This weekend’s drive-through COVID-19 testing arrangements
Here are the ways in which people with suspected COVID-19 symptoms who meet the national criteria can access drive-through tests in Hertfordshire this weekend.
Pop-up sites in Hertford (Saturday), Watford (Sunday) and Stevenage (Monday) have been commissioned by local NHS organisations and are supported by the military. Testing at each site will open at 10am and run until 4pm.
The tests are only effective if people are swabbed in the first three days of having suspected coronavirus symptoms. They cannot detect whether somebody has had coronavirus in the past. Symptoms are a fever and/or a cough.
Testing for coronavirus helps people who test negative to return to work more promptly and helps scientists to understand how the virus is spreading.
Tests are available for:
- people who have to go out to work because they can’t work from home and are in the first three days of having coronavirus symptoms
- people aged 65 and older who are in the first three days of having suspected coronavirus symptoms
- NHS staff, social care staff and essential workers (as defined by the government at www.gov.uk/coronavirus) who are in the first three days of having coronavirus symptoms
- NHS staff, social care staff and essential workers who are self-isolating for 14 days because a household member has suspected coronavirus symptoms
- anyone aged over five years old in the first three days of having suspected coronavirus symptoms who lives with anyone listed above.
To book a test, go online to www.gov.uk/coronavirus and enter your details. You will be sent a booking code. The booking system will only show you details of test locations which are available in the following 24 hours.
This means that if you want to be tested on Saturday in Hertford, you will need to apply on Friday. If you want to be tested on Sunday in Watford, you will need to apply on Saturday. If you want to be tested on Monday in Stevenage, you will need to apply on Sunday. When all the available tests slots have been booked at a particular test site, the site will not appear on the national list.
Additional tests are added to the site regularly, so check in throughout the day if you are not successful at booking a local drive-through or mail-order test the first time you try.
Anyone who attends a test site should bring some sort of ID with them, either to confirm that they are aged over 65, their own key worker ID badge or documents, or should be accompanied by their household member who is a key worker. A mobile phone will also be useful.
Hertfordshire test sites are as follows:
- on Saturdays between 10am and 4pm in Hertford at County Hall, Pegs Lane, SG13 8DQ
- on Sundays between 10am-4pm in Watford at the Central Watford leisure centre, WD17 3HA
- on Mondays at 10am-4pm in Stevenage, off Six Hills Way, SG1 2DF. Please note that this Monday there are likely to be two queues, one for the Household Waste Recycling Centre and the other for COVID-19 testing. Please follow the signs on the day to the test centre, to ensure that you do not mistakenly join the wrong queue.
Drive-through tests for people who are eligible are available at a range of other locations on different days of the week across the country. Book online via www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Every day a limited number of mail-order tests are available for people without access to transport. Request one through www.gov.uk/coronavirus.