Halton will soon have two walk-through Covid-19 testing sites – meaning local people will be able to access testing quickly and close to home should they need it.

Plans have been developed that will see the semi-permanent sites, known as Local Testing Sites (LTS), created in both Runcorn and Widnes up and running in early September.

LTS are designed to supplement existing testing routes such as Regional and Mobile Testing Units.

They offer walk-through appointments that improve access for the whole community, especially those who do not have access to a car or should not be using public transport because they have symptoms.

Unlike Mobile Testing Units, which are often deployed for around four days, the LTS will be open for several months to ensure that accessible testing is continually available to people within Halton.

Each LTS is likely to have between four and eight testing bays which can each test up to three people an hour.

The locations for the sites are:

  • Car park behind St. Pauls Health Centre, Runcorn Old Town
  • Vacant police station/magistrates site, Kingsway, Widnes

Users attending the sites will be asked to self-swab. The LTS run by appointment only which can be booked at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

Commenting on the plans, Director of Public Health, Eileen O’Meara said: “We have a low number of cases of Covid-19 in Halton at the moment and it is essential that we do all we can to keep it that way. Having these testing sites on our doorstep will mean people are able to get a test straight away, without having to travel, as soon as they feel unwell, and by doing so, help us to keep our whole community safe. 

We have been working very closely with colleagues in the NHS in Cheshire and Merseyside and the Department for Health and Social Care to ensure that we have the most accessible testing facilities for the people of Halton, when and where they need them.

I am delighted that these sites will be up and running by early September. As well as reducing the risk of a local outbreak happening, these local sites will put us in a much better position to respond to any challenges that the autumn/winter months may bring.”