Health Secretary Jeane Freeman welcomes the opening of a walk through testing centre at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh.
The centre will offer pre-booked tests for those with coronavirus symptoms.
The new site is situated so as to be 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 while 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, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.
Ms Freeman said:
Containing and suppressing COVID-19 relies on testing being accessible to everyone. This walk through testing centre in Edinburgh builds on the sites already in place in St Andrews, Glasgow and Aberdeen and will further increase testing capacity ahead of potential spikes as we move into winter.
Sites like this one can be operational in a matter of days, and we are working at pace with the UK Government, NHS National Services Scotland and local authorities to roll out more across the country so that more people have access to local testing.
We will continue to adapt our testing strategy in line with the different stages of the pandemic. However, testing is only one effective intervention that we are using to manage the virus and it remains vital that people continue to follow physical distancing advice and practise good hand and cough hygiene not just for their own safety but in order to protect others.
Adam McVey, Leader of City of Edinburgh Council, said:
Keeping Edinburgh’s residents safe is our main priority and the best way to do that is by encouraging people to follow the Scottish Government’s guidance and make sure that they have the opportunity to get tested if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.
The Usher Hall is easily accessed by foot, bus and cycle, making it easier for those in our community who don’t have access to private transport to get tested if they are feeling unwell. We’ve given our full support to the Scottish Government both in this initiative, supplying one of Edinburgh’s best-known venues to be repurposed as a testing centre, and in our ongoing response to the pandemic. We will continue to play our part, working closely with them and other partners to manage the crisis as it develops.
Residents showing COVID-19 symptoms can pre-book a test at the centre by visiting www.nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect or by calling 0800 028 2816. Anyone attending an appointment will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the Usher Hall safely, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.