Covid-19 walk-in testing centre planned for north of Portsmouth
A WALK-IN Covid-19 testing site is planned for the north of the city, following the sudden closure of a drive-through site in Tipner.
The council is also working to place another walk-in testing site in the north of the city, with negotiations over several possible sites 'ongoing', according to Portsmouth City Councillor Matthew Winnington.
Cllr Winnington, who is the cabinet member for health, wellbeing, and social care, said: 'It's something we have been working on for a while because we knew the Tipner site would be going - obviously not as quickly as it did.
'There are ongoing discussions to find a site.
'It needs to be there for some considerable time because we don't know how long it will be needed for.
'And it needs to be a flat site to accommodate portacabins.'
It follows the government closing the Covid-19 drive-through testing site at Tipner West, off the M275 on Wednesday - without warning and 12 days before it was expected to close.
The council had agreed to retain the site for its original purpose as a lorry park in preparation for Brexit after the October 5 closure date.
The council would have 'ideally' preferred to retain the Tipner site as a Covid testing centre, as well as having the recently opened walk-in centre in Southsea and a new walk-in centre in the north of the city, according to Cllr Winnington.
He added: 'In an ideal world we would have liked to have all three sites.
'Even though we had the Tipner site and the Southsea site, we had the aspiration for a site in the north of the city.’
There remains a walk-in Covid testing site in a car park in Middle Street, Southsea, next to the University of Portsmouth's Eldon Building.
Anyone who suspects they have Covid-19 are told not to use public transport unless necessary in order to attend a test appointment, with home tests available for those who need them.