A fifth coronavirus test centre is set to open in the Bristol region today – in a public park.
As revealed by Bristol Live last week, the new test centre will be at Netham Park in east Bristol, and is expected to open today (September 1), accepting people from between 8am and 8pm.
There are already test centres at Bristol Airport, the Victoria Rooms car park in Bristol, Locking Road car park in Weston-super-Mare and at Paulton Rovers.
The new centre opens as the number of coronavirus cases in the Bristol region edges toward 1,500. Latest figures from yesterday show there have been 1,496 cases in the city.
Last week, metal barriers were put up around Netham Park near Barton Hill ahead of the opening of the centre, which is located near the paviollion. The rest of the park will still be accessible to members of the public.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has not yet confirmed if Netham Park’s will be walk-through or drive-through.
Anyone with coronavirus symptoms is eligible for testing under the government’s programme, but slots must be booked online first via the gov.uk website.
Residents near to the park did voice their shock at the centre opening last week.
The increase in test centres comes as Bristol now sits in the top quarter of local authorities with the highest infection rates, with 54 new cases recorded in the seven days up to August 23.
The previous week had seen 41 new cases and an infection rate of 8.8 per 100,000 people, but the rate has since increased to 11.7.
Bristol mayor Marvin Rees has said residents should be “concerned but not alarmed ” by the change.