The second phase of additional community testing will begin tomorrow (Tuesday 9 February) with the introduction of ‘Collect and Drop’ sites, situated within five libraries across Bristol and three libraries in South Gloucestershire.
The first phase of this one-off testing began yesterday (Sunday 7 February), following an announcement from the Department for Health and Social Care that Bristol and South Gloucestershire will be providing additional community testing for Covid-19.
Also known as ‘surge’ testing, the programme will run for two weeks and invites people over the age of 16, living or working, or in a support bubble with someone living within specified postcode areas and who do not have symptoms of Covid-19 to have a single test during this period. This will help health experts identify where the mutation is present and enable people to isolate if their result is positive.
New Collect and Drop services in Bristol will be open from 10am until 4pm, Monday to Saturday; and from 9am-5pm, 7 days a week in South Gloucestershire. These will be points where people can collect tests for themselves, members of their family or for someone they know who is not able to leave the home.
Collect and Drop instructions will be issued with the testing kits, and tests must be carried out safely in the home and not in the car or on the roadside. Once completed, tests must be put it into the sealed box provided, and returned to the location it was collected from. These tests are not to be posted through a letter box.
The sites for collection and drop-off in Bristol are:
- Fishponds Library, Robinson House, Hockey’s Ln, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3HL
- Henleaze Library, 30 Northumbria Dr, Henleaze, Bristol BS9 4HP
- Junction 3 Library, 138b Lower Ashley Rd, Easton, Bristol BS5 0FJ
- Whitchurch Library, 7 Oatlands Ave, Bristol BS14 0SX
- Wick Road Library, Wick Rd, Brislington, Bristol BS4 4HE
The sites for collection and drop-off in South Gloucestershire are:
- Emersons Green Library, Emersons Way, Emersons Green BS16 7AP
- Downend Library, Buckingham Gardens, Downend, BS16 5TW
- Staple Hill Library, Broad St, Staple Hill, BS16 5LS
Christina Gray, Director for Public Health in Bristol and Sara Blackmore, Director for Public Health in South Gloucestershire said: “On the first day of our MTU sites being open, 2270 test were carried out. We can’t thank our staff enough for the monumental effort they’ve put in over this weekend to get systems in place quickly and effectively to keep our residents safe. We’re pleased to be announcing the second phase of our additional testing programme, which has also been turned around in record time.
“Collect and Drop sites will be situated in libraries across Bristol and South Gloucestershire for people over the age of 16 who live in specified postcode areas, and do not have symptoms. We’re asking people who are eligible for a test to please head down to one of the sites closest to you and take a test. You do not need to book or make an appointment to attend a Collect and Drop site, and if you can, we’re encouraging people to come on foot.
“It’s really important that people drop their completed tests back to the location they collected them from. Once you collect your test, please take it home with you to complete. It’s much safer to do this at home rather than out and about or in your car.
“While the majority of people who are eligible will be able to take a test through the new MTU sites or our Collect and Drop service, other ways for anyone not able to do this are being carefully considered by both local authorities.
“We are so grateful to everyone for playing their part in helping to prevent the spread of the virus and protect our communities.”
For information about additional community testing in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, visit: Bristol City Council website (Community testing: additional COVID-19 ‘surge’ testing – bristol.gov.uk) and South Gloucestershire Council website (Testing, self-isolating and vaccination | BETA – South Gloucestershire Council (southglos.gov.uk)
For information and access to the Self-Isolation Payment Scheme, visit: Test and Trace Support Payment | South Gloucestershire Council (southglos.gov.uk)
For guidance on how to take a home test, watch this instructional video from the Department of Health and Social Care: How to take a coronavirus self-test swab – YouTube