found that half of people testing positive for coronavirus showed no symptoms.
Christina Gray, Director for Communities and Public Health said: “Access to asymptomatic testing is an important part of the government’s plan to cautiously ease restrictions across the country. As the city begins to open more widely, the early detection of positive cases of COVID-19 will help to stop chains of transmission and support our efforts to keep our communities safe and protected.
“This form of lateral flow (rapid) testing works best when it is done regularly and often, to pick up people who are highly infectious and people who don’t have any symptoms. As many as 1 in 3 people could have COVID-19 and be spreading it without knowing so I encourage people to take up the offer.
“However, this only works if people isolate. We know that isolation is challenging for some people for all sorts of reasons. If you need support to self-isolate, or for advice about the NHS Test and Trace Payment Support Scheme, call our free We Are Bristol helpline on 0800 694 0184.
“You don’t need to book an appointment for a lateral flow (rapid) test; you can just turn up at one of our local testing sites or collection points, ideally by car, bicycle or walking.”
If your lateral flow test for comes back positive, the government advice is to self-isolate immediately and book an appointment for a PCR test through the national booking portal.
If you’re showing symptoms of the virus, you can also book a PCR test by visiting the portal.
For more information, see here.