16 new COVID-19 rapid testing centres to open in Suffolk


A further 16 rapid testing centres for COVID-19 are to open in Suffolk, bringing the total number of centres to 28.

The sites are planned to open over the next two weeks in Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth, Southwold, Aldeburgh, Saxmundham, Debenham, Framlingham, Woodbridge, Eye, Holbrook, Needham Market, Elmswell, Hadleigh, Nayland and Brandon - serving more rural communities across the county.
The 28 centres use ‘lateral flow’ testing to identify people who may have coronavirus but who do not have symptoms. The tests are for people who do not have symptoms of coronavirus and cannot work from home. 
It’s because one in three people with coronavirus do not have symptoms so regular testing is vital in breaking the chain of infection and keeping Suffolk safe. 
Councillor Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council’s leader and chair of the Suffolk Local Outbreak Engagement Board, said: 

"Testing is a key weapon in the battle against COVID-19, so we are delighted to be able to open a further 16 sites in more rural communities across Suffolk. 
"Whilst Suffolk’s vaccine rollout programme rapidly picks up pace, we need people who can’t work from home and who don’t have symptoms to get tested twice a week. It’s how we will break the chain of infections and protect vulnerable people. 

"It takes just 15 minutes to get a test and you get the results within the hour. 12,780 tests have already been completed. Suffolk needs everyone to play their part."

All 28 centres are listed on Suffolk County Council’s website, including their addresses and opening times. The testing sites are operated on behalf of Suffolk County Council (SCC). Tests should be booked online or by phone in advance. 

Employers are being urged to encourage their staff to book regular testing. 
There are already 12 facilities open, including at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich, the STEM Centre in Western Way at West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill Arts Centre, St Etheldreda’s parish centre in Newmarket, and Kirkley & Pakefield FC in Lowestoft. 

More information about community testing and an interactive map of all testing sites can be found here.