Council begins rapid Covid tests in Brixton

Lambeth council has opened a community testing site in the town hall in Brixton for people in the borough who may have Covid-19, but are not experiencing any symptoms.

The quick, free tests, which must be booked in advance, are on offer from today (4 January) at the Assembly Rooms at the town hall and allow people to check if they have Covid-19, with results usually returned within an hour.

Walk-in requests will not be accepted.

Two more community testing sites in the Brixton area are planned – in Brockwell Park, where the facilities have already been assembled, and at the Brixton Windmill in Blenheim Gardens.

The council said further details would be released soon.

Sites in the north and south of the borough are also being identified.

Cllr Jim Dickson, one of the council’s joint cabinet members for health and social care, said: “These rapid tests are an important part of reducing the spread of Covid-19 in Lambeth.”

He said they would help to identify people who do not have Covid-19 symptoms but who are infectious and could spread the infection to others unknowingly.

“By getting tested and self-isolating if you have Covid-19, you can save lives and protect the NHS.”

There is a web page to book at test visit.

You cannot get a rapid test if you have Covid-19 symptoms, are under 18 or do not live or work in Lambeth.

The council said residents must not attend an appointment if they have any symptoms of Covid-19

It stressed that being on time for an appointment is important for safe registration and testing.

“If people are late, the centre will try to accommodate them, but a new appointment may need to be booked,” it said.

People with Covid-19 symptoms should book a test through the national system or by calling 119.

Symptoms are a high temperature, a new continuous cough, and loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

The council’s rapid test involves taking a swab of the inside of the nose and the back of the throat, using a long cotton bud.

You can do the swab yourself, but trained staff will be on hand if people need support.

The “lateral flow” tests do not need to be sent to a lab and provide results within an hour, sometimes as quickly as 30 minutes.

Results are sent by text message and/or email.

Anyone who gets a positive result must self-isolate immediately and book another test with the national testing service, the council said.