Bristol surge testing postcodes: How to get a test for new Covid variant and self-isolating rules

Mobile testing centres will be set up in parts of London to test secondary school pupils for Covid.
Three new mobile testing centres have been set up to test people without symptoms.

Thousands of people without Covid-19 symptoms are being asked to get tested for the virus to help health bosses learn more about a new mutation in Bristol.

Bristol and South Gloucestershire Council have launched "surge testing" after a mutation of the Kent variant was confirmed to be in Bristol.

Matt Hancock revealed there were "mutations of concern" in Bristol on Tuesday 2 February.

In a statement sent to residents on Sunday 7 February, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees revealed "surge testing" was being rolled out in the city.

He said the Government only confirmed it wanted Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council to launch additional testing on Friday 5 February.

So, who should get tested, how can people get a test and what are the rules for people living in affected areas? We've compiled the information below:

Why are more people being tested?

It is hoped the additional community testing will act to help reduce the spread of infection by finding asymptomatic cases and prompting people to self-isolate.

The one-off testing will use PCR tests, which are analysed in laboratories, rather than lateral flow tests (also known as rapid tests).

Who can get tested

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said: "This testing is available to people living in specific postcodes and is running for two weeks from Sunday 7 February.

"It is open to those aged 16 and over, who do not have any symptoms of Covid-19."  

The postcodes where people should get tested

BS1 3 BS2 0 BS2 8 BS2 9 BS3 5 BS4 4 BS5 6 BS5 7 BS6 5 BS8 2 BS9 4 BS5 0 BS6 6 BS14 9 BS16 1 BS16 2 BS16 3 BS16 5 BS16 6 BS16 7 BS16 9 BS37 8 BS8 3 (only within Bristol City Council boundary – check yours at 0 (only within Bristol City Council boundary – check yours at  

Where can people get a test?

Bristol's Imperial Park is one of the locations for a new mobile testing centre. Credit: ITV.

Three new mobile testing units have been set up.

  • Bristol and Bath Science Park, Dirac Crescent, Emersons Green, BS16 7FR - 9am - 4pm

  • Bristol City Council Testing Centre, 17-18 Wellington Road, BS2 9DA - 9am - 3pm

  • Imperial Retail Park, Hartcliffe Way, BS13 7TJ - 9am - 3pm

Do you need to book a slot for a test?

You do not currently need to book or to take ID or proof of address.

Are the sites walk-in or drive-through?

All three sites accommodate either walk-in or drive-through testing services.

What if I can't get to a site?

Bristol City Council said it understands not everyone can get to a test centre, adding "other ways for eligible people to get a test during this time will be made available shortly".  

I live in an affected area, should I self-isolate?

No. Mr Rees said: "The presence of the mutated UK variant shouldn’t change what you are already doing – we should all keep following the national lockdown rules.

"It’s really important that we all do the most we can do to keep ourselves and each other safe, by following the public health guidance: wash your hands, cover your face and keep space from others."

Should I self-isolate after I have been tested?

Not if you don't have symptoms. You should follow standard guidance and only self-isolate if you test positive, have any symptoms, or are contact traced following contact with someone who tests positive.

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