Mass coronavirus testing begins in parts of Canterbury after 'Delta' variant found

Video report by ITV News Meridian's John Ryall

Residents in parts of Canterbury are being urged to take a covid test, after a "number of cases" of the Delta variant, formerly referred to as the Indian variant, were discovered in the area.

Those living in all CT1 and CT2 will be able to walk in to one of five mobile testing centres, which are specially stationed in the area for two weeks.

Anyone without symptoms will be eligible for the service, which will run from 9am to 7pm at the following locations:

  • New Dover Road Park and Ride, CT1 3EL

  • Sturry Road Park and Ride, CT1 1AD

  • University of Kent Canterbury Campus, Keynes College car park, CT2 7NP

  • University of Kent Canterbury Campus, Darwin College car park, CT2 7NY

  • Wincheap Park and Ride, CT1 3TQ

Health officials stress that this is a precautionary measure, with cases of the new variant across the South East remaining low.

Mobile testing units in Canterbury. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Cllr Rachel Carnac (Con), the Deputy Leader of Canterbury City Council said: "I would really urge all residents that qualify, so that's anyone over the age of 12 that isn't showing any symptoms of coronavirus.

"And even if they've had their vaccinations to come along to one of the park and ride sites in Canterbury, Sturry or here at Wincheap or at New Dover road and have a PCR test."

Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus should continue to book a test via the government website and isolate until they receive their result.

Officials in Kent also stress that anyone who lives outside of the CT postcodes can still get tested.

Lateral Flow tests are available from most community pharmacies in the county.

Health officials hope that the 30 cases so far identified in Canterbury will prove to be a 'blip', and not the start of a 3rd wave in Kent.