Testing centre on Island but only for four days!

Mobile testing station in use on the mainland

A drive-through coronavirus mobile testing facility is to open on the Isle of Wight tomorrow as part of the government’s UK-wide drive to increase testing for thousands more NHS and other key workers. But it could turn into a lottery, as the centre will only be on the Island until Tuesday, giving little time to register.

The Island facility has been arranged through close partnership working of the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) to enable key workers having started to experience symptoms of Covid-19 within the past five days, to access local facilities, rather than having to travel to the mainland.

The mobile testing unit is visiting Medina Leisure Centre car park, on Fairlee Road, Newport, from tomorrow (Sat) until Tuesday.

Local organisations are being contacted directly to encourage their key workers who have experienced symptoms of Covid-19 themselves, or who have a household member who have experienced symptoms, within the past five days and are self-isolating, to contact 03333218865 to obtain an appointment to visit the facility.

If people are eligible key workers, they can also call 03333218865 to obtain an appointment.

Advice will be given to individuals on contacting the appointment booking line about eligibility, what they need to bring (including employment identification) and details about what to expect on the day.

Council leader Dave Stewart said: “I’d encourage everyone who meets the eligibility criteria – a key worker or critical service colleague – who has themselves or a member of their household experienced Covid-19 symptoms in the past five days, to book and appointment and take a test.

“It is essential our vital key worker network across the whole Island is supported so that they can continue the truly remarkable work they’ve been undertaking over the past month.”

The IW Observer now understands the situation will be reviewed by the Army after the initial four days, although no more new dates for testing on the Island have yet been set.

An IW Council spokesperson said late this afternoon (Fri): “This is a mobile unit which will cover the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum (HIOW LRF) area. We will confirm future return dates as soon as they are agreed by the LRF.”

Pictured: A mobile test centre being used on the mainland