Drive through Covid-19 testing centre opens in Milton Keynes car park tomorrow

A pilot scheme for a new drive-thru coronavirus testing centre has been hastily set up in a car park at the city centre.

By Sally Murrer
Saturday, 18th April 2020, 7:12 pm
Updated Sunday, 19th April 2020, 3:20 pm

An array of portable buildings appeared overnight opposite the former Toys R Us car park on Grafton Street, sparking speculation that the government was planning to turn it into a test centre.

Today it has been conformed that the site will be up and running tomorrow as a pilot scheme,

If this is successful it will be continued throughout the pandemic.

The new testing centre will open tomorrow

Priority for testing will be given to NHS staff, carers and other key workers. It is not known when members of the general public will be allowed to go there for a test.

Milton Keynes MPs Ben Everitt and Iain Stewart have today welcomed the testing centre,

Mr Everitt said: "Initially, it's at a pilot stage to make sure that it's robust and all the arrangements are satisfactory. That will allow not just the NHS frontline staff, but the other frontline staff, to have this testing done locally

"We want, gradually, to be able to extend the testing facilities for other key workers in local authorities, like the emergency services and so on, and this will hopefully be part of the national ramping up of testing facilities."

Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, said: “This will be an important additional facility to help monitor the spread of the disease and help us return to normal at the appropriate time. Our health care workers are rightly getting prioritised for testing to ensure their safety as they work to keep us safe on the frontline.”

The completed tests will most likely be transported just a few miles across MK to the new national testing laboratory on an industrial area at Tilbrook, between Browns Woods and Caldecote.

The Citizen revealed a week ago that this is the first of a network of three mega ‘Lighthouse Labs’ to be set up across the country.