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Central Bedfordshire residents over 18 who don’t have symptoms of coronavirus are being urged to take advantage of free rapid COVID tests. These are now available from community testing sites, local pharmacies or online across the area.

Residents who don’t have symptoms can get a free, rapid test at any of the centres in Biggleswade, Dunstable and Flitwick. Where they can also learn how to do a high-quality test at home and collect a home test kit.

Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) executive member for health & wellbeing and communities, Cllr Tracey Stock, said:

“Our community testing centres have carried out over 11,000 tests and found 41 people who were positive for COVID-19 despite having no symptoms.

“This means 41 local residents are now able to take action to protect themselves, their families and everyone around them, reducing the spread of infection.

“With around one in three people who have coronavirus showing no symptoms, regular rapid testing is vital for those individuals who have regular contact with people who are not part of their household or bubble.

“Regular testing will help identify more people who have COVID-19 and help to reduce the spread of the virus as they will know how to self-isolate.”

CBC said over 11,000 tests for people without COVID symptoms have taken place at its rapid testing sites in Dunstable, Flitwick and Biggleswade. Adding that over eight hundred people have collected home tests.

  • The test centre at Saxon Pool and Leisure Centre in Biggleswade has carried out 3,293 tests
  • Dunstable Leisure Centre – 3,457 tests
  • Flitwick Leisure Centre – 4,476 tests

The centres have also given out 1,516 home testing kits, reaching people unable to attend the centres themselves.

A rapid test, also called a lateral flow test, is a test for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms and give results in 30 minutes. If you have symptoms you should self-isolate at home and book a standard COVID-19 test online on the NHS website or call 119.

Find out more on the council website and NHS Get Tested.

Residents can also use the Government’s new home ordering service. This allows people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home or collect tests through a new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service. People aged over 18 without symptoms will be able to visit a participating local pharmacy and collect a box of 7 rapid tests to use twice a week at home.

People who have coronavirus symptoms should not use this service but must get a PCR test as soon as possible if they have any of these symptoms: a high temperature; a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste.

PCR tests can be booked at Get Coronavirus Test.

Test centres

Flitwick Leisure Centre, Steppingley Road, Flitwick, Bedford, Bedfordshire MK45 1TH. The testing centre at Flitwick is open 7 days a week, from 8am to 7pm. Parking is available at the centre.

The Dunstable Centre, Court Drive, Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU5 4JD. The testing centre at Dunstable is open 7 days a week from 8am to 7pm. Parking is available at the Grove Park car park, in front of Go Bowling, and will be free whilst it is being used as a testing site.

Saxon Pool and Leisure Centre in Biggleswade, Saxon Drive, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire SG18 8SU. The test centre at Biggleswade will operate on a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, from 8am to 7pm. Parking is available at the centre.

CBC said these test sites will be operating until the end of April 2021.