1. ITV Report

IKEA in Gateshead to be used as coronavirus testing facility for health care workers

The site of the testing facility at the IKEA car park in Gateshead Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

IKEA in Gateshead will be used as a coronavirus testing centre for frontline health care staff - initially primary care and social care workers.

The store's car park is to open as a drive-through Covid-19 testing facility from Thursday 9, April, the company has confirmed.

Testing will work on an invitation-only basis. People who turn up without an invitation will not be tested.

An IKEA spokeswoman said:

We can confirm that a test centre for NHS staff will open in the car park of IKEA Gateshead on Thursday 9th April.

“We are enormously proud of the NHS and proud to support them and the government in this small way. We will continue to support them in the best way we can."

– IKEA spokeswoman

The Gateshead store, on Pinetree Way, is the latest to host NHS test centres in its car park after the Swedish furniture giant's flagship store in Wembley was first announced on March 31.

The retailer said it was working alongside the government to identify any additional IKEA sites which could be use to help the fight against coronavirus.

Workers at the site Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Prioritising those leading relief efforts and the needs of high-risk groups, we are also working on additional plans together with the NHS, the Red Cross and our charity partners Barnardo’s and Breaking Barriers to support our communities, both now and in the longer-term."

– IKEA spokeswoman

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