Queues over an hour long at Southampton Covid testing site after South African variant found

People queue for mobile testing site in Southampton. Credit: ITV News Meridian

There are queues more than an hour long at a coronavirus mobile testing site in Shirley in Southampton, which was set up after a case of the South African variant was found.

Around 1,700 households within the SO15 5 postcode area are being given home testing kits on Thursday (18 February) by teams from NHS Test and Trace and Southampton City Council.

Meanwhile residents in the surrounding area are being urged to get tested at the mobile testing site located at Atherley Bowling Club on Hill Lane (Thursday to Saturday between 9.30am and 5.30pm).

Queuing outside the mobile coronavirus testing site in Southampton. Credit: ITV News Meridian

The council is reminding residents they have three days to get tested.

Dr Debbie Chase, Director of Public Health at Southampton City Council said: "Contact tracing of the individual has taken place and I would like to reassure people that there is no cause for alarm.

"However, it is important that people aged 16 or over in the identified area take a Covid-19 test as directed.

"While essential travel to work, school, and shopping can still take place in line with government guidance, I would urge everyone in the identified area, and indeed across the city, to stay at home where possible, limit your contact with others, and follow the hands, face, space guidance.”

Mobile testing site in Southampton. Credit: ITV News Meridian

It is part of plans to reach out to around 80,000 residents directly in parts of Hampshire, Surrey, Kent and further afield in a bid to curb the variant’s spread.