Coronavirus: Drive-through testing at Edinburgh Airport

Frontline NHS staff will be the first to be offered PCR swabs to identify whether they have the virus.

Coronavirus: Drive-through testing at Edinburgh Airport Pixabay
Edinburgh Airport: Boots staff administering some tests.

A drive-through coronavirus testing centre has opened at Edinburgh Airport for key workers.

Frontline NHS staff will be the first to be offered PCR swabs to identify whether they have the virus as part of government attempts to drastically increase Covid-19 testing.

The Edinburgh Airport testing centre is being operated in partnership with Sodexo, with Boots medical staff administering some tests and others being self-administered.

Those tested will receive their results within 48 hours.

Key workers who test negative for coronavirus will be able to return to work as soon as possible, while those who test positive can take time off to try to recover.

The testing site is the latest facility to be set up across the UK to check key staff and identify if they currently have the virus, with a further two Scottish sites open at Glasgow and Aberdeen airports.

Scottish secretary Alister Jack said: “This new testing centre at Edinburgh Airport, which is funded by the UK Government, will help key workers continue to do their life-saving work and look after those who need it most.

“The UK Government has committed to expand our testing capacity right across the UK and this new centre is now one of three in Scotland.

“We will continue to work for everyone in the UK to save lives and protect our NHS.”

UK health minister Lord Bethell said: “The UK Government is rapidly scaling up the national effort to boost testing capacity for coronavirus to protect the vulnerable, support our NHS and ultimately save lives.

“This new service will help end the uncertainty of whether NHS and social care staff need to stay at home, meaning those who test negative will be able to return to work.”

A spokesman for Boots said: “We feel incredibly proud to be supporting Covid-19 testing for critical workers in Edinburgh.

“Boots has been at the heart of UK healthcare for 171 years and has always come forward to support the community in times of need.

“Our team in Edinburgh is no exception. Some of our colleagues have already stepped forward to volunteer to run this Covid-19 testing station, which will start testing its first critical workers today.”

Sean Haley from Sodexo said: “The opening of the Edinburgh Airport testing site will mean more front-line NHS and other staff can be tested and cleared to provide care to those who need it most.

“I am proud of our colleagues who are working together with pace and dedication to support the NHS.”