Coronavirus in Edinburgh: New walk-in Covid-19 testing centre opens in Sighthill community hub

A new walk-in test centre has opened in the west of Edinburgh, as the UK Government boosts testing capacity across Scotland.

Saturday, 17th October 2020, 1:10 pm

The new facility, based at the Gate 55 community hub in Sighthill Road, near Calderglen Nursery, is the second walk-in test centre in the Capital.

Late last month Usher Hall on Lothian Road, one of Edinburgh’s most popular theatre venues, opened as the city’s first walk-in facility.

The new facility, which is being run by contracting firm Mitie, was launched as part of a UK-wide drive to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for local communities.

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The new facility, based at the Gate 55 community hub in Sighthill Road, near Calderglen Nursery, is the second walk-in test centre in the Capital.

Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “We continue to expand UK Government testing to make sure that everyone with symptoms can get a test, with our new walk-in sites making it even easier no matter where you live.

“This new site forms part of our UK testing network, which has the capacity to test more than a million people a week and is growing all the time.

“This is a UK-wide effort and we are proud to be working with a number of partners to turn this ambition into a reality and roll out additional capacity to where it is needed.”

Cammy Day, Depute Leader of City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The Usher Hall site has been fantastic and many students and local people are finding it easy to walk or cycle in to get checked.

Health Minister Lord Bethell (R) said: “We continue to expand UK Government testing to make sure that everyone with symptoms can get a test, with our new walk-in sites making it even easier no matter where you live." (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

"It isn’t handy for everyone though - particularly those in the West of the city.

"The new option of visiting Gate 55 will provide more choice and a familiar and accessible place for people in Sighthill and Westerhailes.

"I urge anyone with symptoms to follow the guidance and make sure they get checked out.”

In Scotland, the UK Government is providing all COVID testing and test processing outside of the NHS.

Around two-thirds of all daily tests are provided by the UK Government, in support of Scotland’s health services.

The UK Government’s network of testing facilities in Scotland includes six drive-through sites, nine walk-through sites, 20 mobile units, plus the Glasgow Lighthouse Lab which is working round the clock to process samples.

Tests must be booked in advance here or by calling 0800 028 2816.

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