Portsmouth’s asymptomatic test site is moving venue this weekend

The City Council-operated coronavirus asymptomatic test site, launched in February at the Guildhall, will soon operate from Somerstown Central at Winston Churchill Avenue.

The new testing site will open its doors for appointments, drop-ins and home test kit collection at 8am on Saturday 10 April. The Guildhall will close at 8pm on Friday 9 April to guarantee no interruption to appointments.

Twice-weekly free home test kit collection or asymptomatic onsite testing – both for when you do not have symptoms – will be available to all people from Friday 9 April.

Asymptomatic testing helps in the fight against coronavirus as one in three people who get the virus, do not have symptoms but can spread it.

Helen Atkinson, Director of Public Health Portsmouth City Council says: “Along with the vaccination programme, testing will help us get back to a more normal life. Testing is vital in helping to reduce transmission of infection by finding asymptomatic cases so they can self-isolate.

“Many are already getting tested in a variety of settings such as their workplace or school. The City Council’s asymptomatic test site will give an additional flexible approach for anyone not tested through a national programme, who wants to do their bit to keep infection rates as low as possible for us all.”

The Community Test site at Somerstown Central has now been funded for a further three months to accommodate the growing requirement. The site will also a local collection point for free asymptomatic home test kits – these can be picked up at Somerstown Central anytime between 8am-8pm Mon-Fri, or 8am-1.30pm Sat/Sun as there is no appointment needed for collections.

Helen Atkinson continues: “Testing if you have symptoms or when you don’t is part of the process of reducing the spread of coronavirus, and anyone who tests positive for coronavirus must isolate immediately. Those self-isolating are then contacted to help trace their close contacts to contain the spread.

“At the City Council we’ve been successfully working with the national NHS Test and Trace team using our local knowledge to find those who need to self-isolate, and their close contacts, more quickly if the national team can’t reach people after 24 hours. So I’m pleased to say that we’ve just stepped up our local service and all Portsmouth cases will now pass to our local Test and Trace team immediately after they are recorded. This means we’ll be able to get to people who may have been exposed to the virus even faster and assist them to access available local support if needed.”

Transition timings for asymptomatic test site in Portsmouth:

The Guildhall

  • Available for all asymptomatic appointments already booked up to 8pm on Friday 9 April
  • Free home test kits remain available for collection

Somerstown Central

  • People can book their twice-weekly tests for Somerstown Central
  • Free home test kits will be available immediately on opening for all.
  • Opening time will be Mon-Fri 8am-8pm and Sat/Sun 8am-1.30pm