Walk-through COVID testing centre opens in St Albans

Westminster Lodge, St Albans

Westminster Lodge, St Albans - Credit: Google Maps

A new walk-through coronavirus testing facility has opened in St Albans for those presenting with symptoms today (February 2).

The site, which is located in Westminster Lodge car park, is part of the government’s UK-wide drive to continue to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for local communities.

The Westminster Lodge site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history, with the capacity to process more than 700,000 tests a day across more than 800 sites nationwide.

Testing at this site is available for those with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

Anyone in the St Albans area with one or more of the above symptoms should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.  

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

Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them trace their contacts. Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for 10 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book a test if they develop symptoms.

Health Minister Lord Bethell, said: “To respond to the coronavirus, we have built a major testing and tracing system from scratch. We are constantly working to expand and improve it with new technologies and innovations so everyone with symptoms can get a test.

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“New walk-in sites like this one makes it even easier to get a test no matter where you live. If you have symptoms of coronavirus, I urge you to book a test today and follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace if you are contacted to protect others and stop the spread of the virus.”

Baroness Dido Harding, interim executive chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said: “Walk-through sites offer communities better access to coronavirus testing, so everyone with symptoms can get a test. This new site is part of our ongoing work to expand our testing network across the UK which now has the capacity to process more than 700,000 tests a day.

"We will continue to expand capacity to improve test turnaround times and push forward testing innovations to make sure anyone who needs a test can get one."