SMART testing proves to be a big hit in the city centre

Christmas shoppers are managing to pick up not only last minute presents, but also a free Covid-19 test when they’re out and about in Liverpool city centre.

The opening of two new testing sites by Liverpool City Council, have proven to be incredibly popular, and crucially they have also helped to reach a key age group who had otherwise been reluctant to come forward for testing.

The Liverpool ONE walk-in centre and Liverpool Town Hall both opened their doors on Saturday 5 December, with hundreds of visitors every day getting a test before spending time Christmas shopping.

The centres are aimed at those who aren’t experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 – a continuous cough, high temperature or changes to sense of taste and smell. They offer a Lateral Flow Test which is a simple swab-test which will give results in under an hour.

To date more than 6,500 have been tested in Liverpool ONE, and more than 2,160 in Liverpool Town Hall.  

And not only is it good news that the numbers are strong, data shows that the test centres are managing to attract the important 18-29 year old demographic, which have been previously classed as a ‘hard to reach’ group in the city.  

The unit located on Upper South John Street, Opposite Zara and next to the Apple store, has been provided by Liverpool ONE and is open throughout the festive period, only closing on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Please visit the website for full details of when all the city’s symptom-free testing centres are open.  

Due to its popularity, plans are in place to find a larger site within Liverpool ONE which will hopefully open in early 2021.

Liverpool’s Acting Mayor, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “Both the Liverpool ONE test centre and the Town Hall are in the perfect locations whether you’re planning on doing some Christmas shopping, heading out to enjoy one of our hospitality hot-spots or you are simply in the area to soak up the festive atmosphere.

“It’s so rewarding to see residents and visitors embrace our testing programme – we are taking a stand against this virus and by identifying people who are positive, but not symptomatic, means we can put the appropriate measures in place and stop the spread of Covid-19.

“Now more than ever we need to be really conscious of all the guidance in place, and over the next couple of weeks we need to remember the key messages of keeping your distance, wearing a face covering and washing our hands regularly.”

Marketing and Communications Director, Donna Howitt, said: “We are pleased to be able to play our part in keeping the city as safe as possible.

“We remind all visitors to continue to observe the guidelines even in the event of a negative test to ensure they keep on protecting themselves when out and about.”