Leeds revealed as site of new walk-in coronavirus testing centre

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Leeds has been selected for one of six new walk-in centres for Covid-19 testing to make it easier for people without cars to get checked for the virus.

The exact location of the centres has not been confirmed by officials but Newcastle, Rochdale, Leeds, Brent, Newham and Slough, were revealed as the areas.

One centre is understood to be on a basketball court, and there have been reports they will spring up in empty shops and car parks.

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A source at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said officials were working on “walk through testing sites in England for people without cars”.

Stock photo of Leeds. Photo: JPI MediaStock photo of Leeds. Photo: JPI Media
Stock photo of Leeds. Photo: JPI Media

The source said that previously the push was to have testing sites out of the way so there were not “huge” numbers of potentially infected people travelling into the centre of towns.

But they added that now incidence is lower, they can look at ways to safely provide testing “in the heart of communities”, in a way that is more easy and accessible to people.

Downing Street said “the right guidance and advice” would ensure the safety of walk-in coronavirus testing centres.

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The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We have already been setting up mobile testing units to serve communities where needed.

“We want to ensure testing is available in places that are accessible and work for the public across the country.”

It comes as a further 149 deaths in those who had tested positive for coronavirus were recorded today, bringing the total to 43,230 across the UK. In Yorkshire, 2,802 people have now died, this rose by seven today.