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Residents urged to get tested for coronavirus

Sample test tubes labelled coronavirus

As the government continues to ease restrictions, Bracknell Forest residents are urged to self-isolate and get tested as soon as possible if they develop coronavirus symptoms, to prevent spreading the virus in the community.

A temporary mobile testing unit is currently set up in Bracknell with further testing dates likely to be released in the coming weeks. Adding to the local testing options available, this week saw the opening of the country’s first hybrid walk-in and drive-in testing centre in Slough, just a 30-minute drive from Bracknell Forest. Residents are strongly encouraged to take up local options for testing if they develop symptoms.

Based at Montem Car Park, Montem Lane, Slough, the new testing centre also allows for people who are not symptomatic but concerned they may be infected, due to living with someone with symptoms or similar, to get tested.

This is part of the effort to increase COVID-19 testing capacity nationally and to supplement local and regional testing sites.

The centre, provided by the Department for Health and Social Care, will be open for those who wish to make an appointment and those who just want to drop-in. Slough Borough Council, which is running the site, warns drop-ins may have a slightly longer wait.

Cllr Dale Birch, Executive Member for Adult Services, Health and Housing, said:

“Bracknell Forest residents have shown great commitment to adhering to the Government restrictions over the past 3 months.

“As these measures are lifted, we need residents to show the same level of commitment to protecting the community by isolating at the onset of suspected coronavirus symptoms and getting tested as soon as possible.

“With a walk-in and drive-in option for testing now available in Berkshire, we’re fortunate in Bracknell Forest to have an accessible testing option so close by. I’d like to ask all residents who develop symptoms, now or in the future, to do the right thing and utilise this or one of the other options available for testing. This is vital to ensuring the community, particularly those more vulnerable residents, are protected from the virus.”

The hybrid walk-in and drive-in testing centre is based at Montem Car Park, Montem Lane, Slough.

Instructions for visiting

If coming by car:

  • up to 4 people can come together in the same vehicle
  • all ages can attend
  • tests will be administered by visitors under the guidance of trained testing staff on site
  • there is no geographical limit on where people can visit from
  • actual testing should take between 15 and 30 minutes, but please allow for waiting times

If walking:

  • all attendees over the age of 3 are required to wear face coverings or they will not be able to take part
  • children 3 and under are not required to wear masks
  • special area for testing for those who do not wish to remove face coverings in public
  • curtained area available
  • parents are welcome to bring children
  • actual testing should take between 15 and 30 minutes

Coronavirus symptoms

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.

Book a test

Book a test on the NHS website or call 119.

You can find more information about getting tested on GOV.UK.