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Mobile coronavirus testing stations to be set up in Swaffham and Downham as respect warning issued

A town centre car park is to be used as a temporary coronavirus testing station for those who have symptoms.

The testing station will be based at Theatre Street car park in Swaffham from tomorrow and will be managed by the county’s NHS clinical commissioning group (CCG).

A mobile testing unit will also go live in Downham from tomorrow and Saturday after a similar facility had already been set up in Fakenham earlier this month.

However, the CCG and councillors are calling on people not to just turn up as testing can also be accessed through the NHS website.

Key workers and their household members in West Norfolk are encouraged to use a special email booking service to be tested at their local hospital.

Others are being encouraged to use a national booking system when they need a test. This online portal system also enables people to access a home test kit.

People who are not key workers must book a test using the national system at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested.

Breckland Council was approached by NHS England to use the council’s car park for testing in Swaffham, and a spokesman said the authority was happy to facilitate this.

Swaffham's Breckland and county councillor Ed Colman's message to the public is: "Do not just turn up as there is a process that needs to be followed. Everyone has a part to play to make sure that guidelines are being followed, and you should go online first.

"Do not just go along to see what is going on because it is a really important job, let them get on with it."

The Norfolk and Waveney CCG has been preferring to advise key workers to use a bespoke local service based at hospitals.

When appointments are confirmed and available, these are displayed for people to book.

People are advised to book a test in the first three days of experiencing symptoms.

For more details about testing options for residents in Norfolk and Waveney visit www.norfolkandwaveneyccg.nhs.uk/coronavirus-testing.

The Swaffham testing station was discussed by Swaffham Town Council's market committee earlier this week where they heard military personnel would be on hand at the facility.

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